Thanh Nien program builds boarding house for Vietnam's poor students

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Nguyen Manh Dung, Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (C), at the groundbreaking ceremony of a boarding house in Chung Chai Commune, Muong Nhe District, Dien Bien Province on Friday. Photo by Thuy Hang

Construction of a boarding house for poor students in Chung Chai Commune in the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien's Muong Nhe District has begun thanks to a Thanh Nien program.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the building worth VND250 million (US$11,750) was co-held by the Nhà bán trú cho em (Boarding houses for poor students) program's organizers, the Vietnam Youth Federation and Thanh Nien newspaper on Friday.


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The Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Nguyen Manh Dung was present.

The money was provided by the non-profit Kind Heart Foundation, which was established by Vietnam's largest shopping mall company Vingroup in 2006.

The boarding house will provide safe shelter for more than 300 students at Chung Chai Commune elementary school. It is expected to be opened for use in March.

Tran Van Thai, a teacher who hails from Hung Yen Province in the Red River Delta, said some students have to travel four kilometers of forest paths to school in their old sandals, which are their valuable belongings.

Others have shacks their parents built in the forest, so they can drop by for a short stay to cook and have meals before going home, Thai said. Some students even live in the forest huts, he added.

Pham Van Khiem, the school's headmaster, said the boarding house will help relieve the students of many hardships as they will not often have to suffer the chilling cold when passing forests and streams on the way to school.

Students at the Chung Chai Commune elementary school participate in the ceremony. Photo by Thuy Hang

The program was launched last June and will last until December 2017.

The project aims to raise funds to build comfortable boarding houses for poor students in the country's remote and impoverished areas to keep them away from risks when they have to take dangerous journeys through harsh topographical and weather conditions to go to school.

Recent statistics by Ministry of Education and Training showed that up to 60 percent of students in remote areas have dropped out of school due to the long distances between their homes and schools.

On October 4, the program's first boarding house was inaugurated to provide shelter for over 100 students at Lung Tao Secondary School in Ha Giang Province's Lung Tao Commune. The building, worth over VND300 million, was paid for by the Lam Son Joint Operating Company.

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