The Little Sisters in Vietnam

The nursery school "Ánh Duong" (sunlight) opened its doors on the 5th September 2011. It came into being as a response to the needs of the neighbourhood: a large number of individuals and families have migrated to the south to find work. In this region, Dï An, there are factories that employ many of those persons who have come from the north. The population of the area is young and working-class. The young people marry and start a family here but, because of their work, they have to find somewhere to place their children from the morning until they can collect them in the evening. We receive many children from 2 to 6 years and there are still requests… In the morning, it is a sight to see them arrive in their little blue and white uniform. They arrive about 7 a.m. with their father or mother on a motorbike or a bicycle. (Some arrive about 6 a.m. because the father has to take another child to another school.) When they have deposited their bag, the bigger ones do some gymnastics to the accompaniment of lively music. Then everybody has breakfast. 
 
The activities are different, depending on the level: singing, games, writing etc. but above all, learning to be respectful and polite, and how to live together. Around 10-10.30 they have lunch and then a siesta until 2 p.m. Then, some do some rhythm dancing then it is time for a snack and getting ready (changing clothes, combing hair etc.) The parents come to fetch them between 4 and 5.30 p.m., the time the workers leave the factories. One of the children explained to us that his mother "tang ca" that is, that she takes on extra work so as to have a little extra money. 
 
The arrival of the parents is something to see: they play with their children, push the swings, look admiringly at them as they play, give them a drink etc. The children tell them all they did during the day. This is also a time when they can talk with the teachers and the nursery assistants. 
 
The staff is young and dynamic. Phung is the directress, Phuc and Thuy are teachers and Phuong, Nguyet and Lan are assistants. Muoi is a cook who sees to the canteen for the children and the staff. We give a hand at the nursery by helping in the morning with washing the dishes, shopping in the market and keeping the surroundings clean and pleasant. Having the nursery so near keeps us young and makes us marvel at all this life. 
 
The requests for admission are still increasing. To respond to these real needs we are thinking of turning two rooms into one to make a classroom and to build another classroom. But to carry out that project, we have to have the finance for it and also official authorisation from the Education Service. It is an urgent project if we are to provide a better service for the working families of the locality. 
 
Father Pernet, our founder, wanted the Little Sisters to have an evangelical response to the needs of working families through an attentive presence and simple acts of service, testifying in this way to the love of the Father for all. With this project we associate lay people who are animated by the same desire, to promote the growth of persons to whom we are close. 
 
Sisters Jeannette and Diep