|Project "Raising Moc Chau Children" supports the development of education in remote and isolated areas. Photo: sonla.gov.vn
Lunch is ready by noon at 11am at Phien Cai school, Long Sap commune, Moc Chau district with dishes of rice, meat and fish. The “Food for Moc Chau Kids” was initiated by Lieutenant Duong Hai Anh, Son La provincial Youth Union Secretary, said: “I have witnessed kids at kinder garden age going to school on foot with bare rice and water for lunch. I thought of doing something to help them.”
At first, families did not support the idea for fear of additional cost. Though after 3 months in place, the program has produced measurable results with 54 kid beneficiaries in better shape. Tráng Lao Di is one of the parents. “My kids want to continue with schooling. They have milk and confectionaries at school, especially free lunches thanks to the “Food for Mộc Châu kids” scheme,” he said.
As a result, the program has been extended to 9 most disadvantaged school locations in Long Sap commune. Nguyen Thi Quyen, Vice Headmaster of Long Sap Kinder Garden, said: “The program has supported us in education activies thanks to a sustainable number of kids going to school and nutritious meals at school. This has boosted their school performance.”
The program is part of effort to eradicate drug related offenses in Phieng Cai hamlet. It has been duplicated in other 41 school locations in Moc Chau and Van Ho Districts with nearly 1,900 young kids having lunch meals. After 2 years, the percentage of school attendance rose from 65% to 100% while malnutrition rate fell from 43% to 0%. Lieutenant Duong Hai Anh said: “Each kid has been identified with an ID number for statistic measurement. Each meal costs 6,800 dong with menu varying weekly with sufficient meat, fish, bean and veggies.”
|"Happy House" inauguration and handover ceremony for disadvantaged students in Long Sap border commune, Moc Chau district, Son La province. Photo: VOV
Lieutenant Anh hoped to roll out another program to build houses for the disadvantaged and eradicate makeshift school locations. Since last December, 3 houses have been built. Ha Thi Hinh lives with disabled mum and grandma. She said: “I receive a new bicycle and a new house today. I am so happy and promise to study well.”
More “Happy Houses” will be built as lieutenant Anh expected to help disadvantaged people in Son La province. “We expect to eradicate all makeshift school locations in Son La province and offer 100 happy houses for disadvantaged people improving their living standard.”
The programs to provide meals for kids and houses for disadvantaged families expect to receive more community support to realize young kids’ dream of going to school in border mountainous region.