Summer activities at Maison Chance

In Vietnam, May 31st marks the end of the school year and this year at Maison Chance the success rate has been 100% perfect with all 140 children passing their exams with flying colours: 79 of them achieved “Excellent” results; 51 achieved “Good” results and 10 achieved “Average” results.

More importantly all 27 students from Fifth Grade, which is the final grade taught at Maison Chance, received their Primary School Certificate.

By the beginning of July, just a month after leaving the benches of the classrooms, the children are back at the Village Chance. While the summer holidays are continuing until mid-August for the other children in the country, those of Maison Chance already heading back to school. Because many of the families don’t have time to care of them, we decided to move the beginning of the school year forward so they don’t hang out in the streets, not knowing what to do with their days. Of course we recognize it still meant to be holiday time so we don’t expect or require them to work tirelessly! The summer program consists in lessons in the morning and activities in the afternoon!

1:30 pm, the bell rings in the Village’s courtyard. The lunch break is over; it’s time for the summer activities.

Those children enrolled in the swimming lessons immediately rush into the pool. Whether for water polo, relay races or just to have fun, they are happy as a fish in water.

Far from the bustle of the pool, a completely different atmosphere prevails in one of the classroom. Some children, more studious, chose to learn English to improve their level before the official start of the new school year. What a potential benefit for these future English-speaking people!

Meanwhile, the restaurant and the bakery are buzzing. Spring rolls, caramel pork, banana crepe, pineapple cake… here are some dishes and desserts prepared by our apprentice chefs. Just the thought is enough to make you salivate in anticipation!

At the same time, on the football field, our small Peles are full of energy. It is out of question to allow a player of the other team to score a goal. However there will always be a loser at the end of the match… Final whistle. One team jumps for joy while the other is more quiet, disappointed by its defeat. But there are no hard feelings; our footballers leave together, exhausted but smiling.

Paper, glue, scissors… for our less sporty types we are at the creative activity workshop! The children were very successful in making kites, paper lanterns or musical instruments from recycled materials. What a way to impress their friends in the school yard!

There also is a lot of enthusiasm in the dancing class. The program for the summer is the choreography of ‘Gangman Style’ which has successfully been presented at Dam Sen Park.

Finally, a trip closed the summer activities. On Saturday August 10, 2013, at 6 am, we drive all the children to Can Gio, a seafront city located at 3 hours away from Ho Chi Minh City.

To start the day, we planted trees in the forest. The objective of this activity was to contribute to the reforestation of the Vietnamese mangrove. Muddy road, slippery hills, bridges made of tree branches – the access way to the plantation site was an obstacle course! Once there, the children immediately started planting the seedlings that have been entrusted to them. Although they were brown from head to toe because of the mud, our children all have green fingers! Then we went to the sea to have lunch (after washing off most of the mud) and spend the rest of the day just relaxing and having fun.

At 7 pm we arrived back at Ho Chi Minh City. Our children were very tired but very happy. We are all well pleased with this day that ended a month and a half of activities. A month and a half, during which they cooked, created, danced, swam, played… Like any other child going on vacation, in the end they just had fun … lots of it.

A few days later, serious things resumed. Although the official start of the new school year is scheduled for September 5, the Vietnamese students are going back to school on August 15. This new school year will be eventful as there will now be no less than 180 children attending the Village Chance School at the beginning of this new school year.

October 2013