Apax Warms Hearts and Hands in Pleiku

The business of business should not be about money. It should be about responsibility. It should be about public good, not private greed – Anita Roddick, Founder, Body Shop

During the month of November, Apax Leaders collected donations from teachers and staff to raise money to buy coats for the kids at one special school in Gia Lai. In the true spirit of the holidays, the coats were not just shipped off to the countryside. No, no, no! Thirty Apax Leaders from Head Office and FMD carried good cheer and much more to give some well-deserved children a nice little surprise before Christmas.

After about a ten-hour bus ride, the excited and a bit exhausted Apax Leaders descended upon an elementary school in Pleiku. They furiously began packing over 400 bags with notebooks, pencils, crayons, erasers, snacks, etc. In another room, an assembly-line was created to blow up and prepare over 400 balloons to be given away. Out in the schoolyard, students were diligently practicing a beautiful, traditional Jarai dance and musical performance. Most of the students attending the school were from the Jarai and Bahna ethnic groups that we don’t often see in Vietnam’s larger cities and towns.

As school finished around 3pm, The South FMD’s own Oanh Dao Thi Xuan took to the stage as the magnificent MC. She introduced Marylynn Gwatiringa who enthusiastically led students and the rest of the attendees in a couple rounds of the “Hello” song and of course the infamous and infectious, “Baby Shark.”

Not to be out done by the performance of the Apax Leaders staff, the talented students put on two amazing tear-jerking performances. If there is a Vietnam’s Got Talent, these students should definitely enter.

Following the singing and dancing, Apax Leaders staff and Patrick Carr, a teacher at the Pleiku center, got down to the real business-at-hand and handed out, lots and lots of Santa hats, gift bags, and coats to kids. Each student was lovingly helped into a cute and comfy coat before being ushered to the stage where they received a gift bag far to heavy for their tiny hands to hold.

For a few moments dark clouds began to form in the skies above and a few drain drops tried to rain on our fun, but the bright smiles of all the little ones literally chased the clouds away.

See all our photos of the event:


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