On Saturday 10th of August, the closing ceremony for the project on soft skills training for blind children was hosted at Thien An Shelter. Participants included representatives from our sponsor IBID, saigonchildren staff and volunteers.
During the ceremony, all the guests and students were taken back on the one-year journey of the training. When certain memories of the course were recalled, the students were all laughing out loud in excitement. They almost remembered every word that the teachers told them.
Ms. Huong Nguyen’s, saigonchildren’s programme manager shared during the ceremony: ‘Every time I come to Thien An Shelter, I feel like I am the one who benefits from the programme. The positive attitude that the children and everyone in the orphanage have, inspires me tremendously. Many thanks to not only our sponsor IBID’s financial support but also for their efforts and implication in the project and for working closely with the children and teachers throughout the year.
The children welcomed the guests with a wonderful performance, including powerful songs such as “Những đứa con mặt trời” (The children of the sun) to remind us that “the place to be happy is here, and the time to be happy is now”. Their voices energized everyone in the room, sending the message that life is beautiful and all disadvantaged children should also be able to lead such a life.
All the staff and volunteers were amazed at how wonderfully they sang and the passion they showed for singing and playing the instruments. After the ceremony the staff and volunteers, had the opportunity to interact with the children. One of the children shared some of his dreams and hopes for the future with one of our volunteers. He told us: ‘I would like to become a celebrity; I want to put my songs on the internet and people to listen to them everywhere.’ He also shared with us that singing and learning new songs is not an easy task. ‘Sometimes I have to practice a song for two months and sometimes just one day.’
The amount of talent and passion these children have is incredible. We felt privileged to take part in this ceremony and were encouraged by the children’s amazing attitude to life. As Mr. Phong Nguyen stated in his speech: ‘You are prepared to integrate in the community with all the skills and life values you have attained through this course.’ Saigonchildren’s hope for these children is to be encouraged and empowered by this training and to use these skills to help them lead a better life.