On a recent trip to Vietnam we spent our time visiting hosts, and bumping into Workawayers working on the different projects there. One host particularly caught our eye.
Based in the village of Taphin close to Sapa in Northern Vietnam, this host was trying to support his local village by providing English classes to the local children. We arrived to find the villagers full of happiness and eager to meet and talk to us and we were impressed by how content they seemed living on so little.
The English classroom was an outhouse of a family home resembling more of an animal housing than a classroom for children (Take a look at the pictures). It was very clear that these people needed more help than just volunteers occasionally coming to teach what they could.
Overwhelmed with inspiration about how these kids came to the class completely voluntarily... determined, happy and motivated that they were having the opportunity to meet and be taught by native English speaking volunteers. There and then we decided that Workaway could do its part in helping these kids and this host. By providing a better environment for the education of the village children and their future.
- On average, a poor Vietnamese family earns less than US$240 per year.
- Child labour: poor families depend on their children to contribute to total household income.
- Primary school is officially free, but many poor families can't and maintenance costs of the school building etc.)
- Less than a half of children gain entry to education in primary schools, less than 20% of children go to secondary school.
Why Sapa/ Taphin Village?
- Impression: Friendly villagers; eager to share their culture and traditions with visitors and are very curious about foreigners. Home to a host of hill-tribe people, also one of the poorest region in Vietnam.
- Little care and attention from government.
- Inadequate infrastructure; very limited access to land, water, information, other basic supplies, and EDUCATION.
- Rice & corn as their main crops; and they keep animals pigs, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats.
- Vietnamese people are resilient in nature; suffered from poverty but still happy and content.
- Mr. Son (as a local hill-tribe person himself) is on a mission to make a positive change
- Keen to receive volunteers who could contribute directly to the community whilst living amongst them.
- Villagers and hill-tribe kids are keen to learn English.
- Albeit very poor condition of the English school: a basic shed with a few broken wooden table and chairs; no light (lessons during rainy weather?); one markerboard
Workaway Foundation/ How we can help:
- Teacher training or educational programme ideas
- redirect more volunteer traffic to help with classes/ training courses
We intend to:
So far we have been able to help: