Tuesday, May 21 2019

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Woman opens her heart to hundreds of autism children

Update: April, 21/2019 - 08:15

 

 

Warm-hearted: Nhị says her job requires love, patience, respect. VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Phương

 

 

By Diệp Trương

With the warm heart of a mother, Đỗ Thị Nhị, owner of private special school Bình Minh in Từ Sơn Town, the northern province of Bắc Ninh, has raised hundreds of children with autism, helping them gain confidence and lead a normal life.

Children call her “Mum”, which demonstrates her successful work with the children.

Born into a poor farmer family in Phú Lâm Commune in Bắc Ninh, Nhị had a difficult childhood.

She was the ninth child in her family. At 3 years old, her mom passed away, while one of her older brothers was born with a brain disorder which affected his growth.

Every day, the family received help from their neighbours. Some gave them food, some clothes, some footwear, so they could go to school.

“I lived in difficulty but I did not stop dreaming to become a teacher,” Nhị said. “Not a teacher for normal children. I wanted to become a teacher for children with difficulties, disabilities and orphans so that I would have more of a chance to help people, especially children in need.”

To realise her dream, at a young age, Nhị did many kinds of jobs to earn money. From polishing wood furniture at Đồng Kỵ Wood Handicraft Village, working on a farm, to cutting grass.

At school, she always achieved good results. In 2009, Nhị passed the entrance exam to the Special Education Faculty, Hà Nội Teachers’ Training College No 1.

At college, she was active in volunteering for clubs. She took part in volunteer teaching at social welfare centres and other orphanages in Ba Vì District, Hà Nội.

She has always been among the most excellent students of the college with top prizes at teaching competitions. After her graduation in 2013, Nhị was offered jobs at some schools and institutions in Hà Nội but she refused.

“I wanted to contribute to my homeland,” she said. “So I decided to return home to Bắc Ninh, to realise my dream – helping needy children.”

“Sunrise” for children with autism

Setting up Bình Minh (Sunrise) school with hardly any capital, she was faced with untold difficulties.

But with support from children’s parents and charity organisations, she overcame them all.

In 2016, the special school for children with disabilities and autism was opened.

The school was designed to meet the diversified demands of children with different deformities, provide early treatment to children of 18 months to six years old, restore functions for children between 6 and 13; provide vocational training to children in the province and neighbouring localities in Quảng Ninh, Hưng Yên, Hà Nội, Bắc Giang, Hải Phòng, and Hòa Bình.

Nhị intended to build a green and pupil-friendly school while applying technology to support children with autism.

The school also teaches children IT and co-ordinates with other similar institutions in Việt Nam, enhancing people’s awareness in educating children with disabilities.

“My job requires sincere love, patience, respect and hope for children,” she said. “I’m not a pure teacher or psychology trainer but the one who loosen the lock of the children and their families.”

“When they call me ‘mum’, I feel both happy and pressured. I always tell myself to be stronger for them to lean on.”

After nearly three years, the Bình Minh School has helped over 200 children with disabilities, 60 of whom have gone to normal schools.Some 50 children have been advised to be educated at home with the support of the school.

Needy, orphaned children or children of single mothers and children born into poor families get fee exemptions of 30-100 per cent.

Children living far have been provided with boarding facilities.

“I found her to be an active, enthusiastic teacher,” said Hà Bích Hảo, a teacher at the school. “She has always tried to find the most effective way to help the children. She is also kind-hearted. She has not only shared her knowledge and skills in solving problems but also supports us in daily life.”

Trần Thị Hường, a parent, said after five months learning at the school, her son’s behaviour has improved.

“He can communicate better, look straight into my eyes when we talk and is more active in communicating with other people,” she said.

“Such small changes bring happiness to children with autism like my son,” she said.

Last year, Nhị wrote a project titled "A Sustainable Education Model for Children with Special Demands" in Bắc Ninh.

The project won the highest prize at the Việt Nam Women Prize and Women Start-Up Day 2018, beating nearly 1,000 projects competing.

The project reviews the increasing number of children with autism and other disabilities  in the province, proposes solution to set up an education model for such children by applying advanced technology.

The project has been highly appreciated by the province authorities, who have assigned concerned agencies to facilitate and support Nhị to carry out her project. VNS

GLOSSARY

With the warm heart of a mother, Đỗ Thị Nhị, owner of private special school Bình Minh in Từ Sơn Town, the northern province of Bắc Ninh, has raised hundreds of children with autism, helping them gain confidence and lead a normal life.

A special school is a school that is for children with learning problems.

To get confidence means to have pride and satisfaction in what you can do.

Children call her “Mum”, which demonstrates her successful work with the children.

Demonstrates means to show you have what is needed.

Born into a poor farmer family in Phú Lâm Commune in Bắc Ninh, Nhị had a difficult childhood.

Difficult means not easy.

She was the ninth child in her family. At 3 years old, her mom passed away, while one of her older brothers was born with a brain disorder which affected his growth.

If someone passes away it means they died.

People have brain disorders when their brains do not work the same as other people’s brains.

At school, she always achieved good results. In 2009, Nhị passed the entrance exam to the Special Education Faculty, Hà Nội Teachers’ Training College No 1.

An entrance exam is an exam to see if you have the skills and intelligence to enter a school programme.

At college, she was active in volunteering for clubs. She took part in volunteer teaching at social welfare centres and other orphanages in Ba Vì District, Hà Nội.

To volunteer is to offer your help and not receive payment.

Setting up Bình Minh (Sunrise) school with hardly any capital, she was faced with untold difficulties.

Hardly any capital. means that you do not have much money to start.

But with support from children’s parents and charity organisations, she overcame them all.

To overcome is to succeed with the problems you had.

The school was designed to meet the diversified demands of children with different deformities, provide early treatment to children of 18 months to six years old, restore functions for children between 6 and 13; provide vocational training to children in the province and neighbouring localities in Quảng Ninh, Hưng Yên, Hà Nội, Bắc Giang, Hải Phòng, and Hòa Bình.

A deformity is a physical problem with the body usually seen at birth.

 Vocational training is to give people skills so they can do a job.

 Nhị intended to build a green and pupil-friendly school while applying technology to support children with autism.

A green school is one that is designed to work with the environment.

Technology is made up of devices such as the computers and the programmes on them to help people learn.

 “When they call me ‘mum’, I feel both happy and pressured. I always tell myself to be stronger for them to lean on.”

Pressurised is to feel as if there is a lot expected of you

Needy, orphaned children or children of single mothers and children born into poor families get fee exemptions of 30-100 per cent.

Fee exemption means you do not have to pay.

Children living far have been provided with boarding facilities.

Boarding facilities are places where you can live, away from home, while at school.

 “I found her to be an active, enthusiastic teacher,” said Hà Bích Hảo, a teacher at the school. “She has always tried to find the most effective way to help the children. She is also kind-hearted. She has not only shared her knowledge and skills in solving problems but also supports us in daily life.”

Knowledge is the information you have learnt.

 “He can communicate better, look straight into my eyes when we talk and is more active in communicating with other people,” she said.

To communicate is the way you can talk or show what you are saying using language or body language.

The project won the highest prize at the Việt Nam Women Prize and Women Start-Up Day 2018, beating nearly 1,000 projects competing.

To compete is to have your work compared to others.

WORKSHEET
 

State whether the following statements are true, or false:

  1. Đỗ Thị Nhị was born into a wealthy family of two children.
  2. She did not like to work at the orphanages in Ba Vì District, Hà Nội.
  3. She studied at the  Special Education Section of the Hà Nội Teachers’ Training College.
  4. Some children get a fee exemption at her school.
  5. The children at her school call her “Mum” which means cousin.

 

 

 

 

ANSWERS: 1. False; 2. False; 3. True; 4. True; 5. False.

 

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