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Vietnam - Winter 2010/11

We are planning our next trip for this December 2010/January 2011
Contact Rev. Jan Bye if you are intersted in joining the team or can support us!

Since 2002, UCM has organized a service learning trip to the country of Vietnam. This trip, focuses on three areas: service, community development, and relationships. The YMCA of Vietnam is our host organization and the students that volunteer for the YMCA as well as students from Ho Chi Minh University act as our hosts and translators. Every trip, a new two room school building is completed and dedicated to the community. Typically the new concrete building replaces one of bamboo poles and thatched roofs with mud floors. Construction of the school provides protection from the elements for the students and gives the community a project in which to come together and complete a worthwhile project for the advancement of their children. Along with the completition of the school building project, areas of service opportunities extend to homeless shelters, schools and homes for the developmentally and physically challenged children and youth of Vietnam, and trade schools that offer disadvantaged youth an opportunity to learn a skill to be productive members of the society.

In the past six years; three schools have been completed, thousands of hours of community service to the people of VN have been volunteered, friendships have been developed, and bridges have been built between countries that have had tumultous pasts.

Each year has its own set of challenges that arise with traveling half way around the world. The largest is raising the funds needed to fund the trip, each member of the service team contributes a certain amount of money to help support their travel, but this leaves a large sum needed to be fundraised. From raking leaves to bake sales, the team manages to raise amounts in excess of $45,000 dollars. Your support will allow for the continued redevelopment of primary schools in the Mekong River Delta, VN. 

Background Information on Vietnam: The government of Vietnam has established poverty reduction as one of its primary social objectives. According to Vietnam’s assessment of its own development goals, it is still a poor country with living standards much lower than many other countries in Southeast Asia. A large number of the poor and isolated minority groups are vulnerable. A new challenge to poverty reduction in Vietnam is the emergence of new poor partly as a result of displaced agricultural land. Farmers have no other skills and end up in low-wage urban jobs with little access to education and health care. (Information courtesy of