“Full-moon night ferry” from Students of VLU “provides” unforgettable Mid-Autumn Festival to An Giang

(Admission Office – Văn Lang, 19/9/2018) - This is an annual event organized by our Social work team with the name “The Mid-Autumn Festival made for you”. This is the 6th time this event takes place and this year the students of VLU reached out and made a special festival for students of Tan Thanh Secondary school (Tan Thanh district, Tan Chau town, An Giang province). “Full-moon night ferry” (15-16/9/2018), as described by the team leader- Truong Hoang Van, was the day with many emotions stay.

Every year, on the full moon in August, the streets of Saigon are busy with images of the star-shaped lanterns, bakeries, and moon cakes.  The images of colorful lanterns as well as the exciting laughter of the lantern parades on the streets remind everyone of their childhood.

However, it is not easy for the disadvantaged children to have this simple joy. Their family can’t afford to buy them a lantern,  they have never ever tasted a moon cake , and they have no chance to experience the true happiness at Mid- Autumn – the happiness that they reserve the right to have. Understanding the dream of those children, members of social work team from Van Lang University wish to bring love and sincere help to them. The program is scheduled 3 months before the official launch. We have  tried to find the right place and this year we organize celebration of the full moon to a poor district in An Giang - Tan Thanh district Tan Chau commune, 200km  from Saigon.

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Tan Thanh secondary school which was established on 27th of July, 2010 locates in Tan Dong, Tan Thanh, Tan Chau, An Giang province. It used to be a member of Tan An secondary school. There are 7 classes including 3 classes of grade 6(108 pupils), 2 classes of grade 7(88 pupils), 2 classes of grade 8(77 pupils) with total number of 273 pupils. The facilities include 8 rooms (5 classrooms, 3 lab rooms, library and rooms for vocational or tutoring).

Our team was extremely surprised by the fact that there are only 8 rooms in the school. The rooms are just the erected from the materials, which are discarded from other schools across the town, then are collected by the teachers of Tan Thanh school to build 3 rooms for vocational, tutoring and teaching aids room.) 

During the rainy season, teachers and pupils of Tan Thanh secondary school struggle to schools on the very wet, slippery, and bad condition roads. When the summer comes, pupils have to study and use handled fans at the same time because of the extremely hot metal roofing. Due to the lack of rooms, they have to take turns to reserve the rooms for pupils of grade 9 to take the secondary graduation exam. After finishing secondary school, most of the students leave school to search for the opportunities to escape poverty. There are small numbers of students who have better conditions can continue to study at Tan Chau high school with the worry about school fees, uniforms, expenses for meals, travel.We found the way to the school deep in the alleyway where the teachers and pupils of Tan Thanh secondary school have toiled to build. Their constant concern is how to have enough money for school uniforms and school fees. The anxiety about learning and teaching takes so much of the teachers and students’ time that they have no thought of the Mid -Autumn festival with tasty moon cake or the colorful lanterns.

DH Van lang TRUNGTHU VL AG 2018 2“Mid-Autumn Festival for Children” is a traditional program hold by members of Social Work team through 6 courses. Each Mid-Autumn Festival is a new destination and new members are added. I feel really lucky when I can make some contribution to the past 3 Mid- Autumn celebration with my team!In order to have enough money to carry out this program, the team had to plan for fundraising through 2 months, divided into 3 groups, with much enthusiasm and endless effort. After one month of hard work and dedication, we had funded enough money by: start-up projects, sales of flowers on graduation occasions, and checkered scarf for Green Summer Campaign, especially the event : movie night “Days without mom” on 9th of September, 2018 which funded 30 million VND for the program.

vlu full moon night ferry 3Members of the team sold stuffs like old clothes, ricepaper, coconut cake, brown sugar bubble fresh milk, bookmark, and did part time job in order to have more money for the program.

On 14 of September, 2018, the bus CTXH-15-09 left Van Lang university campus 2( 233A Phan Van Tri, Binh Thanh district). It took us 6 hours to reach the river area of An Giang, then took the ferries twice to reach Tan Thanh Secondary school. This was the floating season, the water level was so high that the members found difficult to cross the river. We were at school at 7.00 a.m. and immediately started running all the 7 parts in the program.

DH Van lang TRUNGTHU VL AG 2018 4Members of the Construction teams took turn to complete the road leading to school (32m in length x 3m in width), work continuously.

We completed the road at noon. Unfortunately, a heavy rain affected by the typhoon Mangkut prevented the plan, which caused a lot of concerns to the members of the team.

DH Van lang TRUNGTHU VL AG 2018 5It stopped raining heavily at 3.00 p.m. Games were quickly organized for pupils of Primary and Secondary school At 4.00 p.m, there came another heavy rain. We were very anxious and expected for the program to take place as scheduled. Fortunately, as a response to our sincerity the program took place as scheduled at 5h30 p.m.

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It was so delighted that we distributed nearly 300 gifts for the children during that Mid-Autumn celebration. Excited melodies from the stage eased all the distances. There were excited, innocent and bewildered looks there. And that night was full of happy laughers.

DH Van lang TRUNGTHU VL AG 2018 6The lanterns were lit up. The children had the lantern parade home with new shirts and moon cakes we had specially prepared for them. That made all of us- the attendees and organizers feel warm inside.

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At the very first day of fundraising for the program, there had been tears, quarrels over pressure, but above all, at the end of the journey, we kept the smiles and supporting spirits. We were together to do the very detailed stuffs, made every single lanterns ourselves and sought for mooncake donations for the children in An Giang. No one could let go. And finally, we did it- we “brought the full moon” there to the children.

We had put more time and effort to this 6th “Mid-Autumn Festival for Children” program. Those gifts were so valued, too. We have brought the program to 6 regions across the country. We hope that there will more delighted and energetic Full Moon celebration in the future. Please keep the dedication, enthusiasm of volunteering of your youth to help life, dear students of Van Lang!

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In the 2018-2019 school year, The Social Work team welcome members of 24th generation. The “welcome new friends” event will take place on 7th of October, 2018 at room C109- Van Lang University, campus 2. If you want to become a new member of our “dedicated workman”, don’t hesitate to apply now.

Truong Hoang Van - 4th year student of Commerce Faculty
Photo: Social Work team
Translated by: Pham Thi Hoai


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