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Community Service Learning: 4 days of “hot" happiness

Community Service Learning, as its name, creates opportunities for VinUnians to serve the community while cultivating empathy and leadership. The Project this time guided us to teach and spread "book spirit" to children at two primary schools in two rural districts of Hanoi.

Mai Xuan Tra and the Kids at Phương Trung 2 Primary School 

I love the sound when it went like:

“Hey kids, are you ready for the lesson todayyyyyyyyy?”

  • Yessssss

“Are you excitedddddd?”

  • Yessssss

“Do you kids remember the name of the cat?”

  • Maxxxxxx “ạ”

The children’s voices chimed in unison. Pure and sweet.

I did not tell stories and teach children in class directly. Instead, I walked between rooms: sitting, studying (ké), playing, taking (stealing) the children's cakes, shouting cheerfully to the children, and sending signals to prevent teachers from catching us. After this batch, some would realize their potential working in the education field (or not).

The kids were stronger than us. Some guys in our team said so. They argued with each other, fought to have their voices heard, played, jumped and ran around without getting tired. Joy makes one forget fatigue. And the kids were always having fun. Sitting still for a long time was unbearable for them. That's why, in the afternoon of the second day, after nearly an hour of reading to the children, the teachers abandoned their teaching plan and drove the children to the yard. I led a class’s head, literally. Playing the modernized version of the traditional game “Rồng rắn lên mây”, the two mothers just rushed to the children at each other's tails, because we forgot the rhyme. Then, we had a relay race, where the cheers of the children drowned out the shouting.

A picture of me playing a traditional Vietnamese game named "Rồng rắn lên mây"

In this project, thanks to Professr David Koh’s connection (who is in charge of Scientific Socialism Course), we went to two primary schools in the suburbs of Hanoi - Thanh Oai district, called Phuong Trung 2 Primary School and Kim An Primary School. Our four days of travel happened to coincide with four strikingly hot days in Hanoi in late June. Fortunately, both schools had air conditioning so our team and the children suffered less from the heat. The fact that the schools had air-conditioning pleasantly surprised us. This showed the schools’ care for children. As Ms. Nga, the principal of Kim An school, shared, Kim An school is located in the floodplain of the Day river, and Kim An commune is also the poorest commune in Thanh Oai district. She and the school had tried to mobilize social resources for the school, thus, the school has all the necessary classroom equipment, a drawing room, computers, musical instruments, and library. As for Phuong Trung 2, the school is closer to town and has more students as well as a swimming pool.

A picture of all participated VinUnians and the Kids at Phương Trung 2 Primary School

We had actively begun planning in March. VinFuture sponsored books and many components of the project were supported by VinUni. We, the organizing team, hoped that the new books would encourage elementary school children to read more and discover their own world enthusiastically. “Oh, why are children so favored now, all the books are high-quality and beautiful. Can I borrow it?" - Huy asked me while folding books.

Tired of having to go on those days? The sun was hot, which made us dizzy. Some members even got sick from heatstroke. But you know that feeling of being exhausted, coming home, laying down and taking a deep breath of contentment?  That's probably why every VinUni student has to take part in CSL (community project) to graduate.

“Hey kids, when photographer brothers say “Kim” we will all say “Chi” ya!”

  • Kimmmm
  • Chiiiiiiiiiii



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