Dear friends and SCC family members
Time seems to have flown by once more since we last wrote to you. And, as always, so much has happened which I suppose is what accounts for the way time passes so quickly.
Each quarter one of my tasks is to write an activity report for our superb Board of Trustees and it is when I write this that I remind myself about just how much this small but supremely effective team here does. Amongst the many things we have done – here are a few of my highlights of the first few months not covered in the other articles:
- We said a sad farewell, after 10 years, to Ms Oanh, the Principal of Thang Long School. We will all miss her very much.
- The Saigon Cyclo Challenge is always a superb and fun day for the family and as well as being excellent fun we also raise much-needed funds. This year, after 3 years of wins for HSBC, Giant Supermarkets picked up the coveted title. We also continue to get superb media coverage with 5 TV channels picking it up, 20 online channels, 50 forums and 5 newspapers and magazines.
- We have new relationships with two outstanding companies doing well here in Vietnam. ANZ and SCC will work together over 3 years to bring education to a very disadvantaged rural area – a small District called Long My in Hau Giang Province – the hope being to accelerate the pace of change there by many years. Our relationship with Prudential is also one we are immensely proud of and together we will build 7 new schools this year as part of their anniversary celebrations. This will include our being part of a 33-week TV programme following the work we are doing together.
- The Child Development Programme team started work on piloting the Getting Ready For Work programme activities in Tra Vinh Province with 3 career guidance workshops for students and 2 training sessions for teachers in career guidance skills. This has already yielded benefits with one Principal noting renewed interest in school work amongst the young people.
- We have been busy finishing off work on 11 new classrooms that we started in 2013 and we have held opening ceremonies this year for 3 schools in Quang Tri and one in Tra Vinh. There are a further 2 kindergartens and 1 primary school in Quang Tri which were handed over in mid April.
- In addition to the above we have agreed funding for an additional 43 new classrooms. A very big busy year for the School Building team. The aim is that many of these will be built in time for the start of the new school year but it is likely that some will struggle for reasons to do with factors such as weather.
- English at Thang Long School has been the focus of a major shake-up involving a new curriculum; class times; new books; training and workshops for all of the teachers; training on level setting and class room management. This has involved extensive observations, monthly teacher workshops by qualified and committed volunteers from The British Council and from ILA. This support will continue to comprehensively evaluate students' English skills as well as our English teaching skills. ILA teachers will also volunteer to monitor and support teachers as they develop. A magnificent job by all concerned and we felt very lucky to have ILA and British Council to guide us.
- WWO – a workshop to review WWO funded projects and work between 2009 and 2013 was organised with the participation of 35 local organisations as well as our key funder – Lufthansa HelpAlliance. The next panel meeting will take place in July and, in 2015, we are looking at possibly adopting a focus on a single disability project area – this is likely to be autism and this will be the subject of a separate paper.
And, on top of all of this, the teams here have all participated in developing an excellent strategy which maps out our plans for the next 5 years. Look out for this on our website.
So – you can see just how hard working the team here is and the balance of new work and that which is tried and tested.
For more information on any of the above please do visit our website or you are welcome to contact us here at firstname.lastname@example.org!