Anna helps disadvantaged children in Vietnam

Primary Education student, Anna Carter spent three weeks in Ho Chi Minh City, providing aid to local children in a special needs care clinic and also spent time teaching staff at the clinic basic English. Prior to starting her placement at the special needs care clinic Anna took part in a culture week which involved attending Vietnamese lessons with local college students where she learned basic phrases to help communication with the children at the clinic.

Anna tells us about her time in Vietnam, what she learned from visiting the country and the valuable experiences that she beneffited from after receiveing support from the Futures Fund.

"The local students and I took part in various activities involving dancing to their local songs. Also, they had prepared a set of questions in English to help them with their studies."

"During my placement, we were given a timetable each week to follow. This included the allocations during feeding time and physiotherapy. With help from a volunteer physiotherapist, I was allocated a child who suffered from severe cerebral palsy and blindness, his physiotherapy was to learn how to walk by himself. I used a shaker to guide him and held his hand whilst we walked around the clinic 5 times in the morning and 3 times in the afternoon. A young local volunteer suffering from autism asked me to help him with his English, in particular his writing. In the mornings, we practised his writing including key points such as family members, birthdays and hobbies. We also played games that improved his critical and strategic thinking. At lunchtime, we were allocated a child to help feed before they had their nap. In the afternoons, physiotherapy was resumed as well as various activities to stimulate the children such a water balloon fights and finger painting. I also helped the staff at the clinic by rejuvenating the outdoor play area."

"I had the opportunity to visit local temples and landmarks including Ngoc Hoang Pagoda and the Cu Chi TunnelsI, I also visited the War Remnants Museum where I was able to learn about the Vietnamese War, this helped me become familiar with the effects that this has had on the country and the consequences of Agent Orange. During my time at the special needs care clinic, I was taught how to effectively give physiotherapy to children that have been affected by Agent Orange. Agent Orange is a defoliant chemical that was used during the Vietnamese War (1961-1971). It was used to remove the leaves from trees and foliage that provided enemy cover. Exposure to the deadly toxins in Agent Orange is still causing life changing effects including birth defects in children today. This placement opened my eyes, realising how families in Asia live even after the Vietnamese War and the effects that the war has left on people."

"Whilst in Vietnam, I met great friends from around the world and on weekends, we took the opportunity to go travelling together to discover new places such as Phu Quoc and Mui Ne. We were able to discuss our cultures and learn about each others countries including languages, food and holidays. We planned our weekends without the help of our placement coordinators which gave us independence and confidence."

Thank you to Sunderland Futures Fund and Jo Dann for making this once in a lifetime trip a reality. Without support from the Futures Fund, I would have missed out in these fantastic opportunities that have given me memories that I will treasure forever. I am now excited to apply my new knowledge in my own classroom.


Rebecca Newby

Rebecca Newby

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