Every July and August over the past six years, young Americans, students from Putney Student Travel Organization, went to the poor province of Quang Ngai to teach English, build houses, and present gifts to poor students.
For Ari Freedman, 23, that was the third time that he has done voluntary activities in Tinh Hoa Commune, Son Tinh District. Like two previous times, Ari has come to Quang Ngai Province with his compassion and love for Vietnam.
He shared that he had deep impression on Vietnam and Quang Ngai. Along with giving assistance to local people, he got a chance to find out more about Vietnam’s culture and language. Vietnam’s post-war socio-economic development was also what he would like to know. Ari believed that Vietnamese people would gradually eliminate poverty, and Vietnam would develop stronger and stronger.
Unlike Ari, Katie Berk has first visited Vietnam. She has spent days talking with poor students and getting acquainted with local people. “I will return here next year if I have an opportunity”, Katie said. She said that her stay in Quang Ngai was wonderful as she took advantage of practicing Vietnamese apart from teaching English language to local students. Besides, local people were very friendly.
During their stays in Vietnam, these 14 young Americans have done many good things. They have actively and enthusiastically joined hands in building houses. In Tinh Hoa Commune alone, they have helped build 18 houses for disadvantaged people.
Working up a good sweat by transporting sand for house building, Zoey Perse did not feel tired because he was doing meaningful activities in Vietnam. He confided that he wanted to give direct assistance to the needy in Vietnam, not just send money to support their house building. How touching it was!
Such an activity by young American volunteers is very meaningful as it helps strengthen the friendship and mutual understanding between Vietnam and the USA. These young people have become messengers who will introduce a dynamic and energetic Vietnam to Americans and other international friends. They have also acted as a bridge that links Vietnamese and American younger generations.
Translated by Mai Huong