Project No. 44 – Construction of a Boarding House in Thang Mo, Yên Minh District, Ha Giang province

Status December, 2022:

In September and December, 2022, our German team (Isabelle Müller) together with our Vietnamese team visited Yên Minh district (Ha Giang province). We had already visited this district twice in order to realize a meaningful, sustainable project, but so far the proposals did not meet our minimum requirements. Finally, on December 6th, 2022, we have visited the community of Thang Mo, which offers very good conditions.

Yên Minh is a rural district of Ha Giang Province in north-eastern Vietnam. It includes 1 city and 18 communes. Yên Minh borders China to the north with a border line of 29 km, Bac Me and Bao Lam (Cao Bang) districts to the south, Quan Ba and Vi Xuyen districts to the west, and Dong Van district to the east.
The district has a total area of 783,840 km2 and a total population of 101,095 with 19,894 households. 17 ethnic minorities live together there, including H’Mong (57.7%), Dao 14.19%; Tay 12.21%; Nùng 4.47%; Giáy 6.32%; Kin 3.44%; and others. The district has 9,562 poor households (31.83%).ölker_Vietnams

Thang Mo is a commune in Yên Minh District, about 42 km far from the district center. The commune is divided into 8 villages with 479 households = 3023 people, of which 352 are poor households = 2147 people or 70.08%. The total area of the commune amounts 1,856.9 ha.

9 ethnic groups live here together (85.75% H’Mong). The community lives mainly from agriculture and forestry. The average income is 19 million VND/person/year (about 820 USD/person/year). Population growth is 1.67%; The school mobilization rate of children in the age group 6-14 reached 99.2%. Thang Mo has 3 schools (1 primary school and 1 secondary school with boarding school, and 1 kindergarten).

Thang Mo Secondary School was established on March 1, 2011 (after separating from Thang Mo Junior High School). In the school year 2022 – 2023 the school has 8 classes = 293 students, including 186 boarding students. A total of 17 teachers and employees work here.

The farthest way to school is 12 km (about 3 hours by foot) and the nearest way to school is 3 km. According to the Thang Mo Commune Master Plan, the school will be relocated to the Municipality Headquarters. The government is currently building 8 more classrooms, but there is no boarding house for about 300 children who want to stay at school during the week. As a temporary solution, all children (especially those who have a very long way to school) have to find temporary accommodation outside of school and stay in the surrounding houses of the local people.

Accordingly, Thang Mo commune needs following:

  • 1 new boarding school (basement and two floors with 10 bedrooms) for at least 160 students
  • Toilets and showers for boys and girls
  • Facilities (80 bunk beds, 160 mats and 30 lockers)

Total Budget required: USD 166.370,00 (or € 154.725,00)

The district of Yen Minh can contribute (preparation of the construction site, construction of the basement) and has approx. USD 37.847,00 (or € 35.198,00)  available for this purpose. The area of the basement will be used either as a canteen, room for school activities or dormitories, depending on the needs. The whole building will be 50 cm higher than our previous buildings, because the secondary school children are taller and need more space.

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 June, 2023: On June 7th, 2023, I (Isabelle Müller) visited with my Vietnamese team Thang Mo commune. The contract for the construction of the 3-floor-building was signed on this day. The boarding house with sanitary facilities should be ready before the school year 2024-2025 starts. We hope for financial help from sponsors and will report on any progress.

Status July, 2023: On July 13th, 2023, we received the wonderful information that Sternstunden e.V. will support this project with a financial donation of €89.645,00. In the name of the poorest Vietnamese children of Thang Mo and our team, we say Thank You to this sponsor. As for the 3 projects that we already realized together in the past, we will ensure a conscientious and reliable realization of this project as well, and will report regularly.

On July 29th, 2023, our Vietnamese team and representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs Ha Giang visited Thang Mo. The ground-breaking ceremony took place after making a small ceremony at which “Mother Earth” was asked for permission and protection. Now the construction work can begin. We will report.

Status August/November, 2023: We received new pictures and videos from Thang Mo. Our Vietnamese team visited the construction site. The construction work is progressing well with good weather.

Status December, 2023 / January, 2024: The floors of the boarding house and the sanitary facilities have been built. When the weather is good, walls are plastered. We are still on schedule. At the end of the month, before the beginning of the Tet holidays, the construction work will stop for a little while. The construction workers will spend this time at home with their families.

Status April, 2024: After the Tet holidays, the construction work has progressed very well. Most of the rooms have already been plastered and tiles have been laid. It was briefly considered whether the building should be completed earlier than planned. However, we decided to hold the official inauguration according to plan at the beginning of September 2024. That’s why the construction workers have now taken a break. They are expected to start working again in July 2024. In August 2024, after the rainy season, the building will be painted before handover. Further pictures and videos will then be sent to us accordingly.

Status July, 2024: Construction work has started again. The painting of the building is now finished. The bunk beds and lockers will be delivered in August, so that the official handover will take place at the beginning of the new school year. All the rooms look great. We are satisfied and will report from Vietnam when we are back there at the beginning of September.