Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pay it forward…...

Please excuse the delay in blog posts, things are busy, busy this end as Rose and I prepare for another trip to Hanoi. We are having a wonderful time producing activities for the next language course for blind people.

This year the Australian Government provided a 'stimulus package' designed to assist the economy in averting the global financial crisis. The idea is that every person who submitted a tax return last year will be given $900. They are then asked to go shopping and spend the money here in Australia, thereby boosting the economy.
One young man, who doesn’t have very much money, (he has just finished a four year apprenticeship, which amounts to a lot of hard work and long hours for very little wages) came and told me that he had finally received his stimulus package and that he would like to donate $500 of his money to ACCV.

It is always wonderful to receive donations for the young people we are working with, the kindness and generosity people show is amazing. And of course donations are the backbone of ACCV, we simply cannot exist without them.

However, there is something quite humbling about receiving money from someone who we know will feel the impact of giving that money to others. In keeping with the spirit of what the stimulus package was designed to do, we agreed to spend that money here in Australia. Spending money has never been a problem for ACCV! (finding it, well that’s another story….. )

As many of you are aware, educating young blind people is a major focus for ACCV in Hanoi, and the stark reality of what they don’t have is always a bit of a shock, particularly when I compare those Hanoi classrooms with the wonderland of resources I work with here in Australia.

So, the $500 dollars we received from this young man will have an enormous impact on the lives of young blind people. One that will continue to affect each and every young blind person who attends an ACCV English language course.

We have purchased;

Dymo braille labeller 3 @ $60.00 $180.00

Dymo tape - black 20 @ $ 6.00 $120.00

Dominoes double 5 @ $25.00 $125.00

Braille primer 1 $40.00 $ 40.00

Tactile dice - set of 2 @ $6.00 $ 36.00

What this actually means is that the classroom environment has just been changed drastically.

In our previous course the students worked with only Braille boards and styluses, the classes were carried out with lots of teacher talking and students listening and writing.

Our next course will be a different story altogether!

We are busy producing posters, flashcards, bingo games, song lyric worksheets, even dominoes. Braille dominoes – can't you just imagine the fun of learning numbers with a game of good old fashioned dominoes!

Our students are in for such a treat, sincere thanks to you B!

And thank you to all ACCV supporters, we really are indebted to you all.

Kind regards
Alison & Rose


(please send us a quick email if you make a donation so that we can acknowledge your kindness - thank you)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

ACCV Pilot English Language Course.....

A while ago I blogged about the ACCV English language course for blind students finally getting off the ground. Well, the first course has now been completed, and very successfully too!

You never know how a pilot anything will go, let alone an educational course for disabled people, in a foreign land, in a foreign language, with very limited resources! I am so delighted and proud to be able to say it has been completed with results beyond our expectations.

Juliette as course coordinator along with teachers Birgit and Hai have done a truly amazing job – the adaptations, adjustments and challenges that faced them weekly have been quite interesting to say the least :) And they have graciously dealt with each of them and delivered a wonderful programme for the students.
I would like to add that Juliette came on board as Course Coordinator, which is a big job in and of itself …… she also morphed into a teacher at a minute’s notice and did that job very well too – we are indeed very fortunate to have her on board. ….. Thanks Juls x
We have also benefited from the additional support of very keen young Vietnamese Teachers Aides/Translators Van, Thuy, Hieu, Phuc and Khanh. They really are quite a remarkable team.

The course is a whole lot of fun, even a little singing and dancing :)

The students have gained so much from this course, apart from the obvious educational benefits, the social side of getting together for classes has been wonderful. The photos tell the story.
Young Toan has been helping out and getting to know the students.

While the coordinator and teachers enjoy a well earned summer break, the students are very keen for classes to begin again :) Fortunately one of the teachers Aides, Khanh is kindly spending time with them over the summer to keep them a little up to date on their language skills – thanks Khanh

ACCV English language course for blind students has always been a very long term project, we’re not going anywhere! We expect this course to go from strength to strength and to be reproduced many times to benefit the young blind community in Hanoi.

The students are very thankful for the opportunities that come their way, Juliette and the teachers & TA’s are making such a wonderful contribution to these young lives.

Kind Regards

Alison & Rose



(please send us a quick email if you make a donation so that we can acknowledge your kindness - thank you)