Luong Van Can Fund organized Kindness Class, 1st Course for the community

In July 2022, Luong Van Can Fund first organized the Kindness Class program for the young community aged 18 to 25 who are interested in social issues and desire to create positive values. The course ended with many positive outcomes for students. The program consists of 9 sessions with diverse topics, including philosophy, sociology, and environment. In the first enrollment round, the class selected 35 excellent students from more than 200 applicants.

The first day of the class, July 13th, 2022: Class activities: “The sense of right and wrong”

During the first day of the class, students got to know each other through many group activities, discussions, and individual sharing. The lecturers who taught the course on the first day were Ms. Pham Thuy Tien – a member of the Management Council of Luong Van Can Fund, and Mr. Le Nguyen Duy Hau – a lawyer and researcher on constitutional law and policy.

In the first activity, students and Ms Thuy Tien compiled a list of course objectives. The objectives do not need to be tremendous or bring immediate value to the community, but they are practical and can be quickly implemented. After setting goals, students had the opportunity to share their views on kindness in the Kindness Collection. With different perspectives on being kind, the teacher has systematized the definition of kindness in the most general way through the description of director Tran Xuan Thuy in “Chuyện tử tế”:

Tu te (kindness) […] is derived from “Chinese”. The term “tu” means little details. The term “te” means ordinary things. Therefore, “tu te” refer to being careful down to the little task. Over time, it was read differently and had different meanings. Genuine kindness is not a matter of having money or wanting it. It is reflected in learning, teaching, training, inheritance, and preservation. Kindness is a beautiful and indispensable flower in life.

Kindness Class does not teach you how to be kind, but we provide tools to help you make better choices and live better lives. Each of us is still on a journey to extend an act of kindness.

Through many approaches to the definition of Kindness, Ms Tien affirmed the general spirit that the students receive during the five days of study. At noon, the students took a break and had a meal prepared by the Organizer. All students had to bring their spoon and chopsticks and were given lunch in a paper box to reduce disposable products as much as possible.

The students started the afternoon session at 13:30 with the subject taught by lecturer Le Nguyen Duy Hau. With the topic “Identify right and wrong”, students were led to many practical examples to answer the question posed by the lecturer: When do we consider something to be true?

“People are more than one thing”

Mr Hau gave students theoretical points to explain why we choose to discuss with others and what we do. At the end of the lesson, Mr Hau sent the students a saying by political philosopher Hannah Arendt: “Thinking is the soundless dialogue that we carry on with ourselves in solitude” – Look at what others stand for, not at their objections.

The second day of class on July 14, 2022: Historical thinking – Philosophy

On the second day of the class, students had access to historical thinking via the topic “Prejudice and Eradication” – conducted by lecturer Phan Khac Huy, the founder of Echoing Drum – and Philosophy – conducted by Dr Nguyen Thanh Trung, a lecturer at Fulbright University Vietnam.
In the context of historical thinking, Mr. Huy started the class with two big questions:

  • Why should we study history?
  • Should history be an elective subject in the high school curriculum?

With many opinions from the students, Mr Huy gave the basic concepts and functions of History in life. Essentially, History is a discipline of thinking, dialogue, and data processing evidenced by form and content. It is for this reason that history is not truth but relative.

Students from the Kindness class practiced History exercises.

To be able to identify a historical point effectively, Mr. Huy instructs the students to have four basic questions:

  • Is the history’s era close to the event that took place?
  • What is the purpose of historical documents?
  • Are historical documents well-known?
  • Has the person who created the history document ever recorded any history before?

After reviewing theoretical topics, Mr Huy and the students practiced together through evaluation activities of historical documents from different sources.

In the afternoon, the students entered the Philosophy class, discussing Eastern political culture led by Dr Nguyen Thanh Trung. Within the framework of his teaching, Mr Trung prompted the students to ask the following questions regarding the changes that occur in daily life:

  • What is tradition?
  • What do we consider traditional? Does it exist?
  • What is culture?
  • Why do we need to understand Eastern culture?

Everyone knowledgeable will assess policies with a more suitable attitude and understand the fundamental factors shaping our society.

The third day of class, July 15, 2022: Nature – Sustainable Agriculture

With the companionship of Mr Thanh Nguyen, founder of Green Youth Collective at Saigon Zoo & Botanical Garden, students came to the outdoor learning space of Kindness Class 1. The students had the opportunity to study, discuss and explore here through various activities associated with the environment and nature, which was already a prominent place for many generations of people in HCMC. In addition, students also got a chance to express their views by answering three questions:

  1. Should 10 million trees be planted in urban areas within the next three years?
  2. Things found in conservational-related /environmental activities carried out by and for young people.
  3. Is it easy for young people to connect with nature?

This activity aimed to help students better understand the speaker’s story and the definition of Regeneration, Sustainability, etc.

In the afternoon, the guest Mrs Hang Mai brought a sharp perspective on farm work stories in Vietnam and worldwide to the Sustainable Agriculture class. Since we cannot produce enough food that meets our needs now, we must study agriculture by observing how nature works. A sustainable biological chain can be created only if agricultural activities are incorporated into the food chain in natural ecosystems.

The fourth day of class July 16, 2022,: Fast fashion – Improvisation comedy

Ms Hien Nhi – freelance designer, Tiktok content creator – and Ms Thu Vu – Founder and CEO of Passii Vietnam – were invited to have an open discussion with the participants about the topic of “Clothing – Sustainable fashion and Circular economy”. As a result, the students gained awareness of fast fashion’s adverse effects on the environment. They understood more about the Circular Economy and system thinking to solve the fast fashion problem.

In improvisation comedy class, the students participated in a new way of learning and exercising under the guidance of Ms Le An, Stage Director and founder of Saigon the Theatreland, and her teaching assistant. Students discovered themselves and got to know more effective communication methods thanks to the speakers’ natural way of guidance and engaging in interactive activities such as making acquaintances through names and personalities, exchanging gifts, and group discussion. Besides creative storytelling and acting based on pictures, imitating the opposite person’s movements are natural, novel and unique activities to practice Improvisation comedy, thanks to which students can improve their observation skills, adapt to changing circumstances, and foster connections with others.

Sunday morning session, July 17, 2022: Respect for diversity- Last day of Kindness Class

The open discussion “Respecting diversity, living together” was led by three guests: Ms Dinh Hong Hanh, Mr Luong The Huy, and Mr Tuam Khaab. Mr Huy started by sharing openly with everyone about each individual’s differences and unique characteristics. Ms Hong Hanh continued with a lot of information on different groups’ issues, discrimination scales, etc., to provide an overview of which groups are vulnerable and need help.

In the discussion moderated by Mr. Tuam, the students had the opportunity to learn about the misconceptions about the existing Hmong community. Mr. Tuam introduced the students to the outstanding cultural features, characteristics, and customs of the Hmong people as well as comparisons to find out why their culture is misunderstood in the current popular culture by the public. Tuam Khabb highlighted the importance of an open and inquisitive cultural mindset that will help each of us recognize many problems of the community rather than passively await information.

Also that morning, the closing ceremony of the first batch of the Kindness Class was held by looking back together on what students learned in the previous five days. The class leader received positive feedback from the participants, lecturers, and guests in the class. We hope the five days of study helped the students to make their thinking more open and kinder towards their community.

Luong Van Can Fund would like to thank the sponsors and speakers for taking their time and effort to share with the students. Hopefully, with this program, the students can establish and equip themselves with the knowledge and suitable skills for the future.

Source: LVCF Media Team