Project No. 32 – Construction of a new boarding house with sanitary facilities in Minh Son, Bac Me District( Ha Giang province ) in the north of Vietnam.

Status October 1st, 2019Bac Me district is 53 kilometers far from Ha Giang city. It is next to Yen Minh district in the north, Lam Binh and Na Hang districts in Tuyen Quang province in the south, Ha Giang city and Vi Xuyen district in the west and Bao Lam district in Cao Bang province in the east.

The district has 1 town and 12 communes. Bac Me has a surface of 85606,45 ha (10,77 % of the surface of the province) and is the center connecting Ha Giang and Cao Bang provinces. The population amounts 46879 people (9299 households) coming from 14 different ethnic minotities. The biggest ethnic minorities are: Dao (37%), Tay (22,34%) and H´Mong (22,21%). Other ethnic minorities as Kinh, Hoa, Pu Peo, Giay and Nung are also represented. The rate of poverty amounts 36,5% (3792 households or 10375 people).ölker_Vietnams

The commune of Minh Son is a difficult commune of Bac Me district. It is 40 kilometers far from the center of the district and 45 kilometers far from Ha Giang city. The commune has a surface of  14,774 ha and counts 6678 people. There are 529 poor households. There are 6 ethnic minorities living together, including Dao, Tay, H´Mong (50&), Nung and Kinh.

In total 914 children go to the different schools that are employing 81 teachers. In the primary school of Minh Son there are 8 classes (225 children, including 217 children of ethnic minorities). This school year (2019-2020) 141 children in total stay at the boarding house. Next year there will be additional 139 to 159 boarding students. The school will not be able to shelter all students appropriately, and if yes only under unbearable conditions for the children. Until now, the school only has 2 rooms at disposal (70 children per room with 40 square meters).

The school doesn’t have a “real” kitchen. The meals are cooked in a barrack outside under each weather situation. The children must eat in the classrooms because there is no canteen. Furthermore, there are only 2 small toilets for all.

Looking towards the future, Minh Son commune is in need of the following:

  • 1 x building with 10 bedrooms for 160 children
  • sanitary facilities
  • 80 bunk beds and 30 steel cabinets with 6 compartments (USD 9.500,00 or € 8.800,00)

Overall funds needed: approx. USD 74,172,00 (or approx. € 68.680,00)

As a turnover foundation, the LOAN 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 November, 2019: On November 5th, 2019, the team of the LOAN Foundation (LOAN Stiftung), (Isabelle Müller, Corinna Buchholz, Bui Thu Huong and Tran Quang Phu) visited – on own expenses and not on the expenses of the foundation – the commune of Minh Son. The school is directed in a good and lovely way. The proposed site for the construction is appropriate. Directly on the site, we recognize the urgency and necessity of this project. We hope to find soon the adequate sponsor!:)
Status March 1st, 2020: We consider to aggrandize this project, as a second option. Our first cost calculation did not include any kitchen with canteen, that are urgently needed as well. But where should this new building be placed? The construction site is limited. Our local architect has found a good solution. The boarding house could be built with two floors, so that enough space would be available for the kitchen with canteen and the sanitary facilities. The construction of a two-floor-building with kitchen, canteen and sanitary facilities would cost as follow:
  • Boarding House (2-floor-building) with 5 rooms per floor for 160 children (16 children per room)
  • 1 sanitary facilities
  • 1 kitchen with canteen
  • 80 bunk beds and 30 steel cabinets with 6 compartments (USD 9.500,00 or € 8.800,00)

Overall funds needed: approx. USD 119.505,00 (or approx. € 110.650,00)

Status April, 2020: At the end of April, 2020, we receive wonderful news: Sternstunden e.V. announces its support of LOAN Stiftung amounting € 83.000,00!:) We are very happy about it, together with the children, the teachers and the commune of Minh Son!:) We say a deep THANK YOU to this devoted Sponsor and we will give our best, as usual!:)

Status May, 2020: The contracts are signed. The exact budget amounts USD 120.205,00 (or approx. €111.300,00). Now this important project can start. Our goal is to realize successfully this project before the end of this year. This time, our Vietnamese team (Mrs. Bui Thu Huong and Mr. Tran Quang Phu) will represent us on the spot, because of travel restrictions due to Covid 19. Both will regularly keep us informed with pictures and videos.

Status June, 2020: We have received all necessary permissions for the construction of this large project. Together with the rainy season, the construction works have begun. The workers are hard-working and the first fundaments are visible. Our architect is confident that this project will be realized on schedule.

Status July, 2020: On July 7th and 20th, 2020 we received new reports from our Vietnamese Team visiting the site. In the middle of the rainy season, the construction works are kept up. The new building planned has received deep, strong fundaments. The bottom plate for the next floor has been poured concrete. Many male and female workers of the surroundings are employed for this project. We are on schedule. All participants are very happy about the progression of the construction works.

Status August, 2020: On August 6th, 2020 we received the new report from Minh Son. Sometimes, because of the rainfalls, the construction works have to stand still. But we are on schedule. All strong buildings are growing daily, as well as the joy of all contributors. On August 23rd, 2020, we get new pictures and videos from Minh Son. The adjoining buildings stand, while the inner walls of the boarding house are getting plastered.
Status September, 2020: On September 8th, 2020 we received new pictures and videos of Minh Son from our Vietnamese Team (Mrs.Bui Thu Huong and Mr. Tran Quang Phu). Several walls have been plastered. The roof of the boarding house as well as the stair case are in the making. The kitchen, the canteen and the sanitary facilities are in good progress. We are very satisfied with the development and will continue reporting. On September 22nd, 2020 we received new pictures and videos from Minh Son with the status of progress from September 14th until 22nd, 2020. Many inside and outside walls are still getting plastered. Some parts of the roofs have been fixed. We are good on schedule.

Status October, 2020: On October 6th, 2020 we receive new pictures and videos from Minh Son. Everything is progressing well and we are on schedule. The workers and all people involved in this project are still working hard. The kitchen and the canteen slowly take shape. Many walls are still getting plastered. Soon the painting works will begin. On October 26th, 2020 we receive the next pictures. Almost all inside and outside walls are plastered. The stairs of the boarding house are almost finished. Ventilators have been fixed in the sleeping rooms.

Status November, 2020: The new pictures and videos of Minh Son dated November 9th, 2020 show us that the construction works are progressing very well. Almost all buildings are painted. The stair railings are getting fixed. The sanitary facilities are in progress. Soon everything will get cleaned for the official handover ceremony in December 2020.
Status December, 2020: The buildings for the children are built. The population, the teachers and volunteer children came together in order to clean the new buildings and the schoolyard. The new schoolyard is getting cemented, so that less dirt will come into the buildings. In the meantime, the old barack that used to be the kitchen was teared off. With the construction of this project, hundreds of children will have better chances for education and a more “normal” school daily routine. The official handover ceremony is planned on December 24th, 2020.

On December 24th, 2020 the official handover ceremony of the equipped Boarding House of Minh Son took place. Our team was represented on the site with Mrs. Bui Thu Huong. Because of the travel restrictions due to Covid-19, the ceremony was transmitted live over Google Meet to Germany. Mrs. Isabelle Müller (Founder of the Foundation) attended live to the event. Following persons attended i.a.: Mrs. Ly Thi Lan (Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ha Giang), Mrs. Cung Thi May (Chairwoman of the People´s Committee of Bac Me District ), Mr. Mao Quoc Toan (Vice Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ha Giang), representatives of the commune, Mr. Dang Ngoc Huan (Principal of the Minh Son Primary School), Mr. Giang Nguyen Xuan (Architect), the students and many family members, residents, Ha Giang TV and Journalists of the newspaper Bao Ha Giang.

With the construction of this weatherproofed, equipped building and with the great support of Sternstunden e.V., the LOAN Stiftung improves the lives of hundreds of children and many teachers. The children have now a secure daily school routine. The meals are getting prepared in the big kitchen and are eaten under a roof in the new school canteen. Adequate sanitary facilities are available. During the night the children are safe. Many of them do not need to walk the mostly long, dangerous and difficult way back home. As the local newspaper correctly reported, many children will from now on attend school regularly instead of dropping out school. Furthermore, because of the actual modernization of the school, the government has officially established the school as the “Minh Son Boarding Primary School in Bac Me District“. A big contribution for the commune that was until now one of the poorest communes of Ha Giang province.

We say thank you to our team, especially to our Vietnamese team on the site, that delivered excellent work though difficult times due to Covid-19. We thank our main sponsor Sternstunden e.V. for trusting us and for the great financial support. Finally we thank all our donors that contributed to this wonderful result for the poorest children of this region.

We wish the children of Minh Son much success in learning, good health and good luck!:)

Status May, 2021: End of May, 2021 we receive new videos and pictures of Minh Son. The teachers and the children are happy. Our new buildings (boarding house, kitchen, canteen, sanitary facilities) relief their daily lives and school routine. We are happy!:)

Status September, 2021: The school in Minh Son has started again. We have received new pictures of the daily life of the students. The new boarding school is well used. We are happy!:)

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Status December, 2021: We regularly receive new pictures and videos from Minh Son. The school facilities are a dream for the children and the teachers. In the video gallery (or here below) the video speaks for itself. Enjoy viewing! 🙂

Status September, 2022: On September 8th, 2022, I (Isabelle Müller) visited Minh Son commune together with my Vietnamese team. The boarding house is very well used and the school facilities are still very well maintained. This time we have handed over to the children 500 books (our Project No. 38), so that they can improve their education with a wide range of reading materials. The children and the teachers prepared a welcome ceremony for my visit. We wish the children, the teachers and the commune of Minh Son all the best for the future, good luck and success!:)

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