Four years into our Vietnam project and what a joy it has been to travel this year with 42 students and six staff and see first hand what a significant difference NGS has made over the time. As we leave Vietnam today, farewelling My Huong, her teachers and the children and families she cares for, we are both in awe of her incredible work and feel privileged to play a small part in this.
Talking with our students and staff, seeing their reaction and engagement with the service aspect of the trip has again highlighted how this experience changes lives and fosters deep learning. This year our students provided excursions, a restaurant dining opportunity and a magic show for orphans in Vung Tau. At Long Hai, our students and staff over four days taught English, cooperative games, made and planted gardens, sorted, cleaned and categorised the school library, provided food parcels for impoverished households and gave care packages to the Vietnamese teaching staff.
One special project involved the painting of three murals. As these came to life on the walls of the school reminding the children the importance of oral hygiene, caring for their ocean environment and the connection or 'hands on humanity' we have with each other, it is not difficult to feel a great deal of pride in the way our school community has responded to the many daily needs and challenges here in Vietnam. Of course we are all the richer for the experience.
Throughout the year all students from K to 12 helped to raise funds that have gone directly to the school or orphanage. We saw the fridges used in the babies room in the orphanage, or the main kitchen that we purchased. We saw the training schools that we ensure continue and the staff and children that we clothe. Before the 2019 trip, NGS parents donated specialist equipment for students with disabilities, toothbrushes, toothpaste and lessons to ensure our students taught this well, clothing and toys. This project continues to be a significant community commitment and I thank the many who make this possible.
The power of taking a child on a bus trip; sharing an experience at a restaurant; feeling the joy of connection with a child through teaching or play are just a few of the deep learning experiences this week.
This is the largest trip we have taken to Vietnam in the four years. We look forward to these students being a positive voice in advocating widely for others and enhancing the School's commitment in the coming years.
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