The ACES Tour 2022

In November and December 2022, the ACES Coventry team embarked on an inspiring and humbling field trip to Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The trip was an opportunity to engage with partners and communities that the team had not been able to connect with face-to-face since the COVID-19 pandemic. This experience was a reminder of the power of human connection and the importance of face-to-face interaction in building sustainable partnerships.

The team’s first stop was in Vietnam, where we engaged with teachers and schools involved in ACES’ playful and frugal learning initiatives. We experienced one of the outcomes of the project first-hand: a playground co-created with teachers, students, NGOs, and communities in Hoa Binh Province. This space is not only used for active learning but also serves as a platform for educating young people on the Muong language and culture. It was inspiring to see the impact of ACES’ research into playful and frugal spaces and how it has contributed to creating a positive and resilient learning environment.

Next, the team travelled to Indonesia and visited various communities in Ponorogo, Karangpatihan, and Malang. In Ponorogo, the team launched the ACES Play Corner at the community library, where partners and volunteers have been engaging with young people who do not have access to formal education. In Karangpatihan, the team engaged with disabled ‘Batik’ craft makers and Rumah Harapan NGO, who participated in ACES’ playful and frugal means of creating batik patterns. These Batiks are now sold online internationally, highlighting the potential of creative approaches to economic empowerment. In Malang, the team engaged with the Universitas Negeri Malang community of students and educators, further emphasising the importance of academic partnerships in driving impactful projects.

The team then reunited with the rest of the Coventry ACES team and the teams from Vietnam and Indonesia in Malaysia. The Malaysia ACES team hosted the group for the week, where we engaged in discussions around ACES’ outcomes and findings. The team also participated in the Gamification Seminar, where we shared lessons learned from the project. The week ended with the launch of another outcome from the project, the Playlab Bus, which will serve as an innovative, frugal, and playful space for learning in Malaysia.

Majlis Perasmian PlayLab Bus Launch

Overall, the field trip was a fantastic experience for the ACES team, and it highlighted the value of community engagement in driving sustainable development. The trip was a reminder of the importance of co-creation, partnership, and collaboration. The ACES team is excited to continue working with its partners and communities to develop more innovative solutions to tackle local challenges and drive positive change.

See all ACES case studies in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam

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