This month, we could allocate a part of the donations from our sponsors to some health expenses.
Our primary objective is the schooling of the children. Success in school also depends on the learners’ health and the wellbeing of the family. We consider that the children's health is the responsibility of their parents, but we also know that all too often, money issues are an obstacle to a visit to the hospital or the purchase of a suitable treatment. In order to adapt the way we help to the situations that we meet, without denying their responsibility as parents, our tool is the dialogue. We understand the difficulties of these families and they understand our ways and our position. We adapt our approach with each case.
In March, we finally finished our ophthalmic project. After having taken all the children for eye examinations last month, and after having bought glasses for the ones who needed them, we have now bought the medicines that have been prescribed by the optometrist.
We helped a single mother, whose health problems have prevented her from working for a few months. With no savings and with no relatives to help her, this mum had never seen a doctor about her chronic pain. She is now without an income and we are supporting her in her research of a job.
At last, we provided medicines for a child who was suffering headaches, while his parents paid for the consult and the medical examinations.
Every month, tutoring the disadvantaged children is one of our major concerns. It is not always easy to recruit responsible, passionate, creative and patient students, willing to drive sometimes more than one hour (round trip) in the tumultuous traffic of Hanoi to tutor for one and a half hours each week in the homes of the beneficiaries. Teaching conditions are often difficult. The furniture is not appropriate. Several family members and neighbors watch the television in the same room as it is the only room in the house. Parents and other children interfere with the course. The members constantly think of new possibilities for improving the tutoring program and the recruitment of tutors.
This month, on March 21, invited by the network France Volontaires, School on the Boat attended the French-Speaking Community Day at the University of Hanoi, with the aim of attracting the attention of several hundred Vietnamese students of diverse specialties to the work of our organization and to recruit new volunteers.
Also, like every month, the English Club gathered around a table in one of the many quaint cafes in the old quarter of Hanoi. As a reminder, the English Club is the monthly meeting of the School on the Boat team and its volunteer tutors. This meeting is dedicated to the establishment of a group dynamic between our volunteers, dialogue about tutoring and monitoring of the kids’ academic results.
This is also an opportunity for tutors to share their impressions, judgments, disappointments, challenges and successes. It’s the opportunity for our team to explore ways to improve the teaching conditions and the relationship between teachers and learners. And it is also an opportunity to set new goals for each tutor according to the weaknesses of each learner, to place children in situations and successfully grow their thirst for knowledge and confidence.
Tutors set playful objectives encouraging children to write a story in English, to participate in a short theater piece in English or to just develop their ambitions and think about the jobs they would like to do in their future.