Project Yêu II is a continuation of last year’s project in Hoa Tan. The Main Committee from Hall 13 Overseas Expedition decided to serve the same place this year (20 May – 3 June 2019), as they believe that continuity is important to ensure a lasting impact for the community.
One of the main focus of this project was improving the sanitation standards. Last year, the committee in the trip observed a lack of proper sanitation among the locals, especially in their own homes, and this could lead to health problems among other negative side effects.
This time, the team decided to build a proper toilet infrastructure for the locals in their homes, as well as educated them on proper hygiene habits. This was meaningful as the team interacted with the families living in improvised areas on a daily basis, rather than just the children in school. The team also witnessed the harsh reality of living in places with subpar conditions, and many were shocked at how terrible it was.
In order to inspire students to stay in school and pursue a higher education, the team conducted a study camp in a primary school. Topics taught included English, Science, Hygiene, First Aid and Arts and Craft. The subjects taught were decided based on the previous team’s experience in teaching at the school last year.
The English textbook made last year for teaching English lessons was well received by the children and the school. Hence, the team this year has decided to create a second version with different topics and included improvements based on the feedback given last year. The textbook this year had activity portions, where it allowed the children to practice what they have learnt in class. For example, tracing out vocabulary words that were taught earlier in the day, and drawing their dreams for the future. These activities helped to prolong the children’s attention span and retain knowledge better. As there was not enough time to teach the children in school, the team was unable to cover the entire content in the textbook. Nevertheless, the team was happy to observe that the students could retain the information that they were taught last year, in addition to this year’s content.
One of the most memorable programmes that the team carried out during this trip was the cultural exchange night on their last service day in the commune. The event comprised of performances put up by both countries, festive decorations, and Singaporean food sampling. The event was well received by the students and parents of the commune, which made for a good closure to the entire project.
This trip to Vietnam has been a meaningful and unique experience. Personally, this is the first time I attended an Overseas Community Involvement Program (OCIP), and it has provided me a wider scope and depth of perception to the less fortunate communities in the world. I have come to realise that I am so fortunate in Singapore that I often take things for granted – when in reality, someone out there has more fundamental issues like housing and filling their stomachs. Eugene Woon, Programmer
About NTU Hall 13 Overseas Expedition
NTU Hall 13 Overseas Expedition (Hall 13 OE) is one of the eight student-run adhocs of Hall 13.
Team members from Hall 13 OE aims to bring joy and spread warmth to the communities that they have reached out to. They have been visiting different provinces in Vietnam since 2016.
The expedition is usually a two-week long programme where participants get to experience life outside the city, learn from different cultures and contribute meaningfully to the host country.