Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children

by Rock-Paper-Scissors Children's Fund
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Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children
Art Mentorship for Poor Vietnamese Children

Hello Friends,

I just returned from a trip to Vietnam, along with a few long-time volunteers! This was the first year since 2019 that we have been able to travel with volunteers to Vietnam because of the pandemic, and it was so great working face-to-face with our Vietnamese staff and teachers instead of on zoom!

I am so excited to share, that despite the pandemic, our programs in Vietnam including our art program have been running so well, thanks to our wonderful teachers and staff, and our kids are thriving! In fact, while I was there, we added another after school art class at a very small school in another ethnic minority village, called Cam Tan. This expands our art program to four villages now, with over 80 students attending year-round. The new class will support 20-25 girls, who will attend class every Friday afternoon throughout the year. See the photos of their beautiful artwork so far!

Over the last couple of years, and through the success of our Bike for Girls Program, and now after-school tutoring for girls, we have decided to focus our art education also on girls. Our goal is to encourage girls to express themselves freely, helping them to build more independence, confidence and self-esteem. We have found that having girls only classes has made a difference for our students in terms of their expression in their artwork, how they apply themselves in the classroom, and speak to our mentors and teachers. In many of the villages the girls have learned not to speak up when there are boys in the classroom, which is one of the reasons why we have decided to make this change. We are also considering trying out a boy’s only class in one of the villages. In the end we feel that the boys need just as much mentoring as the girls to become successful members of their communities.

While we were in Vietnam, at the beginning of August, we held our annual two-day arts camp for our students like we had pre-Covid! We had over 60 girls attend the first day, and 150 boys and girls attend the second day. We played lots of games, music, and completed fun art projects. It was a great time!

Thank you again everyone for your amazing support of our small organization, it means a great deal to all of us.

Thank you so much!

Sara and the Rock-Paper-Scissor’s Team

Cam Tan Art Class August 2022
Cam Tan Art Class August 2022

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Hello Friends,

This is a quick update to all our wonderful supporters, friends and art lovers. Thank you! Again, a little light for our students has been the care from all of you and your wonderful support of our teachers in Vietnam.

We wanted to share that through your support, along with a small grant from an organization in Canada called, Give a Hand, we have been able to start our art class again for primary school girls within the ethnic minority community we work in, as well as a Story Time program for siblings of the girls who are too young to attend the art class, but come along with their sisters to class! So far, we have run these programs throughout the month of April with great success. We have recruited high school and college-age students from outside the community to be mentors and readers to help us run the programs and to connect and support the girls. So far so good! All students and mentors are very much loving both the story time and art classes.

At the same time, our art classes in Cam Duc Village continue on a weekly basis as well as our classes in Hue City. We are working on expanding both programs, especially the one in Hue to include another ethnic minority village there where we will be holding art classes for girls. Our programs in Cam Duc and in the city of Hue are for both boys and girls.

As the founders of Rock-Paper-Scissors Children’s Fund, my two daughters, Sophie, and Phoebe, and myself are usually heading to Vietnam with a group of volunteer artists and musicians during the summer, but we have not been able to do this since the start of Covid. We are hoping to make the trip in June or July of this year, with a few volunteers! So hopefully the next time I send you all an update, it is from Vietnam directly!

Happy rest of the spring! Thank you again everyone for your amazing support of our small organization, it means a great deal to all of us.

Sara and the Rock-Paper-Scissor’s Team

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Hello Friends,

Happy New Year! This is a quick update on our art program in Vietnam which you have so kindly helped us to run and keep running! Hopefully you all are doing well, it’s been another up and down year for everyone once more, including our students and families in Vietnam. In 2020, Vietnam was really able to control the outbreak of Covid19, and schools stayed open, but things turned to strict lockdowns and schools being closed for so much of 2021 once the Delta variant became prevalent in the country. One light for our students has been the support from all of you and our staff in Vietnam.

Although art class sometimes seems farfetched for kids who are poor and need so many more vital things in their lives, we have found that it really turns out to be just the opposite. Just the care that our students receive from us all, our teachers and their peer students has really been life-changing for the kids. To be a part of a small art-class meeting weekly, and to be a part of that for years for many of our kids, is something so important to their lives and education. They become close friend and close to our teachers and mentors and continue to have this amazing network of support while growing up.

When the lockdown occurred this year, 17 of our Cam Duc Village students had parents out of work, unable to sufficiently support their families, and all our student’s families in Son Tan, the ethnic minority village had no work.  We were fortunate enough to have a small grant from a company who helped to support the families, with additional food for the month as well as tablets for some of the students to be able to study online.  We also used the tablets to make sure that our art and music classes could continue remotely, and those students could reach their school material online as well.

This year has been a great year for the kids in art class. As you may remember ten of our student’s artwork was selected to be part of a virtual art show in NYC called “I Have a Voice” which was featured in two galleries there. The kids were thrilled to be a part of it. In addition to that, some of our older student’s artwork was selected by the Girl’s Opportunity Alliance to be a part of their Mother’s Day social media display, and Michele Obama even posted a few of the pieces to her Instagram page!

I hope that you enjoy some of these wonderful photos of our students and their artwork, and if you would like to see more, please visit our instagram or facebook pages!

Happy New Year! Thank you very much for supporting our students!

Sara and the Rock-Paper-Scissor’s Team

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Mother's Day by Thuy
Mother's Day by Thuy

Hello Everyone,

Tomorrow is September 1st, and as I’m sure for all of you, like me, I’m feeling that the summer flew by. We were all very sad that for the second year in a row we were not able to bring our summer volunteers to work with our students in Vietnam, Covid-19 is keeping us apart. Unfortunately, we thought that by January 2022 we would be able to make a quick trip over to Vietnam, but Vietnam is now in a terrible state with all of the recent cases of Covid-19 there. We have been very scared for all of our families, children, and staff as things continue to worsen, and now most of our families are completely out of work receiving no income. Thanks to a donor, we will be able to provide 1-2 months of food supplies for the 150 families of Son Tan village where we work. Currently, there are no food sellers going to the remote village, and because the village is made up of ethnic minorities, they are often left behind by the government. We are doing our best to support our students there in whatever way that we can, unfortunately all of the kids are out of school. On top of all this, Vietnam now has the lowest vaccination rate of all Southeast Asian countries, with just 1.5% of the 98 million people living in the country vaccinated.

Our art program in Khanh Hoa closed for a month at the beginning of August, but our program in Hue City re-opened. Lockdowns in Vietnam seem to be happening where there are Covid outbreaks, so at the moment Hue has been open again, while most of the rest of the country is closed. For some non-covid good news I would like to share one story of one of our students in Hue, her name is Thuy and she is 18 years old.

Thuy started in our art program three years ago while she was in high school. She was born and raised in a village near Hue City, Thua Thien Hue province. Thuy has one younger brother and she lives with both of her parents. Thuy says that her parents have helped her to follow her dreams. Her mother, a teacher is a very traditional woman, and Thuy says she was very strict when it comes to educating her children, but also feels grateful to her mother for teaching her about a lot of good things about life. When Thuy joined our class, her mother didn’t agree with her wanting to pursue her love for art as her career, but she slowly began to understand it was Thuy’s dream to be an artist and began giving her support. The true love of a mother. Thuy says, “I couldn’t be who I am today without my mother. I want to thank her for everything.” For Mother’s Day, Thuy painted this beautiful picture of a mother and child.

Thank you all for making art classes available for students like Thuy. For all of you who have donated to us one time or many times, we are very grateful to you. The art program that you support not only provides a place for kids to come together, have fun, and be creative, but so much more. We support all of our kids with school supplies, and anything else in time of need, it’s a great supportive network for them to be a part of, thanks to you all.

Have a good start to the fall, and we wish you all health and safety from the pandemic,

Sara and the Rock-Paper-Scissor's Team

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Rock-Paper-Scissor's Art Teacher
Rock-Paper-Scissor's Art Teacher

Dear Friends,

Its spring and things are looking up here in the United States with our ability to be able to be vaccinated against deadly Covid19. Vietnam is still closed to foreigners, and just starting to vaccinate their health care workers, we are hoping that everyone there will find equal opportunity to get the vaccine soon, including all of our wonderful staff and students. In the meantime, all of our programs, our arts programs in both Khanh Hoa and Hue, and our bikes program continue to run smoothly with so many great updates for you that have happened this winter and spring.

As part of this update to you all, we want to share the story about one of our wonderful art teachers named Linh. We are currently raising money to be able to move Linh into a full time teaching position for us, rather than part time. We are almost there and hope to start her full time this summer. Here is Linh’s story and some beautiful photos of her on a trip she recently took into the countryside to paint the landscape.

Linh grew up in Phu Yen province, along the coast of central Vietnam. Like many families in her village, Linh's parents and two of her siblings worked as farmers, and the others in a factory. Throughout school, Linh was a dedicated student and biked 20 minutes each way to another district to study as her village did not have schools higher than the primary school level. Although many students begin working after graduating primary, secondary or high school, Linh proclaims to be lucky to have known a local art teacher who brought out her gift for art, and supported her and encouraged her to apply to the Hue University of the Arts where she was accepted with a scholarship. Linh graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in 2017, after which she became a part-time art teacher for our organization. Linh is a talented artist with experience painting with watercolor materials, acrylics, silk, oil paint, and lacquer, and of course is wonderful with our students! We hope that you enjoy the photos of her painting in the beautiful countryside of Vietnam.

Another quick update and wonderful opportunity that happened in February is that a number of our students were selected to be a part of the “I have a Voice” global art festival, and their artwork has been on display virtually at the Front Room Gallery in Brooklyn, NY! Here is the link to the exhibition: https://www.frontroomles.com/ihaveavoice We are so proud of these students and the stories they have shared along with their artwork, all of them have beautiful voices and stories.

We hope you enjoy the photos this month and again, thank you for everything. More news to come soon!

Sara and the Rock-Paper-Scissors Team

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Rock-Paper-Scissors Children's Fund

Location: Wakefield, RI - USA
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Twitter: @RPSChildrenFund
Project Leader:
Sara Nerone
Wakefield, RI United States
$48,580 raised of $70,000 goal
 
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