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Celebrating World Education Day

Dedicated teachers and parents can make all the difference to a child’s education. This World Education Day, we’re celebrating Mr. Chung, a dedicated parent who is making sure his and other children at a boarding school in Bac Kan Province, Vietnam have a safe, healthy space to learn.

Chung has been a been involved with the boarding school for four years and knows that accessing education in rural Vietnam can be challenging, but he is committed to making sure his children have a place to learn. “No matter how difficult problems are, I will never give up trying to give the children a good education,” he said.

In January 2022, ChildFund Vietnam collaborated with teachers and parents to improve the boarding school’s facilities through its Safe and Supportive Semi Boarding Schools project, by doing helping to build a kitchen school canteen, renovating boarding rooms and has provided blankets, mosquito nets and other necessities. This helped the school’s 30 students live more comfortably there.

Children at the school used to travel five to six kilometres from a nearby town, and had to cross steep slopes and rocky hillsides. Due to lack of housing, kitchens and cafeteria staff, parents like Chung must take turns staying at the school to care for the students.

The parents come together once a year to create a schedule for the year and decide when each parent will stay at the school. Together, the parents constructed a kitchen to help with daily food preparation. The kitchen is stocked with cooking utensils and every week parents deliver rice, vegetables, meat and eggs for the students to make their meals.

At the end of each day when the school bell goes, children fill the schoolyard playing and laughing. Then they go to the kitchen to prepare their own rice bowls.

Although Chung loves caring for the children, he acknowledges it is extremely challenging given his limited access to resources and infrastructure. “I can’t always care for all 30 students that board. I can only do so much, and I must look after my own children too. So sometimes the children must look after themselves. When they have an issue though, they let me know and I can usually help.”

The ‘Safe and Supportive Semi-Boarding Schools’ project brings together parents and educators to improve the quality of life and education that boarding students in Vietnam experience, so that they can learn in a safe, healthy space. There is also a specific focus on ensuring children from ethnic minorities have access to the same level of education.

“Since having a kitchen and the parent roster, the needs of the children at the boarding house have been completely taken care of,” said Chung when asked how the project had improved the boarding school.

ChildFund is committed to partnering with local communities to ensure that projects like this provide children with the best possible access to quality education – particularly for those living in hard-to-reach places.

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