So far, we have been to four schools and in these schools we have met about 6,000 children. They are so happy and excited to meet us.
In all of the schoolyards, we sat down and got to play with the children. Painting, building flower arrangements and talking to them. The children all wanted to talk to us at the same time and loved it when we took pictures with them.
We also got the chance to join some of the school classes. Here, the focus was child rights and teaching the children how to be safe.
One of the classes that really moved me and the rest of the group was a class with a very engaging teacher. Here, the children learned about their rights. The class started with the teacher talking about where the parents and other people can touch them and what is not ok. In addition, what to do if someone crosses the line. It was very clear to us that this has a lot of focus every day in the classes, which is so good to see, as this is one of the biggest focus areas from Save the Children.
Then the children had a practical exercise. The class was divided into two groups. The teacher put up two drawings of children, then the children one by one had to post a little Post-it note on the drawing, with a green, yellow or red Post-it, to show where they thought it was ok to be touched and not. It was very clear during this exercise that the children know what is right and what is wrong.
In all of the schools we also sat down and had a talk to the management board to discuss different practises in both Norway and Vietnam. The Vietnamese schoolboard focuses a lot on not only teaching the children in the school about child rights and positive discipline, but also on the parents and family at home.
One of the performances was a play about the children’s rights to go to school. They discussed difficult topics like child labour, alcohol problems and poverty amongst children and their families.
One of the girls I had the chance to get to know was Nghi. She is eight years old and isa very open and curious girl. First, she asked me how old I was. I told her I was 27 years old, and she said she has a sister who was two years younger than I was. I asked her what her sister does and then she started to tell me more about her family.
Her mother died when she was only five months old, and she does not know anything about her because her father never mentions her at all.
She currently lives with her father, big brother, uncle and grandfather. Her big sister lives in Australia and visits her in Vietnam once every year. She told me that she herself would be moving to Australia when she is around 15-16 because that is just what they do in her family and that is what her father tells her to do. I asked if she understood why
and she said there were more opportunities for education in Australia. She will miss Vietnam, school and all of her friends so much. She hopes that one day all of her family will be together in Australia.
When she grows up, she wants to become a doctor. I asked her why, and she said that she does not want to end up in the streets selling items, so she really wants to work hard to become a doctor so she also can help other people. Even with her history, she is such a positive girl and loves school so much!
Today we also visited Danu Vina, a factory here in Ho Chi Minh City that makes many of our soft toys. We saw good working conditions and benefits. We can highly recommend everyone to buy a soft toy from IKEA. When you do, you also contribute to Save the Children’s great projects for education here in Vietnam.
There are so many more stories to tell, so stay tuned. In out next blog post there will come so much more.