StepForward has just had a great couple of weeks completing it’s second workcamp in Vietnam. With members from our Japanese affiliate StepForward APU participating along with local Vietnamese students, it was an exciting camp as we introduced our Japanese members to Vietnamese culture as well as travelling to Tam Binh to work on renovations at a local school to be ready in time for the new school year.
With the aims of promoting Vietnamese-Japanese friendship, youth development through volunteer work and improving the lives of the local community in Tam Binh, the camp was a great success.
Split between Saigon, Vinh Long City and Tam Binh, the participants were busy visiting various cultural sites and orphanages to better understand the history and current social situation in Vietnam. As well as this they also visited our friends at Habataku Inc., a Japanese social enterprise operating in Ho Chi Minh City to learn more on the perspective of Japanese living and working in Vietnam and their experiences, both positive and negative.
There was also a visit to the University of Social Science and Humanities in Saigon to meet with the students there and share experiences of studying in both Vietnam and Japan. This was a good experience for both the participants and local students as they furthered their understanding of each country as well as making friends in the process.
Visiting Tam Binh, the group travelled to a local primary school, Truong Tieu Hoc Ngai Tu, where they worked on renovations to classrooms, painting the walls and laying new floors. StepForward also donated gifts and scholarships for 50 children attending the school. Developing the learning experience of children in rural communities is a key goal of StepForward and we hope that this school is the one of many we can partner with and improve in the future.
All in all, a fantastic couple of weeks for everyone involved and we are really looking forward to our next camp in December where StepForward will build a new house for a impoverished family in Tam Binh.