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Children with cancer attend special school year opening ceremony at Saigon hospital

Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 17:07 GMT+7
Children with cancer attend special school year opening ceremony at Saigon hospital
Children smile with excitement at the school year opening ceremony held at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital on September 9, 2019. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

As new school year ceremonies were organized across Vietnam last week, children receiving cancer treatment at a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City were also able to experience the special back-to-school atmosphere during an event held right on the grounds of the infirmary on Monday.

Fifty young patients, dressed in school uniforms, gathered around the playground of the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital for the ceremony along with their parents, teachers and hospital staff members in the morning.

The inpatient children are students of a charity class run inside the hospital, aimed at helping the young patients pursue education while battling their illness.

The special class, with huge contributions from teachers, voluntary students and other philanthropists, has for the last ten years allowed more than 1,000 children with cancer to learn how to read and write, despite their severe pains from radiotherapy and special treatment.

The students and their teacher attend the flag salute. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

The students and their teacher attend the flag salute. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

Monday’s opening ceremony for the 2019-20 academic year was solemnly held with a flag salute and anthem singing ceremonies, after which the students listened to a speech by a teacher.

The event aroused mixed feelings - excitement from the children and slight sadness from their parents.

Dinh Thi Kim Phan, a teacher who has been with this special class during the past ten years, said every school year opening ceremony ever held was a wonderful piece of memory that she would never forget.

“The ceremony always brings me both joy and sadness,” she said.

Le Thi Bich Nga (right), whose child suffers from cancer the age of five, bursts into tears when listening to the opening speech during the ceremony. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

Le Thi Bich Nga (right), whose child suffers from cancer at the age of five, bursts into tears when listening to the opening speech during the ceremony. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

During the ceremony, each of the students was awarded a new schoolbag, stationery and a VND3 million (US$130) scholarship, which were gifts from kind-hearted philanthropists to encourage their further studies.

The event was initiated by “Uoc Mo Cua Thuy” (Thuy’s Dream) Foundation, a project of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper to support children with cancer across Vietnam, in cooperation with the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital and the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Union.

Young cancer patients enjoyed the ceremony in happiness. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

Young cancer patients enjoy the ceremony in happiness. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

A small note conveys the truthful wish of junior patients at Ho Chi Minh Oncology Hospital. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

A small note conveys the truthful wish of junior patients at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Phuong Loan, a teacher in the charity class, teaches the young cancer patients to write. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Phuong Loan, a teacher in the charity class, teaches the young cancer patients to write. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

The school year opening ceremony host creates a fun atmosphere for the children. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

The school year opening ceremony host creates a fun atmosphere for the children. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

A doctor awards children with prizes for good study results from the previous year. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

A doctor awards the children prizes for good academic results from the previous year. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

Phu Loc, a 12-year-old cancer patient, smiles in optimism at the ceremony. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

Phu Loc, a 12-year-old cancer patient, smiles in optimism at the ceremony. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

Ho Minh Nguyet (right) looks at her student Nguyen Ngoc Huyen (left) with love. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

Ho Minh Nguyet (right) looks at her student Nguyen Ngoc Huyen (left) with love. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

A boy with cancer smiles for a photo at his classroom at the Ho Chi Minh Oncology Hospital. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

A boy with cancer smiles for a photo in his classroom at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

Khuou Cat Tuong, 6, packs her bag to prepare for a new school year at Ho Chi Minh Oncology Hospital. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

Khuou Cat Tuong, 6, packs her bag to prepare for a new school year at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

Bao Chau, 7, poses for a photo at the ceremony. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

Bao Chau, 7, poses for a photo at the ceremony. Photo: Canh Toan / Tuoi Tre

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