ISB volunteers to work in Vietnam

National 2 minutes, 14 seconds


THIRTY-THREE Year 10 students and four teachers from the International School Brunei (ISB) left Brunei International Airport yesterday for volunteer work at an orphanage in Vietnam.

“The volunteers will be visiting the Phat Minh Pagoda Orphanage in the Bent Tre Province for three days,” said Maggie Rait teacher and trip organiser in an interview.

“It would be good to give back so I thought we needed to do a service project… we are going to entertain the kids (orphans) and help make a vegetable garden and a playground,” the ISB’s head of Year 10 said, adding donations will be used also be used ti buy industrial washing machines for the orphanage.

In a press release issued by ISB, the orphanage is home to 80 children aged one to 18 years, where operations are solely dependent upon donations – mostly coming from the Vietnamese people.

The monetary contributions are also used to buy basic necessities such as milk, baby shampoo, bath gel, eggs and meat where donations are also used to pay for insurance and medicine for the orphans.

The kids occupy ‘small rooms’ where caretakers or ‘mothers’ would have five children under their care said the press release.

 The press release said cultural exchange activities, games and exercises are lined up to teach the Vietnamese about Bruneian culture and vice versa.

  “We want to establish our (student’s) relationships internationally.

“We are very aware that we are in a privileged position in Brunei. We got a lot of international kids; it’s about tapping into that power of those human connections," Rait said who has been teaching in ISB for two years.

“I’m well aware you can’t make that much difference in three days, but I think the power of the connection is very important and I hope our kids can benefit from that and bring that back in Brunei,” she added.

 The ISB contingent is also receiving support from various parties within the Bruneian community, with Royal Brunei providing 300kg of free baggage space in order to transport the donations, as well as logistical support from Danny Chua at Globex, Patrice Faivre from Intermovers, Aewon clothing, and Baker’s Bakery, said the ISB statement.

“If it goes well we would hope we could continue to sustain the orphanage in years to come year to year – food nappies - all the fundraising we’ve been doing is to run their business,” Rait said.

The press statement said, prior to the volunteer trip, two fundraising events – a bake sale and a Family Fun Day - as well as a donation drive calling for toys and clothing at ISB were among the initiatives of the volunteering delegation.

 The Brunei Times