Food for Thought: Nutrition and Education for Young Children from Ethnic Minorities

What the situation is

In the mountainous province of Hoa Binh, one household in three is either poor or nearly poor. Among children under 6, the malnutrition rate is one of the highest in Vietnam (25%). The ethnic minorities, who are the project’s beneficiary population, do not speak Vietnamese. Geographic and linguistic isolation combined with subsistence farming and malnutrition lead to hindered child development and serious challenges in access to education.


What we want to achieve

We want to safeguard the development of children from ethnic minorities by improving their nutrition, promoting their access to quality education, and increasing their families’ livelihoods.


How we will achieve it

To create lasting impact, any initiative must target not only children, but also parents, teachers and local authorities. We raise awareness about basic nutritional and hygienic requirements, as well as child care and education, across the entire community through training and dialogue. We provide micro-credit loans to families and give them the technical skills to increase and diversify their livelihoods through more productive farming. Simultaneously, we influence policy and practice at the local and regional government levels by engaging in constant dialogue with local authorities, with the aim to ensure that children from ethnic minorities have the same opportunities and access to care and education as other children. Lastly, we improve children’s learning environment by renovating school infrastructure, providing children with more learning materials, and improving teaching pedagogy.


Location: Vietnam
Region: Southeast Asia
Themes: Access and quality of education, Early childhood, Health education, Inclusive education
Duration: 2012 – 2018
Beneficiaries: 4,650 children, 260 teachers/cooks/educational managers, 4,500 parents, 45 community development workers
Project Manager: Thi Tu Nguyen