Dancing with pupils in Ho Chi Minh City

This morning we got up very early to visit a secondary and primary school in

Cu Chi District in Ho Chi Minh City. After spending the first two days in Go Vap District in the middle of the city, we went to Cu Chi, which is located on the outskirts. This area is poorer than the others, which is obvious from the houses, shelters and school buildings.

Driving out to Cu Chi District on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City
Driving out to Cu Chi District on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City

Both schools have been selected by Save the Children and the government to implement the child-protection project we got to know during the first days of our visit. In this project, besides advocacy activities, teachers and a core group of pupils were trained by Save the Children on child rights and protection. After these trainings, they are regularly visited, updated and supported in implementing a child-friendly environment in their schools.

In both schools we were very warmly greeted by hundreds of pupils singing and dancing—we had goosebumps!!!
In both schools we were very warmly greeted by hundreds of pupils singing and dancing—we had goosebumps!!!
Happy moment
Happy moment
Happy moment
Happy moment

In the morning, we visited the secondary school Phuoc Hiep. We attended an interactive presentation and a role play by the child rights core group on the topics of child rights and protecting pupils. They taught the other pupils what rights they have and how they should react when they notice any rights violations. Afterwards, we took part in activities initiated by the pupils to make the school more child-friendly. We also danced, sang a community song and played different games with the children.

IKEA and Save the Children IWitness group giving its best in the jump roping competition
IKEA and Save the Children IWitness group giving its best in the jump roping competition

Finally, we supported the kids in making large drawings to show what a child-friendly school environment means for them. We even got one drawing to take home for our IKEA Grancia store in Switzerland. This drawing will have a special place in our office, well visible to all our co-workers.

This is the painting of the child-friendly environment that we got as a gift for our IKEA store
This is the painting of the child-friendly environment that we got as a gift for our IKEA store
Ho Chi Minh TV Channel was present to make a report on our visit
Ho Chi Minh TV Channel was present to make a report on our visit

In the afternoon, we went to the primary school of Phuo Hiep. The children welcomed us by singing very enthusiastically. Like in the morning, they presented the child-protection activities carried out during the year. Together with the pupils, we then built and decorated a mobile library with pipes hanging from a tree. All 800 pupils were actively participating and enjoyed asking us many many questions and collecting signatures.

We shared many smiles with the pupils
We shared many smiles with the pupils

Finally, we spent many happy moments and smiles when we played ball games and sang songs. Our feelings and excitement in the afternoon were even stronger than in the morning. The pupils where extremely kind and, even if they are very poor and do not possess much, they enjoyed every moment; they gave us so much love, smiles and happiness. Very impressive!

Even if they do not possess much, we were given local specialities
Even if they do not possess much, we were given local specialities
Pupil from the secondary school
Pupil from the secondary school
Pupils from the core group in the secondary school
Pupils from the core group in the secondary school
Pupils from the primary school
Pupils from the primary school

Now, we are ready for tomorrow, already the last day of our trip here in Vietnam.