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The 8th community work project saw the HYLI delegates reaching out to orphaned Vietnamese youths from the Mai Dich SOS Children's Village. Their challenge was to lead their new friends on a series of environmental field trips, and to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers to share with them lessons about the water cycle and the importance of water conservation.
The HYLI delegates spent an afternoon at the SOS Children's Village, where they were given an introduction to the village by its director, Mr. Nguyen Tien Dung. They then spent some time getting to know their counterparts by playing a series of ice-breaker games which had an environmental message. The young leaders then toured the SOS Children's Village with their new friends, getting a glimpse into the way they live and play in their close family units.
Next, an environmental expert from the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Mr. Tran Cong Khanh, gave the HYLI delegates an overview of the environmental situation in Vietnam. Armed with their knowledge of the issues surrounding water management in and around Hanoi, the young leaders then formulated lesson plans around the following day's field trips, to inform and educate their SOS Children's Village counterparts.
The following day, the HYLI and SOS Children's Village participants set out for four different environmental sites, each with its own message about the environment. At the Cao Dinh Clean Water Company, the To Lich Canal, the Hoan Kiem Lake and the Long Bien Wholesale Market, the seven groups conducted experiments on water samples from their respective areas, observed the surrounding environment, and drew their conclusions about the pollution they encountered.
The groups then brainstormed creative presentations based on what they had seen and learnt earlier. With the support of the HYLI delegates, the SOS participants performed songs, skits and puppet shows. These performances were light-hearted and entertaining, while demonstrating their newfound knowledge of the importance of caring for the environment.
At the close of the activity, the representatives from the HYLI and the SOS Children's Village parted with both a greater sense of environmental responsibility and firm bonds of friendship.