Lau Thi Ngai & Lung Cai, Bac Ha district, Lao Cai province, VIETNAM
These areas show difficulties of social integration of ethnic minority children due to language barriers and difficult economic conditions – most of the drop-out students’ families are involved in farming work in remote rural areas and earn very low incomes. Most of them belong to one of the various ethnic minorities that call the region home. Children have to work for their own survival and support their families. In those circumstances school education is not considered a priority among. They stop them going to school to take care of their siblings, doing chores at home, or even earning a living. This is particularly the case for their oldest daughters.
Malnutrition is widespread, especially among minority children. In 2010, in Lao Cai Province, child malnutrition was still as high as 25%.
The quality of teaching is poor. A lack of child-friendly school environments is a further issue. It’s the education sector’s responsibility to provide appropriate education programs to children in all areas, including to those who are of ethnic minority background. The coordination needed between the schools and the communities, including parents, social organizations and authorities, to ensure adequate support for children’s education, is lacking.
Also, parenting skills and knowledge are also limited. The parents’ associations are inactive and the parents in these areas have had limited formal education themselves. The little guidance they have received in their lives so far on how to raise their children in a manner that promotes their development, is ineffective. Field surveys have showed that parents have a very limited understanding of topics such as health, hygiene and nutrition.
The unemployment rate in Lao Cai is alarming. According to MOLISA, there are 2,660 unemployed people every year, of which the majority are ethnic minority youth in the 16-25 age category.
This project’s goal is to enable children and disadvantaged youth to get equal access to quality education and market-oriented vocational training.
Our main activities are:
- Improve learning environments through infrastructure renovation/equipment and extra-curricular classes and activities to improve children’s learning abilities and performance.
- Improve the nutritional status of children through enhancing the knowledge and skills of parents, community members and local authorities with regards to child care & education (ECCE) and improving their livelihoods.
- Enhance support to marginalized youth, including parents of preschool and primary-school children in Lao Cai, through vocational training and job placement support.
- Lao Cai Department of Education and Training
- Lao Cai Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs
- Community authorities