Since October 2021, the Vietnam Student Association and HCMC Young Pioneer Organization has been deploying volunteers to tutor children orphaned by Covid-19 and improve their mental well-being.
This year’s program is expanded to include children of unprivileged laborers, and lasts throughout the year instead of being exclusive to summer time as in previous years.
There are currently 800 active volunteers, with 300 reserved for emotional support and the rest for tutoring. They have been tutoring and providing counseling to 6 to 18-year-old children in HCMC who are unprivileged or orphaned by Covid-19, aiming to improve their study and provide stability in their lives.
One active volunteer is named Le Tan Phat (from Ba Tri District, Ben Tre Province), a student at the Faculty of Literature, HCMC University of Education. After seeing a volunteer recruiting ad, he immediately signed up for the campaign. As he felt sorry for the children’s loss, he wanted to help them review school work and offer reassurance so they can focus on their study.
“During each lesson, I try to give them knowledge while talking with them intimately as a big brother,” he said.
Phat tutors on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9.00-10.30 am, teaching grammar, reading out loud, basic essays and Math.
Generations of Tan Phat’s family have been teachers, and the college student himself is very active in union activities, with 3 years of tutoring experience and a respectable bachelor’s degree in teaching. The lessons he designs for 3rd graders are interesting and easy to understand.
Phat is well loved by students and highly praised by parents for his dedication and compassion.
To join the blue-shirt tutors, Tan Phat has to cancel two paid tutoring jobs. Although this affects his livelihood, the young college student is willing to take on the job.
“It’s an exhausting and long commute from my place in District 3 to District 8, but I can take it. I want to teach with my heart, and spread some love to young children. I try to help the kids review stuff after their long break from school due to Covid, so that when the schools open up again, they can keep up with the lessons of the 2021-2022 school year," he added.
Le Tan Phat is currently in charge of 3 children in District 8 and Tan Binh who got affected by Covid-19.
His enthusiasm, tech savviness, and love for children helps him give effective tutor sessions. The pioneering spirit of Le Tan Phat and all “blue-shirt tutors” have helped students feel safe and secure, and their knowledge renewed after a long break.