International Team News

Infant.New addition
Congratulations to Nguyet, Program Assistant in Viet Nam, on the recent arrival of her second daughter. Nguyet returned to work in early May. Best wishes to all and welcome back!

Viet Nam

Graduates of Component 3 Special Educaiton training.Special Education Teacher Training: Component 3
Twenty-five teachers received training in inclusive education and LEA visual testing from May 12 to 17 at the Quang Tri Handicapped School in Dong Ha City. The goal was to prepare for visually-impaired children from Quang Tri Handicapped School to mainstream into regular schools.

Veterans' visit Khe Sanh.Veterans Visit Khe Sanh
A group of veterans led by Bill Shugarts visited Quang Tri to work on a small playground project on March 6 and 7. While there, they visited the Mine Action Visitor Center, a project RENEW museum for Mine Risk Education. They visited with the Khe Sanh Primary School teachers and students where they were received with a ceremony including student performances and greeting by the Principal. They gave school supplies and toys to the school. The day was capped off with a visit to the Khe Sanh Combat Base and meeting with Dong Ha English Club.

Teacher training program for visually impaired students.Special Education Teacher Training: Component 2
35 teachers from Quang Tri Handicapped School and Primary and Secondary Schools around the Province completed training on February 25 to increase their capacity in teaching visually impaired children. Over the 6 day program, the teachers learned techniques for evaluating inclusive classrooms and how to use teaching aids adapted for visually impaired children.

Plumber working on water pipes.Phu Xuyen Water Project
1,820 meters of new water pipes have been installed as of February! These new pipes provide running water to 52 local families, which includes 235 individuals.

Students listen to the CD/cassette player.Khe Sanh Library Project’s Phase 2
Students and teachers at Pa Nho School, a Satellite Branch of Khe Sanh Primary School, now enjoy a computer, a reading table for ten students, ten reading lamps, four outdoor reading benches, a Cassette/CD player, four big bookshelves, and many new books. In December, over 130 young children enjoyed the new items.
I love the bookshelf very much. It is colorful and it has many books. I like reading picture books. And I also love the CD player. I thought it was for playing music but you can also study English, shared Ho A Dinh (age 9).

Nyong Family at their new house.New House for Mr. Nuong
After 2 months of construction, Mr. Ho Van Nuong with his wife and three children are now enjoying a new house. This Christmas gift given by Mr. Ken Wotisek has replaced the old crumbled one they had lived in for nearly 15 years. The new house provides the family with a safer place to live in the coming typhoon season and a proper place for his children to study.

Playing on the new equipment.Months after the Bridge Back Group completed the Playground Project in May and it’s still a success.  Check out these statistics!

  • Daily use by 30 children from the Center.
  • Daily use by 15 children from the neighborhood.
  • Weekly use by 10 hearing-impaired children from the neighbor Handicapped School.
  • Monthly use by young children from different institutions around the city, such as UCMas Center and Quynh Phuong English Center.
  • Children at the Center maintain the playground by cleaning the floors, steps, and swing seats daily.


Building Paw Myar School.Building of Paw Myar School.
Foundation, walls, roof and setup for running water! Happy to report progress on building the Paw Myar School in Inle. This is the second school GCSF is building in partnership with Global Playgrounds and local craftsmen. The first school GCSF partnered with Global Playgrounds to build was in Viet Nam.

Thet plays his new guitar.Thet Naing Oo and His New Guitar.
Lynn and Arnold Feld have supported a variety of GCSF’s projects. While visiting Myanmar in December with Willliam, their 13 year old grandson, they attended the dedication ceremony of a house they sponsored for a family in need. They met Thet Naing Oo, who is blind, at the house dedication ceremony. Thet sang accompanied by very old guitar. William has since donated a new guitar to Thet. Generosity runs in the family!

Ban Pyin School and Library Opening.Opening of the Ban Pyin School and Library.
A well-attended and lovely opening celebration was held in September. The school was made possible through the generosity of the University of Virginia and the library by Sylvia Fraser-Lu. On behalf of the children and community, thank you!

VolunTourism: Community Service on an International Level

Volunteering in Viet Nam

Verena Kern in Dong Ha.From December 25 to January 5, German college professor Verena Kern volunteered teaching English at Nguyen Ba Ngoc Primary School and at the Dong Ha Campus of the Hue University.

The teachers and young students from Nguyen Ba Ngoc Primary School were very happy to have her. The students worked on pronunciation and vocabulary for daily activities, travel, health, time, family and friends, festivals and school things. Verena also set up topics for discussion for every class at the University. The students organized a small Christmas party after learning about Christmas from her. The students invited her to visit the city, have coffee and dinner with them. Thank you Verena!