What do we do ?

Project #1: Better Education

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948 recognizes that "everyone has the right to education" . Vietnam has a comprehensive system of primary, secondary, and post-secondary education, however, the country's economy is not strong enough to give the children free education. The families have to pay school fees and purchase textbooks for their children. 

These mandatory school fees are relatively low -- from VND 360,000 ($19) per year for children in rural and mountainous areas, up to VND 1.800.000 ($95) for children in the largest urban areas, but those fees can be a really big burden to poor families in provinces like Bac Giang where the average incomes are only 30,000 VND ($1.60) per day.

To address this problem, Better Life Vietnam will carry out activities aimed at improving education conditions for children in poor areas in Vietnam. These activities will help to reduce burden for poor families in Vietnam.

Activity # 1: Free textbooks for all the poor children in Vietnam.

The goal of Better Life Vietnam is to buy textbooks and make them available at no cost for as many children in possible throughout Vietnam. Those textbooks which can be useful in the long-term will be managed by schools through a lending library. The pupils can borrow the textbooks from their school at the beginning of the semester then return those textbooks at the end of that semester. The next generation of pupils can reuse those textbooks. We will encourage the schools and pupils to try to keep the textbooks in good condition so that their brothers or sisters can use those textbooks in the future. We will replace the broken ones and update new textbooks as needed.

With hope that all the poor children in Vietnam can go to school without having to buy textbooks in the next few years, we decided to start our first activity in Dong Coc village (commune) which is one of the poorest town in Bac Giang province.

Bac Giang province is a province in the Northeastern of Vietnam. Nearly 90% of the population lives on agriculture. Its per-capita income is only half of the national level (US$ 600 per person per year). The province is known as a producer of pineapples and litchis. There are 9 districts in this province: Hiep Hoa, Lang Giang, Luc Nam, Luc Ngan, Son Dong, Tan Yen, Viet Yen, Yen Dung, and The.

Dong Coc is one of the poorest village among the 10 villages of Luc Ngan district, 15 km far from the center of the district. Dong Coc is home to 5,000 people in 13 hamlets. Ethnic minority people makes up 80% of the population. More than 50% of the households in Dong Coc have incomes below the poverty line. The primary source of income for these families is growing litchi fruit. Because litchis are a seasonal and perishable crop, it is a very unstable source of income, so many people struggle to find extra income for their family. As a result, many young people have had to leave their family villages to find work in cities and factories, and some have even illegally migrated to China in search of work.

There are a primary school and a secondary school for children of 13 hamlets in Dong Coc village. If the children want to get higher education, they will have to go to a high school in other village. The schools here are poor equipped.

There will have 1050 children from grade 1 to grade 9 will join in this coming semester which will start in September. We expect to be able to give 1050 set of textbooks to schools and pupils here for this semester. Those textbooks include:
101 textbooks for grade 1 
125 textbooks for grade 2 
96 textbooks for grade 3 
140 textbooks for grade 4 
119 textbooks for grade 5 
107 textbooks for grade 6 
125 textbooks for grade 7 
106 textbooks for grade 8 
132 textbooks for grade 9 
(* Each set of textbooks just include basic textbooks which pupils have to have in class, it doesn't include the books which have exercises for pupils to work at home)