School helps building more homes for poor families

One of the best international schools in Saigon, Renaissance International School, celebrated its 10 year anniversary last week and the school’s community raised $5,200 to support the Habitat for Humanity charity that builds homes for poor families in Vietnam. The money raised has been matched by the school’s Board of Directors and thus the amount to be donated was doubled to $10,400. Throughout the year, the students had also raised an additional $1,900 which will be added to the sum to increase it to a total of $12,300. This money will allow Habitat for Humanity building 4 or 5 homes for families in need in Vietnam’s provinces, and the school’s students will help building the houses hands-on.

This is the second year when the school fundraises for this charity that helps transforming lives of the less fortunate families for the better. Last year, Renaissance community raised $8,000 which was then matched by the Board to a total of $16,000 donated, and the schools’ students travelled to Cho Gao – Tien Giang to help building 5 houses that were sponsored by this donation.

This year’s fundraising took place in two stages. Some items were available for purchasing during a silent auction that was conducted by email, and 22 high value items were offered in a live auction that took place during the school’s Anniversary Gala on Friday 09 June. The gala was attended by Vietnam Idol 2007 winner Ms Phuong Vy who performed her inspiring song The Power of Dream at the event, as well as by the British Consul in Vietnam HRH Mr Ian Gibbons and his wife, amongst other distinguished guests.

The Incoming Head of School, Mr Peter Gittins, flew extra from Switzerland where he currently lives and works for the Council of International Schools, to attend the event with his wife, Ms Kerry Gittins, and to meet Renaissance community members and partners. Mr Gittins will be taking over the leadership of the school from August 2017, and will no doubt transform the already very good school into an outstanding one. Renaissance has been a responsible, caring and successful part of Saigon’s community in the last 10 years, and we wish the school all the best for the next 10 years to come!

About Renaissance International School Saigon
The school is fully accredited by the Council of International Schools (2017) and inspected by the British Schools Overseas (2016). Renaissance alumni study at the leading universities in the world including Princeton, Imperial, YonSei and Seoul, and have scored the Best in the World result in their IGCSE exams in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The school offered a unique languages’s programme whereby students can take Korean and Mandarin Chinese as their first language, and French, Vietnamese and English as their second language. This year, the school won the HCMC Science competition and the HCMC Piano competition, as well as became the city’s champion in a number of sports, including swimming, badminton and football. The schools Early Years department has been recognised as the Best in Vietnam (BSO, 2016), and it is preparing to welcome a new Head of School, Mr Peter Gittins, in August 2017. Renaissance is a British international school that accepts students from 18 months old and offers IGCSE and IB Diploma qualifications, has small class sizes and has a great teacher to student ratio of 1:9. For more information please visit

About Habitat for Humanity Vietnam
Habitat for Humanity is an international charity that came to Vietnam in 2001 and aims to help poor families to improve their living conditions by providing them with shelter and building them homes. As of June 2016, HFH Vietnam has enabled more than 13,600 low-income Vietnamese families to improve their living conditions through decent homes, clean water and safe sanitation and post-disaster reconstruction and repairs. In addition, HFH Vietnam has provided training in disaster preparedness, financial education, hygiene practices, and construction skills, among others, to more than 75,800 individuals. Internationally, across 70 different countries, the charity has helped more than 5 million people through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services since its establishment in 1976. To find out more about Habitat for Humanity Vietnam, please visit: