Volunteer Expedition to CapitaLand Thanh Phuoc A Primary Hope School, Vietnam

This April, more than 50 staff volunteers from Vietnam, Singapore and China as well as management from CapitaLand Vietnam and Ascott Vietnam joined hands to improve the study environment for more than 150 underprivileged children in rural Vietnam.  They worked hard in the sweltering 38°C weather, from painting wall murals and redecorating classrooms, leveling and laying concrete, plowing a new plot of land for a vegetable garden to planting trees so the children can enjoy the shade when it grows.

This International Volunteer Expedition is CapitaLand’s group-wide initiative for staff to volunteer for projects supported by CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF) in communities where the company operates.

Held from 3 to 7 April 2015 at CapitaLand Thanh Phuoc A Primary Hope School in Thanh Hoa District, Long An Province, our second Hope School in Vietnam, the volunteer expedition adds to CHF’s commitment to donate about S$80,000 towards the refurbishment of school facilities to improve the conduciveness of the children’s study environment.

Long An Province is subdivided into 13 district with Thanh Hoa being one of the poorest district where CapitaLand Thanh Phuoc A Hope School is located, is a 2.5 hours drive away from Ho Chi Minh City.

CapitaLand Thanh Phuoc A Primary Hope School consists of 150 students and 7 teachers. Before the refurbishment; there are only 3 usable classrooms and 1 toilet. With the donation, CapitaLand has helped to build 1 multipurpose room, 2 classrooms and 9 new toilets, as well as enhanced existing classroom facilities, school yard, fence and many more.

Volunteers crossed 17 bridges to get to the school daily and worked under hot temperatures.

A major part of the refurbishment works was the paving of a concrete, outdoor multipurpose area, an extension of the school parade square, which will afford students a bigger assembly, sports and play area. Working as a team, volunteers first had to plough and flatten the soil ground manually with shovels and reinforcing bars before concrete could be laid. Project development expertise among our staff volunteers came in handy, executing and completing the job with perfect precision!

The fatigue from hard work melted away with the smiles on the children’s faces when they saw how colourful and cheery their school has become.

After sweating it out with refurbishment works on Day 1 and 2, the volunteers conducted series of thoughtfully-planned interactive activities for the children. Day 3 started with an energetic sports day, followed by the inspiring ‘CapitaLand Little Architect’ programme and many other classes such as English language & storytelling, music, cultural and arts & craft lessons. The day ended with a memorable visit to the homes of 8 students, where volunteers had an opportunity to see the students’ living conditions and meet their parents in a bid to spur the children on to do well in studies.

Many thanks to management and staff from CapitaLand Vietnam and Ascott Vietnam for the ground support and the staff volunteers for making this expedition possible and living out our credo ‘Building People. Building Communities’.

FROM OUR VOLUNTEERS

Volunteering is about making a difference …

“All the work that we did, didn’t seem like much till we saw the joy in the kids’ faces. They now have concrete floor to play on, colourful classrooms to study in. It is nice to understand that the company that you dedicate yourself to is actually a company that puts in effort to make a difference to all these communities.” -- Danny Wong, CL, Singapore

“Whatever we are doing now is quite symbolic. It is not just about coming here to teach or doing construction work but to let the community here knows that we care.” -- Leong Chew Ming, CMA, China

“I have been in CapitaLand for almost 2 years but I did not have the opportunity to participate in the previous expedition due to exams. Joining this expedition was a good decision as I am able to give back to the community.”-- Le Hai Yen, CLV, Vietnam

Volunteering is not just about giving…

“We are here not to experience the hardship of the people in this province but to make a difference to their environment and community, this volunteer expedition made me grow a lot as a person.” -- Windy Lv, TAL, China

“I’m very grateful to CapitaLand for creating this volunteering platform to allow staff to be able to give back to community with such ease. Not only have I done something good for the community but also grow as a person through this giving journey.” -- Ivy Lu, CLC, China

Volunteering is about bringing hope…

The Little Architect programme is the most meaningful, I think it gives them hope and vision that there is something more out there for them.” -- Eunice Tan, CL, Singapore

“Before we conducted the Little Architect programme, we asked the kids if they would like to be architects when they grow up. Not many raised their hands. But after the programme, most of the kids raised their hands when we asked the same question. This programme gives them a dream and in the future they can make this dream come true.”-- Nguyen Tuan Dat, CLV, Vietnam