Tam’s day starts at 4:45am. She gets up early because she needs to leave for school at 6:30 and she has a lot to do before she leaves. Tam is vice principal of the Tong Bat Preschool where she has taught since 1993.
Tam lives in a semi-rural community in Ba Vi District about 1 1/2 hours northwest of the Hanoi city center in Vietnam. Most (90%) of her community make their living from farming. Though Tam has a good job as a preschool teacher, the salary doesn’t fully support her family so she raises animals to supplement their income.
In 2008, the leaders of her community met with YWAM Mercy Vietnam staff to identify needs in her community. During the assessment they discovered the need to develop the community preschool program by both training the staff and upgrading the facilities.
The assessment revealed preschool teachers in the area lacked training in different teaching methods and didn’t know how to make toys or activities that were educational for the children. Attending preschool is required in Vietnam and children must attend preschool before they are allowed to move into primary school.
Later that year, Tam and all the teachers at Tam’s school were enrolled in the first Early Childhood Development class organized by YWAM Mercy Vietnam. Tam and the other teachers were excited to learn how to teach the children more effectively and better manage the classroom. Since 2008, they have attended many follow-up training sessions.
The ECD training gave Tam the tools to excel as a teacher and caregiver for the children in her classroom. She learned teaching methods, classroom management skills, first aid, nutrition, and how to make educational toys.
Since implementing the training Tam has seen a change in her students. Her students are more attentive when she is able to combine basic math ideas with stories. Providing more nutritious food has helped the children develop and learn.
Noticing the changes, more parents have decided to send their children to preschool. This means more children in the community are beginning their education.
In August of 2014, Tam was promoted from preschool teacher to vice principal at her school. In her new position she is now responsible for transferring her knowledge and skills to new teachers who join the staff. This helps the school provide a consistent quality of education and care to the children.
Tam enjoys spending time with children. It is easy to see how she loves working with them and getting to know each individual child. She dreams of a time when all the children in her community will be in school and all the schools will be equipped to help them succeed.
Project Goal: The goal of this project was to create a brand for YWAM Mercy Vietnam that articulates what they do and why they do it in a way that connects with their audience. Since they do so many different things in community development, explaining it in a simple concise way was a challenge. We accomplished this by showing what they do through the personal stories of the people benefiting from their programs.
Project Scope: Tam’s Story was part of a larger project for YWAM Mercy Vietnam.
The full project included:
- visual and message brand
- website design
- 4 video stories and 8 photo stories (English and Vietnamese)
- training for staff and marketing consultation
We had such a good experience working with Sharing Dots. Bryon and Lorilee are so talented, creative and easy to work with. I am impressed with how they can deal with the ambiguity of an unfamiliar language and culture yet still draw out a clear, compelling and accurate story and marketing message. The deliverables for Visual Branding and Message Branding are simple and easy to use. It really makes life easy for me as I develop new marketing materials. It’s so clear what messages and visual elements to use and the end products come out looking great. What a dream to have a beautiful collection of compelling photos to draw on! We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from our donors and friends as well. They love our new professional website. The videos have been shared a lot of Facebook and the one about the Children’s Homes was instrumental in finding the remaining sponsors needed, raising funds, and inspiring volunteers. I just wish we had the Lippincott’s on our staff to create new videos all the time! That said, even though our work together is officially completed, Bryon and Lorilee have continued to check in with us and make themselves available to help us be successful. I’ve really appreciated their responsiveness. Given the chance, I’d be eager to do more projects with Sharing Dots in the future.