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Sunday, 18 September 2016 01:12

"Teenage Traps" at Truong Gia Mo Middle School in Chau Doc

An old article...

The Bridge to Happiness Center (OBV VN) initial media tour plan didn't include Truong Gia Mo Middle School. It was added at the last minute (89 minutes before departure) based on a sudden request from the head of the Bridge to Happiness Center. Many of the teens here have been lured into the world of drugs and prostitution, which eventually lead to dropping out of school. For that reason, the Board asked us to come speak with them.

So Quynh Ngoc (OBV Manager), The Khanh (Project Manager), Dr. Duy An (President), Nguyen Van Binh (Director) speaking with the audience.

The group left at 6:30AM from Can Tho, and after over 3 hours of travel, we finally arrived at the destination. Surprisingly, even after we arrived nearly 30 minutes late, the teachers and students were there waiting to greet us. A TV reporter from the local Chau Doc news was also there. Our apologies were reciprocated with a warm applause from the audience.

The theme of the session was "Teenage Traps," where we discussed the common problems that students often encounter. Initially, the audience only included students from Grades 6-8, but then the Grade 9 students enrolled in summer classes eventually joined us, bringing the total number the audience to more than 450 teens.

The Khanh (Project Manager at The Bridge to Happiness Center) presents a gift to a student correctly answering a question.

Students were asked questions to help them better understand the common distractions that often arise, including games, addictive cough medicine (Recotus), an addictive lethal drug disguised as glue, shisha, and other temptations from people trying to lure them into illegal activities.

The students got the hang of it very quickly. Each question was received with enthusiasm. A correct response was rewarded with a prize in the form of the book Seeds of the Soul. Though the gift wasn't large or extravagant, the students were all delighted.

Teacher Pham Phuc Tinh speaking to the students of Trương Gia Mô

Most surprising was when Teacher Pham quizzed the students: "The usage of this addictive substance requires a jug of water and a straw, and can give off either a fruity, minty or fragrance smell depending on the person using. What is this substance?" A small student proudly stood up, introduced himself, stated he was in Grade 5 (He most likely tagged along with his older siblings.), and loudly answered, "JUICE!" The crowd erupted in laughter and applause. The student received a gift, nonetheless, for his confidence and unexpected joke.

Short, yet concise, the talk helped the students better understand the dangers and distractions that they might encounter in their daily lives. The questions, responses, the eager hands held up high, and the laughter all created an exciting and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone involved.

It became hotter during the day; sweat drenched everyone's face. But the students didn't pay attention to it. Eager to share their knowledge, the teachers helped the students participate and forget all about the hot weather.

After about 45 minutes of activities, the talk was coming to an end. On behalf of the working group, I (Phuc Thinh) would like to again apologize for our tardiness this afternoon, and extend our thanks to all the students for your enthusiastic participation. I hope to see you all at future events for teens.

I hope we will all meet again. The students of Truong Gia Mo Middle School have also expressed their wishes to see us again soon.

We would like to thank the school that coordinated with the NCHP center to give us the opportunity to meet all the students. Thank you to all the students for bringing their enthusiasm. Goodbye, and we look forward to seeing you all again.


Chuot Tau

Translated by Phuong Hoang.  The orginal version in Vietnamese entitled "Chuyên Đề: "Cạm Bẫy Tuổi Teen" Tại Trường Trương Gia Mô - Châu Đốc"

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