About Dream Seed
Dream Seed Center, or The Will to Love, was established with the mission of supporting people with disabilities to integrate into the community via training, orienting and consulting so that disabled people can find suitable jobs and a market where their products are consumed. In the process of doing so, they build up their confidence and self-esteem, which facilitates them in the integration process and partly copes with social and familial burdens.
The steps in assisting disabled people start with orientation - reception - integrative care - intensive training and end with job provision support. Dream Seed also places an importance on important soft skills such as Computer technology training course and Supplementary training courses including communicative English, independent living skills, soft skills and corporate working skills.
3 students from Northwestern University and 2 local buddies were placed in Dream Seed. Their goals were to build the library management systems that can be maintained by local staff since the center just moved to a new facility and organize extra-curricular activities to help the students become more socially confident.
At the end of their internship, they successfully established a fully functional library management system in both English and Vietnamese. and completed data entry for 20,700 books of different genres into categories in the library system online and offline. For long-term benefits, they also designed a library user manuals in English and Vietnamese for future volunteers to manage the library system. Besides working on the library, the group managed to teach 5 weeks of English at the center and established teacher database for future teachers.
About Service Learning
International students now are able to enroll for an internship in community development field, where they join hands with local Vietnamese students to support a local organization such as an NGO or a social enterprise. By doing so, they get the chance of working in a team, practicing the cross cultural communication and together addressing the issue and solving the problem. They can also be more locally engaged by staying at a local host family where they can learn more about the Vietnamese culture.
At its core, service learning focuses on the local community and their needs. Thus, service learning programs are adaptable to the local community’s settings as well as participants’ backgrounds.
What makes Service Learning different from Volunteer? It’s the “learning” part. Upon working locally and reflecting from experiences in a structured format, participants gain an understanding of the local community, the social issues faced and approaches to resolve these issues.
More information about Service Learning can be found here.
Other service learning projects for reference: