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Creating Opportunities for Children in Sa Pa through Playground Building

We are Helping Hands, a UNIS Hanoi Service Learning group that helps out kids in the mountains of Sa Pa. Besides our annual rice and clothes drives, we also sit down with schools and have needs assessments with them. With a shared vision of improving educational opportunities and fostering joyful experiences, Helping Hands has undertaken various initiatives, from donating essential supplies to enhancing school facilities. Now, our latest endeavor aims to bring laughter and play to the children by building playground facilities. These needs were expressed through the principal of the school and we were able to organise these needs and bring them up to Sa Pa.  

Making a Difference:

Helping Hands has already left an indelible mark on the lives of the children in Sa Pa through our previous projects, such as donating rice to ensure nutrition, providing schools with much-needed equipment, and organising clothes drives, which have created tangible improvements in the community. By addressing immediate needs, we have helped to alleviate some of the challenges faced by these children, offering them a brighter future. 

Recognising the significance of play in a child’s development, Helping Hands has embarked on our most ambitious project yet—the construction of playground facilities for the schools in Sa Pa. Playgrounds not only provide a safe and engaging space for children to explore, but they also promote physical activity, social interaction, and the development of essential skills. By building these playgrounds, Helping Hands aims to create an environment where laughter and joy become an integral part of the children’s daily lives. From there, we decided to collaborate with Think Playgrounds to build two playgrounds. Think Playgrounds is a social enterprise dedicated to providing the resources to construct playgrounds for communities across Vietnam and have extensive experience in this area. 

During our designing process, we aimed to include cultural aspects in the designs such as a water buffalo figure. We will build one playground at a cultural centre and the other at a kindergarten nearby. After careful consideration and planning, we decided on the following concepts for the main playground, and a smaller playground nearby, respectively:

Additionally, we will be collaborating with this year’s Grade 10’s for our trip to Sapa to kickstart the project. Students who chose the service and culture programme will be able to participate in the construction of the playgrounds as one of our activities and will spend time with children at the schools. By our first Service Learning trip to Sapa in December, we hope to have completed both playgrounds. 

Helping Hands exemplifies the power of compassion, dedication, and collective action. Through our ongoing projects and our current endeavor to build playground facilities, they are creating opportunities for children in Sa Pa to thrive, learn, and experience the joy of childhood. By supporting Helping Hands, you become part of a movement that believes in the transformative power of education, play, and community engagement. Let us join hands and make a lasting difference in the lives of these incredible children.

Helping Hands - UNIS Hanoi Service Learning Group