Last May 17, it appeared that Maison Chance Dak Nong pupils would have a one-month summer break, as is usual, to return home and reunite with their parents and relatives. But then came the pandemic, which threw everything into disarray. Due to the severe consequences of the outbreak, the children have been trapped in the locality for the previous 5 months, underfed and struggling with their families.
However, to assist disadvantaged children, ethnic minority pupils from the region who face particularly challenging situations should not fall behind their peers in learning. After much careful discussion and planning, Maison Chance decided to welcome the children back to the Center.
The pupils were taken by their parents to the Krong No District Medical Center on October 5 and 7, 2021, under the supervision of the Maison Chance epidemic prevention department, to be tested for Covid-19 before being allowed to return to the Center. There were a total of 139 children, with 123 in primary school (grades 1–5) and 16 in special education. Despite the fact that Maison Chance has been running out of funds as a result of the outbreak’s impacts, we organized our employees and covered the entire cost of Covid-19 testing for the children, which cost up to VND120 million for three tests in a week.
The above cost, as well as the number of students, are only temporary since, once the pandemic situation in other regions improves, the Center will welcome all remaining students to assist them in staying on track with the educational program.
According to the plan, a team of the driver, medical personnel, social workers, and teachers with protective gear were prepared at the testing spots to arrange the pick-up of the children when their test results were negative.
The pupils were given procedures such as checking temperature, disinfecting, and changing masks when they arrived at the Center entrance. Then they were taken to a dormitory room for a seven-day quarantine. Simultaneously, staff from the District Health Centre visited the center every three days to administer rapid COVID tests.
They were all exhausted when they arrived at the Center after traveling such a long distance and having to undergo Covid-19 testing. However, after resting, and rejoining with their close friends after so many days apart, the children were more lively and full of excitement, engaging in chats with one another. In the dorms, which had been silent for nearly six months, familiar waves of laughter resounded.
Each of the children’s rooms has its own instructor and medical personnel to monitor, care for, and arrange activities for the children to begin getting used to textbooks, communal activities, and, most importantly, to keep them from feeling confined or bored while in isolation.
Since the children were unable to leave the dorm during the required isolation period, the health department delivered meals and water to a designated location for quarantine staff to pick up and bring to the children’s rooms. These were the children’s first delicious, substantial meals after months of being underfed with their family.
Teachers and medical personnel gathered and disinfected domestic and medical waste to process at the center’s medical waste treatment furnace on a daily schedule in line with the guidelines to guarantee that pandemic prevention and control measures were properly implemented during the isolation period.
Although the students were required to be quarantined for a week to ensure efficient COVID-19 prevention, when they returned to class, the teachers tried their best to tutor them so that they could keep up with the regular curriculum.
We believe that with careful planning and preparation, as well as the efforts of the Maison Chance staff, all children will be healthy and ready to pursue their dreams and desires.
Translate: Toan Nguyen