YEP Bến Tre 8: Revamping a School with Unconditional Love (2015)
Sponsored by the National Youth Council and SP’s “Go-Serve” initiative, a team of 26 students and 2 staff from the School of Architecture & the Built Environment embarked on the 8th Youth Expedition Project (YEP) in Bến Tre, Vietnam. In collaboration with YMCA Singapore and YMCA of Vietnam, and assisted by 3 Vietnamese volunteers, the team comprised students from various diploma courses at SP: DARCH, DCEB, DEWT and DHLFM.
Led by Dr Chan Chin Loong and Mr Lucas Lim, the team had organised a pre-trip training camp before participating in a local community service at Toa Payoh. From 21 March to 3 April, saw the team constructing a courtyard, facilitating English lessons to pupils and maintaining classroom furniture at Linh Phung Primary School. The provision of a better study environment for the Vietnamese children was the prime objective of the trip.
Amidst the cacophony of construction, constituents such as sand, cement and coarse aggregates were manually transported to a concrete mixer. The work was laborious, but the construction team remained in high spirit in spite of the heat and dust. After mixing, the local skilled workers then poured and levelled the wet concrete mix.
Students also took turns to play different roles. Our teaching team structured mini lessons for the school children, from Grades 3, 4 and 5, to effectively learn Basic English. Along the way, they played interactive games which eventually forged a strong friendship between the teaching team and the kids.
SP students also assisted with maintenance work such as repairing, sanding down and repainting the surface of classroom furniture. Up to 150 sets of tables and chairs were fully refurbished.
During the closing ceremony on 2 April 2015, the team presented 3 ethnic dance segments and a spontaneous beat-boxing duet. Acknowledged by the local government, the convivial atmosphere marked the successful completion of the project.
The demise of Mr Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) took place during this trip. While the team was unable to pay tributes to our founding father at the State Funeral, volunteers observed a minute of silence to honour him.
As all of us celebrate SG50 this year, LKY is undoubtedly remembered as an inspirational role model. Let us not take what we have for granted. Be more grateful towards our elders who have contributed to Singapore and, just like the undying spirit of LKY, GO SERVE! #TeamSP.