Special class brings education to more than 700 underprivileged children

May 27, 2022 - 08:53
Since it was founded in 2016, Lớp học Cầu Vồng (The Rainbow Class) helped teach more than 700 underprivileged children. 
Students gather for a virtual lesson of Phúc Xá Class, part of The Rainbow Class in Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of The Rainbow Class

HÀ NỘI — Since it was founded in 2016, Lớp học Cầu Vồng (The Rainbow Class) helped teach more than 700 underprivileged children. 

Over the years, more than 200 volunteers have been lending a helping hand to people in difficult circumstances and those with disabilities.

The project currently has 18 classes held both online and in-person in Hà Nội, Đà Nẵng, and several provinces in mountainous areas.

Tailoring to the needs of the students, Phúc Xá Class is for those from domestic violence families, Phúc Tuệ is for children with autism or development delay, while Bright Future is for those with visual impairment, among many other special classes. 

Lê Thu Hương, one of the volunteers who went through two rigorous interviews before she started teaching in the project, said: “I’m from the south central region and all the children in my class are in Hà Nội, so sometimes my accent is not comprehensible to them. I have to speak loudly and slowly so that they can understand and take notes.” 

Hương also teaches mathematics to visually impaired students, who have to use special typewriters to note down what they learn.

“But using typewriters have limitations as well,” said Hương. “In maths, for example, there are special symbols that are not available on the machines.”

For those who cannot afford the equipment for online learning, The Rainbow Class supports them by providing mobile devices.

The switch to virtual classes was difficult at first with students fumbling to turn on the mic, and there were numerous obstacles to increasing interaction in the classroom.

Hương, however, always strives to adapt her teaching method to the students, focusing on encouraging rather than forcing her students, so that they can receive the knowledge to the best of their ability.

Hương told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper: “They recorded and sent me well wishes during the recent holiday. I feel lucky to be able to teach and have students who care about me that much.”

For Nguyễn Thị Hậu, another volunteer who has spent four years at the project’s Phúc Xá Class, her most unforgettable experience was when she assisted a student living in the Red River’s bãi giữa (middle island).

Living without electricity, the child had to cross the river to go to school. His father was not well physically and mentally, so his mother became the breadwinner.

He was late to almost every class, and often skipped school to pick up trash and try to make a living.

For the past two years, Hậu went to the child’s house to motivate and accompany him in his study. All her efforts paid off when finally, the student successfully continued to high school.

Students of The Rainbow Class during a trip to Thủ Lệ Park in Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of The Rainbow Class

The Rainbow Class is special in that it always requires tremendous patience and affection from the volunteers towards their students, to accept the children’s shortcomings and put in all efforts to help them learn. 

Alongside general classes, the project also hosts different extra-curricular activities, excursions and field trips, aiming for comprehensive development of their students.

The team is planning a drawing class in Hà Nội in the near future, hoping to develop creative thinking and ability in these young children. 

Lê Duy Quý, a volunteer who has been working at the project for five years, believes that this is an amazing environment to do meaningful things, giving without expecting anything in return.

Quý said: “In retrospect, however, I actually received a lot – the affection of the students, an environment full of love, support, and a sense of fulfilment from the bottom of my heart.” — VNS