Project S.A.V.E. (Sisters Aiding Vietnamese Education)
March 2021 Update
This was the first hands-on project selected by the members of Alpha Delta Kappa. We built one whole school and had money to put additions on two others there. From the dedication of the Alpha Delta Kappa Primary School in Vietnam in 2010 until this very day, the impact that AΔK has made on the children attending the school cannot be measured. AΔK changed their lives forever. The first graduates of the elementary school are now in high school and thriving because we gave them the opportunity to learn. Linda Rissel has been able to visit our school nine times and will once again be there in May 2021. She says she is prejudiced but believes "it the best thing AΔK has ever done.”
Project S.A.V.E. Gift Wrapped
Who would have ever thought that a project would bring the enthusiasm and happiness to so many that our Project S.A.V.E has? Certainly not most of us! In August 2012, five Alpha Delta Kappa sisters and two Vietnam veterans returned to Vietnam to dedicate the third school Alpha Delta Kappa made possible because of YOU and your generous support to the project! Five members had the opportunity to represent you at the dedication of the three-room addition to the school in Hein An, Phong Dien District. We were able to revisit our Alpha Delta Kappa Primary School in Ta Rinh and the sister school in Ta Ri we help to fund in the Nam Dong District of Hue. Spending time with the children and seeing how much learning and happiness we have been able to give could never be put into words.
Here are the words of Susan Pelchat, International Executive Board member, on her first visit:
“What remained with me after visits to our schools in Vietnam? First of all, of course, I see those beautiful children and their sweet faces full of wonder and curiosity as in the first few days of school we swarmed into their classrooms. Some were smiling, some crying, and some just staring. But children are children wherever you go. When we bestowed gifts upon each school, the children were reluctant to touch them, as if they needed permission or were unused to having such things. We sat among them, demonstrating how to use the educational toys we had bought, inviting them to join us in the fun. Soon the floor was covered with interested and smiling children experimenting with their newest classroom acquisitions.
“The second thing I noticed was the approach the teachers took when managing their students. They were loving but strict about behavioral expectations. The children responded with respectful obedience. I found it interesting that the principal of one school asked if we were pleased with what we saw going on, as if she owed us a performance review.
“The third thing that impressed me was the number of fathers attending the dedication ceremony. While students were a main focus performing songs and dancing, the fathers sat fairly motionless ‘on the outskirts’ observing, and the only photographs being taken were by the visitors.
“A special CONNECTION I had to this trip was that my brother served in Vietnam in the late ‘60s. Being young, I didn’t understand what was going on. But on this trip, I had the benefit of learning from two veterans who had fought in this war. Bud Bruton and Dave Atkins, members of the VVRP (Vietnam Veterans’ Restoration Project), enlightened me and made me appreciate the history of that era from their perspective. I came away wondering how they had survived the dangers of their work, and I had a new appreciation for all our military men and women.
“Beyond the history, cultural and geographical understandings I gained from this trip, I came away with renewed enthusiasm for our International World Understanding projects and pride in what we do every day as members of Alpha Delta Kappa. Project S.A.V.E. was a shot in the arm for our organization. It struck a chord with many of our sisters. Through our partnership with the VVRP we offered emotional healing for our veterans, and we helped to provide for the future education of hundreds of children in Vietnam. I am so very grateful to have had the opportunity to travel, to make new friends of A∆K sisters and to enjoy the beauty, the culture and the people of Vietnam.”