ChildFund New Zealand is building a boarding school dormitory in a remote area of Vietnam to accommodate students who otherwise couldn't go to school due to the long distances and difficult terrain they have to travel to get there.
In the areas where ChildFund works in Vietnam, which are mountainous and home to ethnic minority communities, there are just eight existing semi-boarding schools for the 67 schools with students who need accommodation.
A recent survey* across the area showed students living in makeshift tents with inadequate and unsafe hygiene facilities, cooking for themselves in poorly equipped spaces, and often with contaminated water, and even collecting the firewood they needed to start a cooking fire.
Sadly, teasing and harassment by local youth is a common problem for these students.
The new project at Quang Trong primary and secondary schools will not only keep children safe and provide them better access to healthier food and sanitation, but will give them more time for studying, increase their attendance and their emotional wellbeing.
Students, teachers, parents and local officials have worked alongside ChildFund to design and plan the project which will includes the construction of the dormitory and ongoing management. On completion, a community-based youth facilitator will be recruited and student leaders will also be appointed to help run the dormitory.
You can support this project and other work that ChildFund is doing to protect and educate children in Vietnam here.
ChildFund New Zealand’s focus area in Vietnam is in the mountainous northern province of Cao Bang, and the districts of Tra Linh and Quảng Uyen. Reaching these communities is challenging because of its remoteness, but it is critical to improve the lives of children and their families, who are among the most vulnerable and marginalised people in Vietnam. About 1,200 New Zealanders support ChildFund's work in Cao Bang each month.
Read more about ChildFund's work in Vietnam:From factory floor to farming buffalo, ChildFund's project in Vietnam is creating opportunities
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*ChildFund conducted a survey of six schools in Cao Bang and Bac Kan, the areas of Vietnam where ChildFund works, in 2019 showed the living conditions for students who had to reside away from home were poor and inadequate. With children cooking for themselves in poorly equipped kitchens often using contaminated water, with a lack of sanitation and also unprotected, non-private bathing areas.