One of Saigon Children Charity’s (SCC) most important programmes is building schools in communities across southern Vietnam and areas of most in need. As the Vietnamese countryside is so sparse, many children find it difficult to get to their local school and so are unable to get access to education.
We interviewed Ms. Khanh, mother of two, to find out directly what impact building a school has on a community. She is one of many mothers who lives in the countryside in Kien Giang Province, which is situated approximately 250 km from Ho Chi Minh City.
The local authority advised Ms Khanh to send her children, Bao Nhi aged 7 and Bao Duy aged 4, to their nearest school which was located 7 km away. However, problems arose as Ms Khanh did not own any form of transportation herself to get her children to school every day. Ms Khanh also remarked that ‘walking my daughter 7km to school every day was not possible’ as it was simply too far.
The local community saw that many children in this community were also having trouble in travelling this distance to get to school every day. They responded by building a temporarily structure made of corrugated iron walls with a bare floor as a place to educate the children. Although an improvement, this was not ideal as due to the structure, the learning environment got extremely hot under the sun. As a result it became very difficult to conduct classes and the children were unable to concentrate.
This is exactly the type of situation where SCC steps in to assist. SCC works with many organisations to make a difference to these local communities. With the support from REE Corporation, we were able to start work on Nam Thái A1 Primary School (Xeo Vet B satellite site) with three new classrooms, an educational institution that this community desperately needed, to serve for more than 200 children from 6 to 11 years of age locally and many more to come.
Soon the children of the local community can easily have access to education. This makes a huge difference in giving them a brighter future which, in turn, benefits their families, and local communities. Ms. Khanh, sums up the feelings of the local community, by revealing ‘I’m delighted that this school is being built. Children in this hamlet no longer have to either travel too far to study or study in the heat. I’m very happy.”