Every Thursday afternoon, Ms Graves and Mrs Bird take a group of students to the Thao Dien Disabled School club where we interact and have fun with the disabled children in the school.
BIS students prepare a simple activity to do like colouring and making masks, related to the themes of festivals both within and outside Vietnam; for example: Women's Day and Valentine's Day. Each week a group of our students organises a short English lesson for the children. This is great as it helps us to improve our leadership skills and develop better communication techniques, while at the same time helping the students in the class. During the lesson, students at the Thao Dien School are taught simple vocabulary or phrases like “How are you?” or “I come from Vietnam”.
Some students are also physically involved in outdoor activities, such as playing football and parachute games, great fun and enjoyed by all. The Thao Dien children also like to show us their playground equipment and through this we get a chance to explore new things. Although sometimes these activities and interactions can be quite challenging, and sometimes discomforting, they have helped us develop strengths in different areas. At first, it can be hard to become close friends with the children. However, through these regular visits, we have developed friendships with them. The children show great excitement when we arrive, with warm welcomes, hugs and big smiles greeting each and every of one of our visits. This is much appreciated.
This club is a great opportunity for students to leave their comfort zone and work with different people. We are grateful to be able to contribute. It’s a very rewarding experience helping and interacting with the children. We all look forward to further visits in the future.
Sanny Wu and Chae Won Oh | Student Volunteers