Project No. 24 – Construction of a boarding house for 160 children in Minh Tan, Vi Xuyen district, Ha Giang province in the north of Vietnam

Status February and March 2019: On February 19th, 2019 and March 26th, 2019 the LO-ANH Foundation team (LOAN Stiftung) (Isabelle Müller, Corinna Buchholz) visited (at one’s own expense and not at the expense of the foundation) with Mrs. Bui Thu Huong (DoFA Ha Giang) the elementary school of Minh Tan commune, Vi Xuyen district, Ha Giang province in the north of Vietnam.

Minh Tan commune was established 1975 and is located 45 kilometers north of the center of Vi Xuyen district. The economic development and education in this area lag behind, due to its geographical location. The commune has 7.5 kilometers of shared boarder with its neighboring country China. It encompasses a total of 10,814.32 hectares and is composed of 14 villages: Bau Xum, Tan Son, Ban Hinh, Ban Pho, Xin Chai, Lung Vai, Khau Ngay, Thuong Lam, Ta Leng, Phin Sang, Kau Kha, Hoang Ly Pa, Lung Thien and Ma Hoang (
1387 households (6482 inhabitants) from 9 ethnic minorities live here: Cao Lan (0,093%), Po Y (0,108%), Dao (24,61%), Nung (1,91%), Mong (49,97%), Tay (12,74%), Han (3,46%), Giay (3,74%) and Kinh (3,37%). The population’s level of education is low. Each minority maintains its own culture and traditions. All minorities live together closely and peacefully. All live mostly from rice cultivation.
The B elementary school of Minh Tan is located 4 kilometers away from the community center at an altitude of 1000 meters. The school has 6 sub-schools located in the surroundings areas. A total of 314 pupils (163 girls, 151 boys) attend this elementary school. 147 of these children are very poor. Four ethnic minorities (Mong, Dao, Tay and Han) are specifically represented at that school. The school has no boarding house. Most of the children have to take the long and dangerous path to school (between 4 and 8 kilometers) early in the morning (at 5 a.m.) to attend classes. After the afternoon classes, they walk back home and will be there around 18.00/19.00 p.m. The children are brave, somehow during the cold and rainy season they cannot attend regularly classes because of the bad and dangerous ways to school.
A boarding house would solve this problem. For the next school-year 2019-2020 a total of 160 children could stay during the week on the school grounds, do together their homework and play when finished. Present teachers could better assist and mentor the children with their homework. The children would be more motivated to attend school regularly and their education level would increase. They would develop more social skills. The lives of the poor families would be easier. A new boarding house would combat poverty, alleviate the children’s needs and give the population a perspective for the future.

Together with our Vietnamese partners, we used plans and cost estimates to determine what is needed. Looking towards the future, Minh Tan commune is in need of the following:

1 x building with 10 bedrooms – funds needed: approx. 43.500,00  USD (or approx. 38.500.00 €)

1 x equipment (80 bunk beds and 30 steel cabinets) – funds needed: approx. 8.800,00 USD (or approx. 7.800,00 €)

Overall funds needed: approx. 52.300,00 USD (or approx. 46.300,00 €)

As a turnover foundation, the LO-ANH Foundation (LOAN Stiftung) can provide help directly. We would like to carry out this project, but are dependent on every financial donation. We remain optimistic that we will be able to collect the necessary funds.

In cooperation and in continuous contact with our Vietnamese partners, we will as always supervise and guide this project personally and on site. We will report on the progress regularly.

We would be delighted if you were to provide us with moral and financial support in this endeavor. Thank you very much!

Status June 2019: On June 4th, 2019 we receive the wonderful information that Sternstunden e.V. will finance as a main sponsor this project with a donation amounting € 35.000,00. The remaining € 11.300,00 will be financed by the LO-ANH Foundation (LOAN Stiftung) through donations. Thereby the according contract can be signed soon. The handover ceremony was fixed in November 2019. Our deepest thanks to this new sponsor, also in the name of the children of Minh Tan, looking forward to a successful cooperation!:)

Status July, 2019: On July 20th, 2019 the groundbreaking ceremony took place. During a small ceremony, the responsible spiritual clerk asked “Mother Earth” for her blessing and permission to build a new building. The rainy season has started, but the construction work can be accomplished as scheduled. On July 31st, 2019, the construction site looks like a construction site. The workers have a tent in which they can take a break. The first solid fundaments are finished.

Status August 2019: In spite of heavy rainfalls the construction works make good progresses. First walls have been built and the contours of the spacious building can be recognized. On August 27th, 2019 we receive a new report of Minh Tan. The walls got higher. Some of them have been plastered. In the meantime the inside floors are getting prepared for the floor tiler.

Status September, 2019: New Videos and pictures from Minh Tan reach us on September 7th, 2019. The weather is good. Walls are still being plastered. The roof has been fixed. Status September 11th, 2019: Some situation can change so quickly. After heavy rainfalls, the school grounds and the construction site were suddenly inundated on September 08th, 2019. The good news are: Nobody was hurt and our solid buildings (library/Project No. 10 and the new boarding house/Project No. 24) could successfully resist to the flood. The less pleasant news are: Many tons of cement and some construction machines were destroyed. The workers, the architect, the teachers and the children are very sad about it. But they all look forward. The team of LO-ANH Foundation (LOAN Stiftung) is brainstorming about how to help.

Status October 2019: On October 5th, 2019 we received new pictures and videos from Minh Tan. The situation is stress-free again. The LO-ANH Foundation (LOAN Stiftung) has sponsored new cement, so that the fully motivated workers can continue working. The new school building takes more shape. The outside area gets cleaned up. The handover ceremony will take place as scheduled on November 7th, 2019. We will be on the site and report.

Status November 2019: On November 7th, 2019 the German LO-ANH Foundation team (LOAN Stiftung) (Isabelle Müller, Corinna Buchholz) visited (at one’s own expense and not at the expense of the foundation) Minh Tan. We could achieve that H.E. Ambassador Nguyen Huu Trang came from Hanoi to visit the poorest province of Vietnam (Ha Giang) i.a. in order for him to see by his own the actual situation. He was very touched by the true, hard reality of many children and their families. He was also very impressed by the work of the LO-ANH Foundation (LOAN Stiftung). Especially the project realized with the sponsoring of Sternstunden e.V. in Minh Tan impressed him a lot.

The wonderful building has a great finishing. The boarding rooms look bright and friendly. All electrical wires are built inside the walls. Each room has electricity (plugs), light and ventilation, windows and doors (which is not self-evident in Vietnam). The windows are sliding (and better protected against shocks) and protected by grids. The lath floors are made of cinnamon wood (for a better sleep). Lockers are available. A very nice plate with the name of Sternstunden e.V. has been placed on the way to the boarding house, so that it is seen when passing by. Vegetable is  already growing in the patches on the right and left sides and it seems that they have always been there forever. The locals, the children and their families, the teachers and all persons involved are really thankful to Sternstunden e.V.!:) Now in Minh Tan many children will have better conditions of living and learning! The long, dangerous way to school will not be taken every day anymore.

We wish the children of Minh Tan, their families, the teachers and the locals all the best for the future and much success!:) We also say THANK YOU to Sternstunden e.v. for supporting the project!:)

Status May, 2020: On May 14th, 2020, we received new pictures from Minh Tan . The Covid 19 quarantine is over and slowly all schools reopen again in the northern Vietnamese areas. The children are happy to go back to school and to be able to use the beautiful, new boarding house!:) The teachers and the families are happy as well to know that the children are safe there. We are satisfied!:)