On the Thursday afternoon before the event, the PTG were setting up the hall ready for the following morning. TX, APP & APS PTG were all there to help - from making flower arrangements to putting up bunting. We were all unsure as to how many cakes we would receive on the day but we were all hopeful that we would get enough.
On the day of the event, all PTGs were at the Gym bright and early, ready to start collecting the donated cakes, and boy, did we get a lot of cakes! You name a cake and it was there! From sponge cake to banana caramel cake, from red velvet cake to apple pie, from chocolate cupcakes to strawberry iced donuts! We even had to add more tables to cater for the amazing amount we received.
As well as the lovely homemade cakes, we also had cakes from sponsors such as: St Honore, SanFu Lau and some very special personalised cupcakes from Linh Kitchen!
We had a vivacious performance from Nguyen Tuan Manh who played some wonderful pieces. He definitely knew how to get the crowd going and even invited one of our very talented TX parents to play with him.
Not only was this day to bring parents from all three campuses together, it was also for a very worthy cause. A cause that is close to many people’s hearts and sadly, I’m confident to say that most people at the event would have known someone who has been affected by cancer.
For the past five years, BIS HCMC has been working with Thuy’s Dreams to support children who have cancer in HCMC. Our students dedicate their time each week to bring laughter back into these children’s lives. At the event we were very honoured to have Jay, our APS PTG Community Representative speak about how the project was first started and also Celine and Esther, students from the APS Cancer Ward Club. Both talks were extremely moving for everyone at the event. It’s amazing to see the dedication that our students have to this cause.
Here are some words from our campus PTGs:
An Phu Primary Campus
A small team of APP parents and teachers came together to organise the Whole School Coffee and Cake together with the PTG of TX and APS. Not in our most generous estimation did we expect such a huge turnout for this charity event in support of children’s cancer wards in HCMC. We were overwhelmed by the number of cakes pledged (over 50) before the event even started and on the morning of the event when we were standing there waiting for the crowds, we had this question in our minds, “Will anyone turn up?”
Well, they turn out was AMAZING! We were so blown away by the support of our whole school community, parents and teachers who came to buy cakes, have coffee and stayed to chit chat. We listened to the APS students who visit the Cancer Ward each week to do activities with the children at the Cancer Wards.
We learnt how high the mortality rate for children with cancer is in these wards (about 70%) and we wanted to help in any way possible. We connected with each other, our community and our humanity. Everyone who was involved (organisers and participants) went away with such full hearts that day. ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS DAY!
Thanks for the love and support.
APP PTG (Abi, Thu Hang, Melanie, Niki, Ying)
An Phu Secondary Campus
The PTG Coffee & Cake morning was the first combined event ever to be organised by the PTGs of all three BIS HCMC campuses. And what a successful event it was! Our original plans were quite simple and tentative, but our cooperation and ideas developed quickly with every meeting we had.
We started out on the morning with about 4 tables for the Cake stall, adding very quickly as we were simply overwhelmed by all the cake donations that were coming in. It was a very festive morning accompanied by some beautiful piano playing. Thanks to all the helped out and to all that came for a cup of coffee & cake. Your contributions to this great cause are very much appreciated!
Tu Xuong Campus
“A group of people having common interests: Sharing, participation, and fellowship” is one of the definitions for the word ‘Community’. (source: free dictionary)
Last Friday was a living example of that definition. There are many ways on how we live and breathe as a community at British International School, HCMC. The Whole School Coffee Morning just proved that ‘Community’ is not just a word. But let’s go back in time first before reflecting on the event.
The project was initiated by Ms Clover as an echo to McMillan Cancer Support. As soon as we heard about it and the idea of the three PTG working together, we were quite excited to take part and help Thuy’s dreams.
Eva and Duyen were the 2 TX parents in charge of the project at our campus. They have done a fantastic job to liaise with APP, APS PTGs, Ms Dee and Ms Clover. They brought ideas to the table, took some to use in the future at TX, and communicated at TX so everyone could be involved.
Duyen translated all information, so parents who speak only Vietnamese would not be left behind. Duyen also loved music; she brought her love and passion to music to the event too by having Nguyen Tuan Manh, a pianist joining the cause. Spreading their energy and team spirit, TX Parents responded well. One Mum introduced the idea to have a baking session so we could cook homemade cakes, share recipes and creating bonds.
The baking session was a great moment and brought TX parents closer. The evening before the morning coffee and the morning of the event, the general TX parent group did not stop buzzing! Did we have enough cakes for TX teachers? Who will receive the delivery? Who’ll be in APP to help? Etc…It was also nice to see the numbers of cakes and donations increasing as well as how excited parents were!
The event brought us one step closer at TX; it also had a positive impact on getting us closer to APP and APS. Probably because of our location in district 3, we don’t get many opportunities to interact with the other two campuses. I had the chance to go to the last meeting before the event and I could witness that all parents had created links. We even had a coffee break after the meeting outside the school and started to exchange ideas. This also led to a team of TX parents singing up to help at the Christmas BISzaar!
Then it was time for the coffee morning. Once again, working along APP and APS PTG was great. Somehow it felt like if we had all known each other for a long time. We also got to see old friends and parents who have children in APS now. We realised the bonds are not fading.
One of the most emotional moments was when the two BIS HCMC students, Celine and Esther, told us about their experience at the Cancer ward. One almost cried and we could feel through her words how hard it is to be powerless in front of suffering. As they told us, they have to go with the flow. Sometimes they can do the activity they have planned but sometimes the children are too tired or too moody. They adapt to the situation. They are really brave.
When my daughter was 11 months old, I spent 3 days in a paediatric unit with her. I remember my conversation with the nurses. I told them it was so difficult for me to see children injured or ill, they answered me that along with paediatrics, the children cancer ward, which was one floor up, was the most difficult one and as a nurse, you usually don’t spend your entire career working there. It was just too difficult to see the pain, the suffering and the losses. So yes Celine and Esther you are brave, some adults including myself would not be able to go and help. You are certainly bringing hope and life to the children. Thank you for sharing your experience.
Another person who touched our hearts was Jay. I’ve known her through the community service projects when I was TX rep and I knew about her commitment but it was good for parents to hear about her own experience and more about Thuy’s Dreams. Money is important, but the time and love we can give is precious as well. Hopefully following on Jay’s speech, parents will contact her and get involved.
Another positive effect of the event is everyone mixing - you are not Vietnamese, French, British, Korean etc…you become one community with one goal.
On Friday afternoon, when Lucy, Online Marketing Officer, published the amount raised on BIS HCMC’s official FB’s page, we all thought it was a fantastic number and that it will benefit the children at the hospital.
To conclude, I would quote Mr Tim on his last Vlog (Friday 25th of November): We don’t do charity work, we do solidarity work. We raised money today, but raising money is not our main focus. Our main focus is working with communities service outreach, projects and partners and accompanying them on sustainable work. Not just one off, but sustainable work. That summarizes perfectly our feeling at TX.
Anne on behalf of TX Parent group
On behalf of the all the campus PTGs and the Community Department, I would like to say a big thank you for either attending or donating cake/money to this event.
I can very happily say that we made an amazing, 66,519,000VND. This money will go directly into supporting these families and children in need.
What a wonderful school community we have!
Clover Sharman, Community Service Projects Manager