In one week, 19 volunteers from the U.S. will be giving violin lessons, cello lessons and teaching art classes in our small schools in Vietnam. Each year we take a group of musicians and young artists to teach and work with the students. The volunteers also help us to run our summer art and music camps for ethnic minority children. It’s an exciting time for everyone both here in the U.S. waiting to leave, and in Vietnam for the kids waiting to meet and in some cases see the volunteers again.
Our art program would not be possible without your generous support, and the gifts of our recurring donors. You’ve helped our art program to grow to over 70 students who attend classes 1-2 days a week throughout the year. These 70 kids have not only been getting art lessons and time to paint and draw and enjoy the freedom of creativity, which they aren’t allowed in school, but also the weekly mentoring from our wonderful teachers and staff. We have teachers and program staff who care and love the children and help them with many things in their daily lives outside of the art classes. The kids have also developed long lasting and close friendships made among them. This is such an important aspect of the program, not only being able to be artists, but to be part of a small, supportive community away from the difficulties of the many struggles associated with poverty.
In April this year, we had a special visitor at our schools to review our programs for Global Giving. We wanted to share with you the report that she wrote to her Global Giving colleagues about our programs. Global Giving sends a representative to Vietnam every couple of years to review our programs and see what we’ve been up to, and where and how your donations are being used. Here is the note from Caroline, the Global Giving representative that traveled to Vietnam this year:
Notes from Caroline, Global Giving In-the-Field Traveler
This was truly such a beautiful weekend. Giao (Rock-Paper-Scissor’s Program Manager) and her family went above and beyond any hospitality I have been shown, thus far. I was not only welcomed into the organization and into the community, but also into her family. From the time Giao and her brother picked me up from the bus stop in Nha Trang, to the moment she and her mother returned me there at the end of the weekend, I was treated with the utmost kindness.
Furthermore, every encounter with local leaders, the local Red Cross and the families and children of Cam Duc, was educational and welcoming. I could not be more thankful for my weekend here.
Quote from Caroline-Global Giving Representative
These projects help children and young adults develop skills they would otherwise not have the means to develop, skills that can often be powerful catalysts for future jobs. Even more than that, these projects help develop and instill an understanding of confidence and self-worth in children that often come from underserved communities and often, quite difficult backgrounds. This is of the utmost importance because programs that address self- development are often difficult to describe, and difficult to share how far the impact stretches. However, the importance of such programs in long term growth within a community should not be forgotten.
These particular music and art classes are offered several days a week, and several of the teachers are former students. Both the teachers and the older students interact, play and teach the younger students, displaying not only what they have learned, but also the maturity and care they have developed within these programs. The children are incredible- it is so good to see an organization that is actively engaged in community development, by means of individual and familial development. The joy these children found in painting and playing music is hard to describe.
Please remember, as we always do, that this great program is a direct result of your generous donations and trust in our organization. You have supported the artistic and personal growth of these many kids that will be carried throughout their lives.
Best to all of you and thankyou,
Sara (Founder-Rock-Paper-Scissors Children’s Fund)
PS-Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more about volunteering, or helping us in any way. Thank you.
Chúc Mung Nam Moi means Happy New Year in Vietnamese. For about a week each winter, families, friends, and neighbors celebrate Tet, the most important celebration of Vietnamese culture. It takes place from the first day of the first month of the Vietnamese calendar (around late January or early February) until at least the third day. It is considered to be the first day of spring and the arrival of the new year. Traditionally, all Vietnamese turn a year older on this day, often not keeping track of their actual birth dates.
Many customs are practiced during Tet, such as visiting a person's house on the first day of the year, ancestor worship, and giving lucky money to children and the elderly. It’s an occasion for family reunions, a time for forgetting troubles of the past years, and bringing in new luck for the coming year.
This year we wanted to do something special for our 22 students in Son Tan Village. The kids and families in this village live far below poverty level, and have very little to be able to celebrate the traditional Tet holiday with. So some of our students and teachers from Cam Duc, put together food packages and treats for our students there, to give them during our Sunday class.
When they arrived in the van at the little Son Tan school, there were not only our students, but over 40 kids waiting. The word had gotten out! Luckily the teachers came prepared and had put together many more gift packages. As you can see from the photos, it was an exciting day for the kids! For art and English class that day, the kids spent time drawing things related to the holiday, and sharing their stories.
We love the children at this school, and hope that we can continue to support them through this new year as best that we can. We want you all to know that it’s not us giving these gifts--they come from all of you and your generosity and kindness. You have provided the funding for us to build this program, and we all, including the kids, will be forever grateful.
Thank you all—and the kids from Son Tan send you their best wishes for the New Year!
Please email me at: email@example.com if you would like to start a fundraiser for us, be a volunteer, or just simply learn more about our programs in Vietnam.
Today is Sunday and our teachers and art student volunteers from Cam Duc climb into the van for the 45 minute drive up into the mountains. Every other weekend, for the past year, they have traveled out to the ethnic minority village of Son Tan to teach a small art class to 20 young students selected to attend by the local school principal.
The students in this village are very, very poor. We have been trying to help support the local school over the past few years by providing books, supplies, uniforms for the students, shoes, and art and music summer camp opportunities where we provide fun activities and meals to 100 kids. We decided to start this small weekend project to continue to stay connected to the school, as well as try and support and inspire the kids to stay in school as long as they can. Most drop out before 5th grade.
This year, because all kids in Vietnamhave to take English class in school, we decided to have our teachers teach the kids English through art class. It’s been a great deal of fun, and the kids love it. The most amazing thing is that when we traveled to visit our programs last summer, some of the kids were coming up to us and speaking simple words to us. It was so great to see their confidence and determination to try and speak.
Although we don’t have a great deal of money to support this program at this time, our teachers, and music and art students from Cam Duc volunteer their time to travel out to Son Tan to work with the kids. They have become attached to the children, and these adult and peer mentoring and loving relationships is now so important to all of the kids. We hope to raise more money to hold these classes every weekend rather than every other, and hopefully to support more kids in the future.
Throughout the month of December we have been trying to raise $15,000 to help us keep both our art and music programs securely funded for another year. Thank you again for your donations in the past, and please consider again making an end of year donation to help to provide art classes to our students through 2016. Asking for donations is the most difficult part of running a non-profit, but please know none of this work would be happening without you. Please consider a donation through GlobalGiving given in someone’s name as a Christmas present, or simply just making a year-end gift that can be deducted on your taxes. If you are unable to make a donation, please consider sharing this report in an email to friends and family. Thank you so much!
Thank You Everyone and Happy Holidays to you!
It’s Saturday morning and the kids circle on their bicycles and play on the small, narrow street outside of our art school. “All of them come early” says Phuong, who rents us space in his house to hold art classes in the village of Ngoc Anh Village outside the city of Hue. “They are so excited to come to class, and can’t wait to come in.” In March of this year we started a small art program in the village. With your donations, we hired a new artist/musician/program manager named Phuong, as well as a young artist named Tram. Both Phuong and Tram are wonderful and so excited to become a part of the Rock-Paper-Scissor’s Team.
Phuong and Tram selected 32 new students with the help of the principal and teachers at the local village school. The kids come from poor families and have been identified by their teachers as being very artistically talented. As you can see from the photos, the kids are very talented!
Phuong has many connections in the art community of Hue, which is known as the city of artists. This year Phuong and Tram were able to take our students to see two different art exhibits at a new gallery in Hue. The kids really enjoyed being a part of the opening events, and are getting exposure to things outside of their village. We hope that these simple experiences will not only bring them joy, but inspire them to continue to learn. Phuong has been working on preparing an exhibit of the children’s artwork in the same gallery, sometime in 2016. The kids are going to be so excited to see their own artwork displayed in a gallery.
Our art program in Cam Duc and the small village of Son Tan in Khanh Hoa Province, are also still thriving. We continue to provide art classes to close to 80 students in Vietnam year round, and support 400 students in our summer art and music camps for ethnic minorities.To all of you who have supported our art program, we thank you so much. This program has only existed because of your kind donations. Our children and families are so grateful.
Throughout the month of December we will be trying to raise $15,000 to help us keep both our art and music programs securely funded for another year. This will help us pay our teacher’s salaries, rent, and instruments and art supplies for one year. If you or anyone you know would be willing to start a small fundraiser for this project, you can now easily start your own on our project page on Global Giving here:
Please scroll down and look for the “Start a Fundraiser” button on the bottom right hand side of the page. We are so grateful for your help.
Thank You Everyone and Happy Holidays to you,
Sara Nerone (Founder-Rock-Paper-Scissors Children’s Fund)
Dear Rock-Paper-Scissor’s Friends and Art Lovers,
Thanks to all of you, our program has grown! We are now providing art classes to 80 children in three villages, and art and music camp to 400 children in the summer.
I recently returned from Vietnam with my family and our group of volunteers from the U.S. At least once a year we travel to Vietnam to work on our programs, and of course to visit our staff and students who all work so hard for us there year-round. It is so great to visit them all in person rather via Skype!
This summer because our programs have grown, we were meeting some of our new students and teachers for the first time in person. In March we started a new art program in a village just outside the city of Hue, called Ngoc Anh Village. We have hired a new program manager there named Phuong, as well as a young artist, named Tram. Both Phuong and Tram are absolutely wonderful, and both are such talented artists and musicians. They have recruited 32 new students and teach 6 hours of art class each week. This summer we traveled up to Hue and spent about 4 days with them, along with our volunteers. We had all musicians with us this year from the U.S. so we mostly played music for the kids, but also spent time at their art classes.
This year we also held our second year of summer camps for the kids in two ethnic minority villages, Suoi Cat and Son Tan. We piloted this program in 2014 in the two villages, and because of their success, have decided to continue with them annually. This year we had over 400 children attend the day camps. It was incredibly fun and so wonderful to see so many of the kids again. We hold three days of camp in each village sharing music, art, and games.
For the kids in the camps this year, we brought 2000+ pipe cleaners and made pipe-cleaner sculptures with them. This is always a favorite project for the kids. We also did mask making, and painting with water colors. As you can see from the photos we even had babies painting! This little girl is two years old, and was a star at handling the brush and paints. She sat in the middle of a swarm of 120 kids focusing just on dipping her brush, and painting for over an hour.
Both of the villages where we hold the camps are very, very poor, and in addition to providing the fun activities for the kids, we provide food each day to each child, clothing, and school supplies for the year. This year we provided 980 sandwiches and sticky rice/bean cakes and over 1000 cartons of milk. We also provided rain jackets, shoes, and notebooks to 120 children in Son Tan village. Each year we also work with the government to identify 10-15 poor families to help support with additional food and supplies. Over the past year we started a small Art/English class in Son Tan village and have been supporting and mentoring 20 children who are the top students at the school. We furnished a classroom to hold our classes on the weekend, and have set up a small library for all of the school children.
To all of you who have supported this program, we thank you so much. This program only exists because of your kind donations. The children and families are so grateful. Please continue to help us by sharing our program with others. We would love to also have your input and know what you think. Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you again,
Sara Nerone (Founder-Rock-Paper-Scissors Children’s Fund)
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