Viet Nam News
HCM CITY— After three years of renovation, the Children’s House of HCM City reopened last weekend to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the country’s Reunification Day on April 30.
The house, the largest cultural centre for children in the city, is located on 11,655 square metres of land on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, in District 3.
It includes five storeys, an underground car park, and 40 function rooms for theatre, music, arts and sports activities.
It has a meeting hall with 500 seats and a 3D screening room with 150 seats. Its outside area, decorated with trees and flowers, can serve 1,000 children.
The city spent more than VNĐ135 billion (US$5.9 million) to upgrade the house, which first opened in May 1975.
“The house is decorated to help children develop their dreams and talents. We feature a variety of cultural and educational programmes meeting different tastes of local children,” director Phạm Ngọc Tuyền said.
Children, particularly those living in rural districts, will have more opportunities to enjoy the finer things in life through quality entertainment programmes and festivals this summer.
Along with many activities, short-term courses in dance, music, circus and fashion design taught by the house’s experts and artists from prestigious art schools will be offered to children.
Many of the training courses in art, computers and foreign languages offer reasonable fees, between VNĐ300,000 (US$13) to 600,000 ($26), for one to three months.
Some programmes will be free, while other performances cost from VNĐ20,000 ($0.8) to 50,000 ($2.2) per ticket.
“We aim to serve rural children and teenagers who don’t have much cash to spend on entertainment such as cinema or music and fashion shows, and do not have conditions to improve their knowledge about art, foreign languages and computers,” Tuyền said.
"My older sisters and I love to visit the Children’s House in the city on the weekends and holidays because the centre offers entertainment for free,” said Trần Thị Nhỏ, 10, a student from the city’s outlying Thủ Đức District.
Like many of her friends, Nhỏ’s parents work for a garment factory.
"I will take part in a free painting course offered by the house this summer," Nhỏ said.
The Children’s House of HCM City is not alone in its campaign to keep children entertained.
More than 24 cultural houses for children in districts around the city have worked to improve their offerings.
The centres have collaborated with local offices and organisations to raise money to offer free quality programmes for thousands of children each year.
They also provide music and dance training courses as well as free art performances and picnics.— VNS