Crazy Cool Crazy Kim’s – Giving U™

Crazy_Kim_Students_2I spent a morning in Nha Trang at Crazy Kim’s, which sounds like a bar. Hey wait, it is a bar. But it’s also a school in the morning hours before the bar opens.

Proprietress Kimmy Le, a Canadian of Vietnamese origin, opened the school in 1996 to lure street children into school, teaching basic math and language classes. She bribed the kids with a free lunch at the end of classes each day. Luckily, there are no more street kids in Nha Trang city proper and the school now provides English and computer classes for free. Most of the students are university students studying for their TOEFL exam and some days there are as many as 120 students.

Educational Basics

The morning I went, I got to sit in on 3 classes:

  • Robyn’s class was studying how to reply to a job advertisement in the paper. Robyn is Australian and has been coming to Nha Trang to volunteer at Crazy Kim’s for 3 months each summer for the last 5 years. That’s dedication. The 8 students in her advanced English class had taken home a photocopy of the advert and were there to answer questions and discuss the qualifications necessary for the Bayer (the pharmaceutical company) corporate communication position.
  • Mr. Hien’s class was writing essays upstairs. This large class of about 25 were writing quietly for most of the time, except when they were giving cat calls and whooping it up when Mr. Hien and I took a picture together. Wish I could’ve read what they were writing.
  • Frank’s class of 12 students downstairs was practicing speaking with a 20-year old volunteer from Sweden named Sophia. They were talking a lot about what makes Sweden unique, and then switched to a conversation about Vietnam’s attributes. Several female students it the class were studying to be nurses, accountants, and one was training to be a pharmacist. What I really liked is that all the students sat around a pool table, which they used as a desk.

Educating about Child Abuse

Not only does the school teach language basics, it also teaches children about the prevalence of sexual predators in the seaside resort town. For as little as $5,000 pedophiles can “adopt” local Vietnamese children from poor families.

When Kimmy first opened her bar on Nha Trang Beach, she noted the presence of foreign pedophiles. Her response was to get beach children to wear T-shirts that said: “Child sex is a crime.” She also has stickers on her bar that say “Child Sex Tourism: Don’t turn away. Turn them in.”

Pool_Table_StudentsUnfortunately child-sex tourists have been increasingly active in Vietnam and authorities blame capitalism and the influx of tourists as marking the country as the next sex tourism destination. Officials also point to local police that are easily bribed and suggest that pedophile gangs from Thailand and Cambodia are shifting their base to Vietnam.

Show your Support for Crazy Kim’s

Be sure and “Like” Crazy Kim’s on Facebook today and support her work (even though Facebook is generally not accessible in Vietnam).

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 and is filed under The Giving Guide.

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