Five-year-old Quy attends Tong Bat preschool. He lives with his parents, grandparents, and a sister who is five years older. [NOTE: This story was written with information Quy gave in an interview with our Project Officer in charge of Children’s Homes.]
Quy started preschool when he was two years old. For the last three years, he and his schoolmates studied in an old dilapidated preschool classroom. This building was actually previously used as a village meeting room and has no toilets, running water or safe play area. In the rainy season, the path leading to the building became very slippery.
Over the last ten years, YWAM Mercy has been working with this village to improve their Early Childhood Development (ECD) efforts. Together we have rebuilt and equipped four of the five area preschools. When we first started, this building was in the best condition of the five schools, even though it was not totally suitable for a preschool. Both the community and YWAM Mercy wanted all the area preschools to meet the national standard so that the children could receive the best quality care in a safe environment, but funding has proved a challenge.
(Photo of old preschool below.)
This year the situation has changed. The community was able to arrange funds from several sources to build this final preschool. With a contribution from YWAM Mercy to equip the school, provide additional teacher and parent training, the situation for these children, including Quy, is greatly improved.
(Photos of new preschool below.)
The new school will be fully equipped with kitchen supplies to provide nutritious meals and snacks for the children.
Quy’s grandmother. who takes him to school everyday, said that the main reason they decided to send Quy to preschool was to help him to learn things that he can not learn at home, and to develop good manners and behavior.
She shared, “The new preschool has many new things that the old preschool did not have, such as a day-boarder kitchen, outside toys, and big, clean classrooms.”
Teachers will also receive additional training to help them be confident in child-centered teaching which exposes children to a wide-range of topics and provides meaningful learning experiences through play.
Quy’s grandmother wants him to develop good eating and sleeping habits which she believes would not happen if he was home with his grandparents instead of in the structured preschool environment. All children have regular nap time at Quy’s preschool.
Time for active play is incorporated in all the lessons.
Quy said he really enjoys his classmates and his new preschool.
Quy is just one of 648 children who are currently enrolled in preschools where YWAM Mercy has been working. We seek to create safe and caring learning environments to ensure children have the best opportunity to develop in these critical early years. His grandparents are more confident about his future now that his preschool experience has helped him develop a love of school and learning.