The GoGlobal Blog

Service Projects in Vietnam

Service Projects in Vietnam

As part of our study abroad program, we are required to do community service while we are here in Ho Chi Minh City. I’ll admit, when I first heard this I wasn’t thrilled, but what I initially dreaded has quickly become my absolute favorite part of our program. We work with two very different groups, on Thursdays we teach/practice English with a group of priests that live in a seminary here in the city. There are three groups, each with about 15 priests. I was so nervous when we first started, I have zero experience with teaching English and I didn’t know if I would be any help at all but the men are a really fantastic bunch and every Thursday we all leave so full of joy and energy. Everywhere we go, people are eager to practice their English. We have been approached in coffee shops and restaurants by people we have never met asking if we would be willing to practice English with them. I have to remember that I may not be the best teacher but the groups we work with are just eager to have a chance to practice.

The second group we work with is at SMILE Foundation, an organization that works with children whose lives have been affected by HIV. This is truly the highlight of my week. We are teaching English here as well, using a computer program and one on one interaction. These kids are SO smart and most have a pretty good grasp of the language. Smile has some pretty amazing projects happening in the future, including planting a community garden that the kids will run. I really do leave the center every Sunday feeling so much better than when I arrived. I highly encourage any Loyola students to volunteer here if they get the opportunity.

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