On Tuesday, the community department organised for all of the BIS teachers to go and visit our community partners.
The teachers were able to put themselves in their students’ shoes. ILS (International Life Skills) teachers made a first contact with their year group partners and other teachers experienced the life of a community Extra-Curricular Activity student.
Newly appointed Community Service Project Manager, Clover Sharman, said: "As many of you are aware, community is an integral part of BIS. We encourage students to be conscious and active members of the community. Through their time at BIS, students will develop confidence and experiences that they will take forward with them to the future. Community projects and activities are found in the curriculum as well as in extra-curricular activities – from EYFS to Year 12."
Some teachers were looking forward to the trip and some were a bit anxious, as is normal when you do something you haven’t done before, but all had great fun creating puppets with the children from Binh Tho school, Binh Trieu school, Thao Dien disabled school, Mai Tam House of Hope, Nguyen Hien & Huynh Van Ngoi Government school.
A few reflective notes from the teachers:
‘I freely admit that I was dreading it and thought that I would be way outside of my comfort zone. However, as soon as we arrived we were made so welcome and the kids were a joy. I loved it, so much so that I was late for the return bus!’
‘I enjoyed yesterday very much… For me it was great to visit a school with kids who engaged so enthusiastically with me and wanted to talk.’
‘It was a very rewarding experience, giving back to the local community of Ho Chi Minh City and all the teachers really enjoyed their time.'
The partners visited were:
Thao Dien - In 2003, Thao Dien School was established with over 120 children with disabilities such as Down syndrome from all over HCMC and provinces. The school provides an education specific to their needed such as life skills and basic education.
Huynh Van Ngoi – Primary Government school which was established in 2009 for the children living near Thao Dien area .They have total 600 students with over 10 class rooms from year 1 to year 5.
Nguyen Hien – Primary Government School providing education, PE and life skills for local children.
Binh Trieu - The centre provides free schooling for around 400 disadvantaged children in the Binh Chanh Ward. There are around 30 shelter children that live at the centre. It is a centre for the community, providing support for both children and parents. The teachers are mostly volunteers or students studying to become sisters or priests.
Binh Tho - School provides a basic education for over 150 street children in Thu Duc, aged 5 - 15 years old. Sisters, who run the school, provide free school fee for them.
Mai Tam House of Hope - a home and centre for children who have HIV/AIDS. It provides shelter, medicine, medical care, education, and referrals for its residents. When Mai Tam was established in 2005 by the director and founder Father John Thoai, a Catholic priest and nurse practitioner, he hoped to assist 100 affected women and children. Today, Mai Tam supports more than 500 women and children in need
Our next events taking place at AP2 are the Community Extra-Curricular Clubs starting September 14th!
It's going to be an exciting year at BIS!