Binh Trieu School
This school is run by Sister Hanh who has been working there for 16 years. There are approximately 17 staff including 9 teachers and 370 children in the school. Most of the teachers are retired teachers who donate their time to teach the children in exchange for travel expenses. There is also shelter/accommodation for up to 30 children to live there permanently if they are without homes. The children attend school either in the mornings or the afternoons from Monday to Friday. By having two sessions the school is able to have more children to be taught during the day.
We found the school to be a very happy, bright school and we thoroughly enjoyed the visit and seeing the children in their classroom environment. It was also 'Hair Cut Day' when we visited - a lot of trainee hair dressers and barbers had come into the school to cut the children’s hair. This is something that happens on a regular basis and is a way for the trainees to get practise while doing a good deed.
Currently the children from Binh Trieu come to BIS APP for Friendship Club, Construction Club and Lego Club every week.
This school is dependent on private sponsorship. APP PTG has organised for 20 million VND from the funds raised in the last school year to be used to purchase stationery and books for the school.
Binh An School
It was quite a long way to get to the Binh An school in District 8. It is in an area where the families still live in relative poverty. Sister Hanh who has been working in the school for 7 years, showed us around the school and we also visited some of the families of the children who come to the school.
Binh An school is housed in a narrow 4 storey building. Currently they have about 200 students with 7 teachers. There are 3 sisters who live in. The school session runs only in the morning from kindergarten to Year 5. The classrooms while cramped were very well-organised. There were some classes with about 50 students per teacher.
Sister Hanh took us to visit some of the families who send their children to the school. The first dwelling were on the edge of a body of water (canal or wetland). It has been hard for the families with the recent rain and flooding. The huts were on stilts and were above the water on this day but gets waterlogged when the rains came. There was electricity but no running water. These families have to buy clean water by the gallon (stored in jerry cans) for cooking and drinking.
Children from Binh An come every week to APP for Chess Club, Swimming and Origami Club on Monday, and Community Football Club on Thursday.
We have arranged for 15 million from the money raised by APP PTG last year to be used for buying stationery and school supplies for the children.
Ying, APP PTG Volunteer Coordinator