It doesn’t seem so long ago that we were celebrating the opening of OneSky’s Early Learning Center (ELC) in Vietnam which this month celebrates its fifth anniversary.
Beyond providing quality care and education to 628 children of low-income factory workers over the past five years, the ELC has become a beacon of support for the local community – through Covid and natural disasters – providing food, shelter, and care for young and old.
Throughout the ELC’s month’s long mandatory closure during the pandemic, the ELC teachers worked tirelessly to provide love and responsive care to the 252 children the ELC serves daily. They went online to keep children engaged in play and learning, and helped parents who had lost their jobs, providing food packages and moral support.
Despite the hurdles so many children and their families face living in low-resource communities in Vietnam, there are numerous stories of hope that inspire us every day.
Like that of Binh and his younger brother Sang, two of the first children to join the ELC in 2017.
When Binh’s parents arrived in Da Nang several years ago to find work, they had no choice but to leave him with an untrained home-based care (HBC) provider who lacked the knowledge and support to provide safe and nurturing care to the many children she looked after.
At the HBC, Binh was considered to be a “naughty child”. He was often removed from playing with other children and he spent a lot of time sitting on the “naughty step.” With no emotional guidance or care, Binh’s behavior worsened.
Eventually, his parents heard about OneSky and our responsive-care curriculum. They applied for Binh and his brother to attend the ELC and were delighted when the two brothers were accepted. Tragically, shortly after they joined Binh’s mother was diagnosed with tongue cancer and was forced to take long-term sick leave from the electrical factory where she worked. This left the whole family dependent on the slim income Binh’s father received from a beverage factory.
As two very bright children, interested in science and mathematics, the brothers thrived at the ELC despite the strains on the family and their difficult living environment.
Under the care of his OneSky-trained teachers, Binh’s behavior improved dramatically. Focused on his needs, and with time and care, they came to understand how best to help develop Binh’s potential. Now he is thriving in public primary school.
And Binh’s younger brother Sang, has just joined him. Growing up knowing his mother was very ill, the ELC has been his whole world for five years. And, while he is sad to leave his teachers behind, Sang couldn’t be more excited to enter primary school.
It has been a terribly tough five years for the family and the boy’s father is eternally grateful his children have received the best possible care he could ever hope for.
“I want to thank OneSky for the love my children have received in your care. The past five years have been the hardest ever for our family and seeing the transformation and growth in my boys have given me hope for the future.”