SDC organized two workcamps in July. Sunny Playground ran over the course of a week from 20th to 27th July in Pa Che 2 and Effervescent Summer ran over the course of two weeks from 7th to 21st July in Pa Che 1. Each involved 14 SDC volunteers and both locations are in Moc Chau, Son La province.
The groups left eagerly early in the morning and after a 6-hour-journey, were greatly appreciative of the warm welcome they received from all the residents, particularly the children. The local’s hospitality and the sweet nature of the children acted as great incentives for them to do their utmost during their week of volunteering. So, they immediately got stuck in, putting any tiredness behind them, and holding a lively football match for everyone.
During both camps the volunteers, there was a strong focus on teaching the local children which was done successfully.
n Pa Che the 8 teaching sessions, which were followed by games such as football and tug of war, were held in the afternoons as the pupils attended school in the mornings. The sessions taught the children 7 skills including critical thinking skills, memorisation skills, first aid, origami, model assembling, how to look after plants and how to take care of themselves. The final session involved testing the students on the previous 7 lessons. During this session 24 presents were also handed out to the pupils with the hope that the gifts would further motivate the students to learn, so that they may be blessed with opportunities and the chance of a better quality of life in the future.
The volunteers at both locations commented on how smart and able the children were. They were extremely impressed with the children’s attitudes. In addition, they were amazed by how the children performed and how much information they had successfully remembered.
In both locations volunteers spent time successfully upgrading the routes to the schools. Before, walking along the routes could be very dangerous and difficult especially when it rained because the routes would become muddy and slippery. However, thanks to the hard work of the volunteers, and the eager support of both the local authorities and the Youth league, safe and easy routes now exist for the teachers and pupils to walk along to school. Achieving this made everyone involved feel really proud and happy of the result and the hard work and dedication that had been put in through all weathers. The volunteers in Pa Che also want to thank Mr Danh for all his help providing building tools such as hoes, shovels, buckets and mortar as well as a stove for cooking rice, so the volunteers had the energy to keep on working!
Overall, the trips achieved a great deal and were an unforgettable experience for those involved. The tour brought the volunteers closer together and increased their confidence and skills. More importantly, the trips gave them the opportunity to make an useful difference to the local communities. This was shown by the locals who repeatedly asked, “Will you come back here again?” Seeing what meaningful archievement they had made was so touching that many of the volunteers cried, saying that the experience would have a lasting effect on them.