Sylvie is a 55 y-o professor at the University of Lyon in France. In the summer of 2016, she starts looking for a volunteering opportunity in Asia. Her aim is to be useful to a trustworthy organization with transparent accountancy. Volunteering offers are so numerous these days; Sylvie doesn’t know where to start. One day, one of her friends’ talks about her father’s next trip to Vietnam for Maison Chance. Her friend’s father, Henri Marteau, is a retired artist. He is a regular at Maison Chance and came many times to Vietnam to give textile design classes to the beneficiaries.

Sylvie gathers more information, thinks about it for a while and finally the project comes through. In the summer of 2017, here she is in Ho Chi Minh, at Village Chance, to support the educators at the children’s nursery for the babies aged from 6 months to 3 y-o. For more than 3 weeks she spends her days with the 10 toddlers and the 3 teachers.


Step by step, she discovers the local teaching methods, memorizes everyone’s name and gets used to her new environment. The language barrier doesn’t matter that much. The small children do not properly talk yet. Communication comes through signs, gestures, voice intonations and face expressions.

The daily activities follow the babies’ rhythm. There are several rituals which come in a precise order: arriving at the nursery, breakfast, the register, educational games, nap-time etc.

Sylvie observes her colleagues and admires them. “These children are loved.” she says. She feels the tenderness of the teachers, their watchfulness and their ability to educate them.      

She also admires the wisdom of the people she meets during her stay. “Here, people are aware of their possessions. They are also aware they could have less.” A beautiful philosophy of life.  

Sylvie fully committed herself in this project and gave all of her attention and sweetness to the toddlers of our nursery.

Thank you so much Sylvie!

Post: Kai