May 15 School


The May 15 School, located in Ho Chi Minh City, is an informal school for disadvantaged kids. The school is open to children who cannot go to regular classes and also offers evening classes for children who have to work in the daytime. Aside from classes such as Vietnamese, algebra, science, sport and music, vocational training is also offered.

The school was found in 1986 and is named after the "Youth Awareness Day" in Vietnam. Though the school gets funding from the government, it still has to depend on foreign donations and fundraising activities in order to cover all the costs of the program.

One fundraising activity is a circus performance. Some of the kids have singing, dancing, and performing skills taught to them by volunteers. A large show is held once a year with the support of major corporations in HCMC, and there are also occassional performances at the school.

I had the chance to visit the school and see the children practice a portion of their program, a fashion show, and later had the chance to see the entire performance. I was amazed by what the kids could do, and by how happy they were doing it.



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