This Friday, May 7th, head to Galerie Quynh at 65 De Tham in District 1 from 6:30 t0 8:30pm for SHARE, a project to support artistic skills for disadvantage children.

The event will include an exhibition and silent auction of 12 canvases that are the result of an action painting activity that took place in HCM City. Disadvantaged youth who are currently living at a shelter were asked to express what is precious to them. Each child was given one of the 12 canvases to articulate her or his idea. When the 12 canvases were joined together again, they formed a new picture. The canvases will be exhibited individually, but this compilation can still be seen in the video:

The whole picture, which served as the starting point of the action painting, was only visible when the canvases were placed together. At the park, the children used their collages and drawings as well as their spontaneous ideas to adorn each canvas. The 12 connected canvases formed a large map of HCM City . A unifying symbol, the “hoa mai tet flower”, was placed on top of the map, as it stands for hope–the hope of children who came to HCM City in search of a better life.

SHARE is a project of the “Disabled and Disadvantaged Children’s Charity of HCMC” to support artistic skills of disadvantaged kids. We invite artists to participate by dedicating either their time to share their skills with the children or the production of artwork that can be sold to benefit the programme. Costs for our materials are covered by money we receive from selling these products, with the remaining profit donated to the children. Currently we work with the Green Bamboo Shelter for disadvantaged boys, 5 to 16 years old.

The money is spent on education and goes directly to the shelter. For further information, please contact andreatenner@gmail.com or sam.mondon@zoomeroom.de

We recently spoke to Leslie Weiner, one of the three women behind Smile Group, and her documentary on Vietnamese AIDs activist Nguyen Van Hung will premier on PBS in the United States on May 10. We first profiled the work of Smile Group and the legacy of Hung in a February 2009 article, “The Teacher’s Lessons.” Now, his story will be broadcast to millions. Check out the trailer for Thay Hung: Teacher below:

For those unfamiliar with PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), it’s the States’ most widely broadcasted nonprofit public broadcasting television service, with affiliates in more than 350 locations. The Teacher, Thai Hung will appear under the banner of the PBS series Global Voices. If you live in the United States, check for air dates at pbs.org.

Jeff Holt/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The international media seems to be cadging on to the minutiae of everyday life in Vietnam. Michael Sullivan recently contributed this piece to NPR that chronicles Vietnam’s epidemic of motorbike text messaging, a major contributor to the country’s abysmal traffic safety record. (According to the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, traffic accidents are the leading cause of child and adolescent deaths–approximately six children a day died in accidents in 2007.)

Our favorite part is the bit in which Sullivan quotes Pham Thi Thuy Linh, a 21-year-old student who was named fastest text messager in a contest sponsored by a mobile phone company: “I think I’m about 20 or 30 percent slower texting on my bike. And it’s easier to make mistakes because I’m trying to watch the road in front of me.”

Yikes.

Contributed by Tom DiChristopher