Twelve years ago, Ba Vi leaders approached YWAM Mercy for help with their Early Childhood Education efforts. We have been gradually working with the community to upgrade their preschool facilities. But still, one Ba Vi preschool didn’t have enough classrooms. It had only four sub-standard rooms for its 200 students. In order to cope, teachers rotated the children, aged 2-5 years-old, between the yard and classroom throughout the day to ensure they each received instruction.
We know the years from 0-6 are the most important in the development of any child. Today, with local contributions and your help, YWAM Mercy and the community has a new school with 8 classrooms, 3 function rooms, kitchen and management rooms, plus a spacious yard and garden.
YWAM Mercy has learned a lot about what children need in order to develop creative thinking over the last twelve years. The original design for this prescool had a very basic playground. We know that children need space for free play and and physical movement. We wanted to see an effective outdoor space developed in this school that contributed to the learning environment but this would be an addition to the plan.
We worked with educational consultants and arranged for a study tour to a preschool in Luc Nam funded by YWAM Mercy donors. Here they could see an effective outdoor play space and talk to the teachers and leaders there. It was clear an engaging outdoor play area was needed, the biggest challenge was raising the finances to accomplish this since such an extensive design was not included in the original budget. The local community committed to take on this funding challenge.
By March 2020, over 300 million VND (approximately US $1300) was raised by parents, students and a local commercial bank, enough to build the playground.
Visiting the preschool in Luc Nam to see their outdoor play area
In January 2020, this preschool officially earned the National Standard Preschool designation, and in February 2020, the school won first prize in the district in a contest to build an excellent educational environment for children. This is a strong affirmation of the effort teachers, parents, community leaders, YWAM Mercy and our donors have put into improving Early Childhood Development in this area for the last 12 years.