Myoko is a group of kindergartens for children with autism in Vietnam. In 2018, ABROADER welcomed 3 students from Northwestern's GESI Program who worked on helping improve the center by bringing in their experiences and research from their home country (United States).
About Myoko - Special Education Kindergaten
One of the few special education centers in Hanoi, Myoko assists thousands of children and parents on the journey to develop critical perceptive and motor skills at children. The teachers at Myoko Kindergartens are of great help to children as they are dedicated and original when designing activities for autism children. They design interactive activities that are tailored to students’ abilities and special needs, thus, offer a cozy and inclusive environment where children learn and gain confidence.
Student’s experience: Working on new incentives
As part of the service learning program, 3 American students were placed at Myoko. They supported the teachers during classes as they built their own knowledge of working with Vietnamese children with autism.
Three students struggled to work under language barriers, still, they successfully implemented new incentives that fitted their fields of knowledge.
First, they identified areas that can be improved and came up with 3 different initiatives. One student majoring in Engineering came up with the idea of designing sound-proof classroom once she noticed the lack of sound insulation in a supposedly noisy environment. Another student specializing in public health identified children’s difficulties in relaxing during lunch break and bathroom practices. She then researched on studies about autistic kids and suggested solutions to Myoko’s teachers. Another student worked on promoting a fund-raising flea market that helps Myoko financially.
The noticeable thing here is that the students have to identify the right problems to solve instead of working on a default plan suggested by the host organization. This allows students freedom to create, design and spot the right problems to solve, which is also a highlight of service learning program.
About Service Learning Program
Service learning is a unique combination of study abroad and community-based volunteer work where participants get to immerse yourself into the local community while developing professional and personal skills.
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.
If you are look for internship opportunity and care about community development, please apply here.