Xuyen Dangers – Vietnam
Xuyen Dangers – Vietnam/Laos
The Mud center for children and youth of Phonsinuan village was officially opened with a Fair on this special day. We have been blessed with full participation from the whole community — especially parents!
During our planning meeting on Saturday at Phonsinuan Village School, a group of children made my day due to their chanting Lao poems from the gate! The parent meeting was very good because 30 parents came. After listening to the process of raising funds for the center and the after school program, they began to understand the reason for the After School Activity Programs and promised to continue to pay 10,000 kip (.1 US$) for an extra hour to give incentive to the teachers who need to work from 3 to 4 PM (their salary is only about $3. per month).
The parents promised to come on the Fair day and bring food for Green papaya salad ‘Tammakhung’ competition which they did wonderfully.
Everyone was very excited on Fair Day and the children chanted almost non stop. Lots of parents participated and the education officer from District office and Lao and international friends and donors also came. It was so nice to see all our good friends and supporters!
During the break , The youth showed visitors how to mix mud, the first process of mud house building and gave the guests a chance to join in the fun!
In her opening speech, the Vice Chief of the District expressed her appreciation to CWS /GM support for these kind of centers She said this is the 2nd center in Sisatanak district that she finds them to be very useful. She thanked CWS /GM for our support in funding and in sharing methods for using child-centered approach to teaching which makes students more self confident more developed not only mentally, but also psychologically and socially.
Then the children performed dances, songs, dramas and offered a recycled item fashion show from Phonsinuan. Donkoi young leaders also came to help make it festive with their well known Tammakhung song and poem chanting. Youth also performed the Elephant show that amazes visitors who have never seen it before. The Tammakhung-making competition was the most fun part of the day. Tammakhung is a favorite Lao Papaya salad that is very spicy. The children, the parents, the youth and the teachers were excited. They could not wait until the performance finished and ate most of the salads before the judges got their tastes! The children chanted the poem “We are making Tammakhung” while the competition went on.
The judges gave marks for taste, the hygiene cleanness, the artistic presentation of the salad, the environmental friendliness of the process( no plastic, using natural items like banana leaves , bamboo baskets .. etc.. ) and the adherence to Lao culture.
All were winners and received “Tammakhung Forever” books as their awards. The children and parents and youths could not have been happier.
The Fair ended at noon, but I came back at 3Pm and the youth and children were still there. The youth were cleaning up and looked exhausted. The children continued to perform on the stage by themselves with hula-hoops, dances and poem chanting. They did not seem to want to go home!
Taking this opportunity , I would like to thank all our friends from far away places like Caroline of Holland , Suong Thomas in Virginia , Debra and Phyllis in Ohio, Phyllis and Rod in Arizona, Barbara in Virginia, Carin of Sweden and ALL others for your support especially people like Paul and Annie who helped me at times I thought I could give up! You stepped up and raised funds for us and encouraged me which counts a whole lot and I am so grateful!
All those stresses are now gone and we can begin a new chapter/ area for the youth and the children of Phonsinuan village.
Special Thanks to:
Mr. Leng who gave cement and labor to build the colorful and artistic design,
Mme Duangdeune Pui, TVS, Padetc, Esther, village head and committee members,
Mit, a handyman who was the overall technical trainer, worker, advisor to all for the foundation , the frame and the roof,
The architect students and all the PVG members, and
Oi, the 22 years old youth from Somsanga drug rehabilitation center who was permitted to travel back and forth for two full months to helped PVG as a technical expert in mud house building.
For those Whom I forgot , God bless you .. and I love you ALL
Xuyen Dangers is a Social Worker in Laos/Vietnam. She serves as a Social work supervisor of Donkoi child center and 5 other centers, Social work advisor, Faculty of Social Sciences, and the National University of Laos.