Meeting with Nhan Ai Social Work Club
On June 8th, 2014, LIN and three Narrow the Gap Community Fund supporters met with the Director of the Nhan Ai Social Work Club, which received a grant of 100 million Vietnam Dong (about USD $4,700) to offer tutoring, personality skills training, psychological consultations and life orientation for children from slum areas of HCMC from October 2013 through September 2014. The meeting was scheduled immediately following one of Nhan Ai Club’s big events.
The event was designed as a belated celebration of International Children’s Day (1st of June) and offered an opportunity for club members and volunteers to provide life-orientation for the disadvantaged children they support. The purpose of the meeting between Narrow the Gap supporters and Nhan Ai was to learn how the funded project is being implemented; to share successes, challenges and lessons learned; and to identify areas where further help may be needed.
According to their interrim report, Nhan Ai said they completed 50% of the project, including: purchase educational supplies and a bookshelf with books for students, awards for outstanding volunteers, organization of Mid-Autumn, Christmas and Tet events for the children, training for volunteers on the necessary skills to live and work with disadvantaged children, organization of two outdoor activities – one in Gia Dinh and another in Cau Muoi park; and the most recent field trip and event for children (which took place the same day as the meeting).
Through this project, Nhan Ai Social Club had a chance to engage and collaborate with the headmaster of the Ho Chi Minh Pedagogical University and professors in education, which helped them to solve two big challenges, including: (1) a sudden loss of venue when one partner changed their mind about hosting Nhan Ai's tutoring sessions; and (2) identifying trainers for volunteers that did not have much experience workign with disadvantaged youth.
According to the head of the Club, Mr. Trung: “The tutoring sessions are offered by students from the University of Pedagogy. They offer two kinds of classes: one for the children who must work; and the other for children who are able to attend school. The classes are designed to improve knowledge, check understanding and create opportunities for the children to learn better at school”.
Although the group has had problems in contacting with local government, largely due to the fact that they are volunteer led and did not have a clear understanding about how the justice system works, Nhan Ai Social Club already managed to: help two children enroll into the public education system.
In evaluating the club’s project proposal, Mr. Le Manh Tan, one of the Narrow the Gap donors who joined the meeting stated, “I think this project has a very interesting idea that is teaching everyday living skills and providing emotional support for children with special needs… this is a very good cause […] I congratulate Nhan Ai on their effort, what they are doing is very honorable and meaningful. I admire the effort that Nhan Ai is making.”
[On 9 April, LIN accompanied Charissa Murphy, a Global Giving Volunteer, to one of Nhan Ai's tutoring sessions. The tutoring sessions take place every night of the work week at a Pagoda in Binh Thanh District. We met several university students who were helping 15 or so disadvantaged students, ranging from 10 to 14, with their school work. While they were working with the students, we talked with some of the Nhan Ai team, including the Club Head and two members of the development team. When talking about their future goals, one member said, "Before we just thought of ourselves as a club, but now we would like to opportunity to grow and improve the organization. They are many clubs that are doing charity work or short-term activities. They do not stay dedicated to their work like we do. However, we do not have a strategic plan or sustainable organization. We hope to build that in this year and the year to come."]
ARE YOU READY TO PACK YOUR LUNCH AGAIN?
Remember when we asked you to pack your lunch for children? Well, this time, we would like to ask you to pack your lunch to help us Narrow the Gap in Access to EDUCATION!
Details about our new campaign can be found on the following website:
We also set up a new project page on GlobalGiving and you can access it here:
Last month, Vinh, Nhi and Linh shared their ideas for overcoming barriers to a quality education. Today, we are asking you - and other friends and supporters - to pack a lunch, at least once during the month of June, and donate your savings to LIN's Narrow the Gap Community Fund, so we can invest, together, in great ideas! And post a photo of you making/eating/posing by your homemade lunch right on our facebook or your facebook (use hashtag #linnarrowthegap) to let the world see its lunch heroes.
An anonymous donor is tripling every donation made towards this campaign, up to VND 1 billion. LIN's goal is to raise VND 300 million (about USD $15,000) by mid-August, which would give us over VND 1.2 billion to invest in projects that improve access to education in Ho Chi Minh City.
Whether you donate 50,000 dong (USD $3) or 10 million dong (USD $500 dollars), you automatically become an equal partner in this campaign - your name will be recognized on our website and you will help determine which projects get funded.
Will you pack your lunch with us today?
GlobalGiving Volunteer Visits Nhan Ai Class
Pack Your Lunch to Narrow the Gap Again!
LIN Team Packed Their Lunches to Narrow the Gap