On 17 November, Saigonchildren, in collaboration with Vietnam Autism Network (VAN) and Edelweiss Air of Lufthansa Group held the ‘Teachers of Children with Autism Appreciation Day’ with the attendance of over 500 people, including children with autism, parents, and teachers, as well as representatives from saigonchildren, making it the largest public event ever in Vietnam for children with autism and their teachers
Mr. Bernd Bauer, CEO of Edelweiss Air shared his appreciation for the teachers and parents of children with austism
Representative from Edelweiss awarded certificate to specialist in special needs education
40 volunteers of Edelweiss Air flew to Ho Chi Minh City from Zurich, Switzerland in advance to work with saigonchildren on the final preparation for the event. On the morning of Nov 17th, the Public Sport Centre in District 7 was crowded with children with autism and their parents. They have prepared for the entire month for this event to show appreciation to their teachers.
The event was hosted by Saigonchildren and VAN for children with autism, their parents, and teachers, aimed at building a safe environment designed specifically for children with autism to play and to connect with others. Saigonchildren, as the coordinator of this event, has brought these children the opportunity to show gratitude to their teachers on Vietnamese Teacher’s Day. The event is the first of its kind in Vietnam, which highlights the progress that saigonchildren, with the aid of Edelweiss Air, are making towards improving education for children with special needs.
Fun Games designed for children with autism
Volunteers and staff from Edelweiss and saigonchildren designed activities and games for everyone to be involved, whilst teachers provided information booths to share their expertise. At the end of the event, all gathered to sing and dance as a final celebration of teachers of children with autism. Thanks to this ‘Teachers of Children with Autism Appreciation Day’ event, around 200 children and young adults with autism aged 2 to 23, from many provinces, have had an opportunity to gather and discover themselves more with specially designed education. Furthermore, their parents and families also have received a chance to gather more information and develop connection with the autism community to discuss and share their experiences.
Ms. Phan Thị Kim Tâm – Deputy Chairwoman of VAN
“Time passed by, more and more physicians, specialists studied and worked more effectively for the future of autism children. In addition, there were more teachers trained in pedagogical schools with special education for special children. The parents’ group was scattered all over the place, many new members have joined in many provinces and The Autism Network was born on August 2015. In the beginning, we were only able to hold training sessions for our parents, because that was what we needed, not dare to dream that the autistic kids could play together or compete with each other. The best they could have done were performing arts with the teacher. Over the past three years, we have dared to organize sport-friendly activities for children to play sports and to see the progress of children over these years.” Ms. Phan Thị Kim Tâm – Deputy Chairwoman of VAN shared her thoughts in the Appreciation Day
As part of their Special Needs Education Programme (SNEP), saigonchildren have partnered with Edelweiss Air of the Lufthansa Group, who have been supporting saigonchildren since 2010. Together they have brought and continue to bring advanced training and support networks for parents and teachers of children with autism, enabling the children to receive a quality education from teachers with specialised training who understand how to provide lessons tailored to their needs. Therefore, with the necessary tools available, the children are able to develop self-sufficiency and social skills which will help them integrate into the community and open the doors to a wide range of opportunities.
Mr. Damien Roberts – Executive of saigonchildren send his thanks to teachers, parents of children with autism and all the representatives from Edelweiss Air & Help Alliance
Edelweiss’ visit will also oversee the delivery of rice to three hamlets in Can Gio Commune, and a visit to Thien An Shelter for Blind Children. This will demonstrate the positive impacts that their aid is making to disadvantaged children away from the urban centre of Saigon, which are made through other saigonchildren programmes, including the Child Development Scholarship Programme.
Edelweiss Air is a Swiss Airline and sister to Swiss International Air Lines and thus part of the Lufthansa Group. The airline was founded on 19 October 1995 in Bassersdorf, Switzerland and operates flights to European and intercontinental destinations from its base at Zürich Airport. Lufthansa Group has supported saigonchildren SNEP since 2010.
Vietnam Autism Network (VAN) is a support organization for children with autism, their parents, and relatives. VAN works to enhance the lives of autistic children and their parents, act as a voice for the autism community, advocate policy for autistic children and bring better opportunities for them through a variety of programmes.