On 22nd March, 20 students from Singapore Polytechnic, School of Architecture and the Built Environment(ABE), accompanied by Mr Goh Chee Pieu and Mr Low Chek Choon, set off on a journey to Vietnam- Danang for 2 weeks. The purpose of the trip is to help a local orphanage, Village Of Hope, improve the lives of 120 children.
The visit to Danang by SP is an annual event which started from 2011. Every year, a group of students would help out at the Village of Hope. This year, our aim was to revamp the playground and toilets. 10 other students from local university (Duy Tan University, DTU) also helped us alongside at Village of Hope. We scrapped the playground and algae-covered walls of the toilets on level 1 to level 3 before washing, cleaning the tiles and floors of the toilets and repainting the toilet walls and playground. Our aim was achieved and the children are now able to enjoy newly refurbished toilets and playground in their home.
The visit to Danang by SP is an annual event which started in 2010. Every year, a group of students would help out at the Village of Hope. This year, our aim was to revamp the playground and toilets. 10 students from our local partner, Duy Tan University, DTU worked alongside us at the Village of Hope. We cleared the playground and scrapped the algae-covered walls of the toilets on level 1 to level 3 before washing and cleaning the tiles and floors of the toilets and repainting the toilet walls and equipment in the playground. Our aim was achieved and the children are now able to enjoy newly refurbished toilets and playground in their home.
We ate lunch at the dining hall newly renovated by the previous batch of SP students, interacted and had fun with the DTU students and children through ball games, Frisbee and hopscotch despite all the hard work. Furthermore, we did a cultural exchange with the DTU students and they taught us Vietnamese language to communicate with the locals better. They also taught us dance routines to Vietnamese songs for the performance on 2nd April. Through much effort and practice, we mastered and performed it smoothly on performance day.
The DTU students were very kind to us and we often went out for meals and outings with them. We forged lasting friendships with them and are very appreciative of their hospitality and friendliness towards us.
During the weekends, we visited places of interest like Monkey Mountain where there were beautiful temples and large sculptures and Marble Mountain, gaining insights into history and interesting facts. The Vietnamese were highly skilled in crafting marble - even Singapore’s Takashimaya uses Vietnamese marble. We ate delectable Vietnamese local delights at Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and exceptionally well-preserved ancient town known for its local souvenirs, attracting tourists worldwide. We also took the longest cable car in the world at Ba Na hills where at the top, besides the breath-taking bird’s eye view of Danang, was also an amusement park with over 1000 games and rides like bumper cars, rock climbing, arcade games, a dinosaur and wax museum etc.
A closing ceremony was held at the Village of Hope on the 13th day to mark the end of the trip and acknowledge both parties who had worked hand in hand to make this entire CIP trip possible. Overall, the trip was enriching as we learn to appreciate the little things in life. These orphans do not enjoy the luxuries we have and some are disabled. Yet, despite faced with such difficulties, they are able to smile and stay positive. This trip has definitely enhanced our learning and life experiences.