Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Thang Long Vocational School - visit 24.3.2015

This morning saw 7 members of the team convene on Bui Vien ahead of our visit to the Thang Long vocational school in District 4.

Myself, Chris Rolls, Chris Tran, Isaac, Bekah, Rebecca, and Tim cycled to the school and were greeted by Ms Han, who told us a little about the school, the students, their backgrounds and what they were studying for.

I should start by saying Thang Long is a fantastic establishment. Run by Saigon Children's Charity, they were really well organised, the students were as enthusiastic as you could hope for, and they made us feel very welcome. SCC are our lead partner, and are clearly doing a very good job.

We separated into 2 groups. Chris Tran, Bekah and Tim went to the photography class, and Chris Rolls, Rebecca, Isaac and I went to the hospitality class, who were more elementary. Pete, the teacher, explained that these students had come in from a poor background, some of them not having been to school before, with zero English, and were nearing the end of a 6 month course where they'd learn enough to pass a job interview in the hospitality industry. Pretty amazing.

We were given interview questions to ask them in small groups as practice, and we each went over to a table of 3-4 students to meet them. We helped them with questions, answers, pronunciation etc, before switching to another table. The students were lovely. Eager to talk and get to know us despite language barriers, and helping each other out. They told us how they'd been studying things like maths and English, as well as cooking and life skills. They had a real sense of community between them - a real in-it-together vibe.

We took selfies and photos of the classes, before going on to look at other parts of the school. We took a couple more photos with Ms Han, before waving goodbye and cycling off into the heat of the day...

With just over a week before we begin the ride, this was the perfect visit to motivate us (as if we weren't already). A substantial proportion of the money you donate to us goes to this charity. From the whole team, a massive thank you for what you've donated so far, you are helping young people achieve what they never thought possible.

Join the cause if you haven't already. Our donations pages can be found on our team page.


Ms Han (far left), the handsome Mr Chris Rolls (far right)

Chris Tran, Tim and Bekah with the photography class

Me with Thy, Tuyen and Vy in the hospitality class

Isaac, Chris Rolls, me and Rebecca in the class photo

A sheet of questions which we used to communicate across the language barrier

Hien, Long, and PhĂșc

Isaac asking some questions

Rebecca having a conversation

Writing some ideas down

Photos by Keith Landberger, Chris Rolls, Chris Tran and Rebecca Richardson
Blog by Keith Landberger

1 comment:

  1. FYI, the donation website in this post takes you to someone cycling from Herefordshire to Hampshire. The correct one for this year's ride is http://www.justgiving.com/teams/H2H2015