What a nice surprise when we [CWS staff] were warmly welcomed with a song in the La Hu language sung by teachers of the Pa U #2 satellite kindergarten in Mu Chi village. In a happy voice, Ms. Bui Thi Tien, Deputy Headmaster shared her excitement: “CWS has helped our school so much with a training course for our teachers to learn the La Hu language during weekends. This is a very meaningful activity!”
Pa U is a commune in the high mountains far in the Vietnam’s northwest region, where La Hu families live. With nomadic cultivation as their tradition, La Hu livelihoods, and lives, depend on the forest and remote living. As such, it is very difficult for teachers, who are not from the La Hu tribe, to approach parents and encourage children going to school. Before the cultural-traditional challenge, the biggest challenge is communication between teachers, who often are of the Kinh majority ethnic group, and the La Hu people, who speak their own language.
“You know,” Bui Thi Thap (a teacher standing nearby) added, “at the beginning our knowledge of La Hu vocabulary was so limited! [Actually] almost none, I would say. So, we were very eager to join in the training course, even though it lasted in several months and was taught on the weekends. The curriculum was good as it was based on our stated needs. We are now much more confident in communicating with people in the village”.
For CWS Vietnam, there’s nothing more valuable than when our team’s efforts are reciprocated with teachers’ and children’s appreciation in this out-of-the-way village!