VOLUNTARY PROGRAM- A MUST-DO THING FOR EVERY YOUNGSTER
Trần Bảo (AAEE coordinator, Vietnam)
While AAEE Mero Sathi project’s members are on their journey to Nepal for voluntary work, Vietnamese students in Ho Chi Minh City are joining a program called “The Spring Voluntary Campaign”.
The Spring Voluntary Campaign is yearly organized by Vietnamese Student’s Association. The idea was first come up with by University of Social Sciences and Humanities. This year, it attracts over 30.000 students from 52 universities and high schools in HCM city. The campaign was planned to happen from 10.1 to 6.2.2016.
The opening campaign ceremony for all universities and schools on 10/01/2016
The opening campaign ceremony at each university. (In this photo is International University’s teams)
In order to raise funds for the campaign’s activities, we set up fairs selling food, drink or handmade stuff.
One common activity which reflects Vietnamese tradition on Tet holiday is wrapping Tet cakes. Tet cake is usually cooked during the night. Staying up waiting for the cakes to be perfectly cooked is also what Vietnamese people love to do in the past. Those Tet cakes are then given to the elderly or the poor where we are going to come and visit.
Every team of volunteers goes to several places where there are people in need. Each journey to the place takes several days. On 24/01 ,for example, team Business Administration from International University went to Long An Province, Huong Tho Phu town. The journey lasts for 5 days with various meaningful activities.
“Tet for children” took place at a small primary school at HTP town.
The children enthusiastically took part in every game.
Teaching English for primary students at Huong Binh primary school- one of the smallest school in the town, including only 5 classes.
“I like the class and the teacher a lot! I want to have another class like this tomorrow”- said a student.
Come and visit Vietnamese heroic mother- showing our respect and gratitude towards people who sacrificed their families to give our country independence.
Gala night for local people (including musical performance and scholarship rewarding to poor children)
“Joining the spring voluntary campaign is one of the most lucid decision I’ve ever made. Not only did it offer me a feeling of being useful to the society but it also created an opportunity for me to make new friends, those later became as close to me as my family.” – said a volunteer.
“We spent 5 days together; About 20 people per room. We couldn’t even move when sleeping. But now when I’ve come back to my own room at home, I can feel the uncomfortable emptiness. Voluntary program gave me not only maturation but also perfect social relationships!” – a participant shared on her Facebook.
Everywhere we come to, the local people always show their warmest welcome to us and as we leave, they insist in us staying for a few more days and ask us to come back.
The voluntary spring campaign has become a yearly common practice. Every year, the yellow uniform spreads through various regions of the countries bringing the signal of the traditional Tet holiday and the enthusiasm of the youth to help their society. Up to now, this campaign is only restricted to students from universities and high schools in HCM City. In the future, we really look forward to extending it that it can reach young generation in other regions as well as foreign students in Vietnam.
If you are interested in this campaign, please share your ideas with us!