Project No. 9 – Kindergarten and elementary school for Ban Pho, Vi Xuyen district, Ha Giang province in the north of Vietnam

Status June 2017: On June 21, 2017 the LO-ANH Foundation team (LOAN Stiftung) (Isabelle Müller, Corinna Buchholz and Werner Huemer) visited (at one’s own expense and not at the expense of the foundation) the village Ban Pho, 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 of this area lags 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.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_people).
1337 households (6437 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.
The current school in Ban Pho is secondary to the school compound in Minh Tan (distance 7 kilometers). Ban Pho is located at an altitude of 1200 meters on the mountain next to Quang Ba district. The school building lies far off the common roads on top of a dangerous hill. As a result, the transportation of people and goods is much more complicated. In good weather, pupils and teachers go to school by moped (if available). If it rains, everyone walks on foot. Cars are not allowed on this school path, because there is a cliff on one side and the other side is too close to the rocks. The clay soil is slippery if wet and the path is only 80 centimeters wide in some places. This dangerous path is a constant challenge for everyone involved (our team decided to walk back on foot!).
Ban Pho village is composed of 94 households (511 inhabitants), all belonging to the same ethnic minority H´Mong. 41 households are very poor, 33 are living on the poverty line and 20 under normal circumstances. All inhabitants live from agriculture. Individual, cultivated fields are scattered across the mountaintop.

In the 2016/2017 academic year, 18 children (6 to 7 years old) were registered at the elementary school and 14 children (3 to 5 years old) at the kindergarten. For the 2017/2018 academic year, at least 21 elementary school children and 20 kindergarten children are expected. All children, big or small, have to walk to school at least an hour every day. The temporary building is basically falling apart because of the severe weather conditions. The dilapidated shack doesn’t shield from wind or rain. During winter it is cold and humid. Thus, it is difficult to hold classes and the development of the children is affected. The normal level of education can‘t be achieved.

The construction of a weatherproof building (3 classrooms for kindergarten and elementary school children) and a sanitary facility would alleviate the need of these children and their fellow villagers. The children would have regular, better and higher quality access to education. With at least an average or even superior level of education, the pupils would be able to keep up with other children of the same age coming from regions with a better standing. They could attend high school and increase their chances for a better future. The families and community would also be relieved through this new and permanent, local infrastructure.

Because of its difficult, inaccessible location, local workers would carry all of the construction materials on their backs for the last 2 kilometers!

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

1 x building (3 classrooms) – funds needed: approx. 28,369.00 USD (or approx. 26,500.00 €)

1 x sanitary facility with water tank – funds needed: approx. 8,659.00 USD (or approx. 8,100.00 €)

1 x equipment (desks, chairs, etc. …), approx. 1.500,00 USD (or 1,400.00 €)

Overall funds needed: approx. 38,530.00 USD (or approx. 36,000.00€)

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 September 2017: On September 14, 2017 a two-person team of the LO-ANH foundation (LOAN Stiftung) (Isabelle Müller and Corinna Buchholz) visited (at one’s own expense and not at the expense of the foundation) the village of Ban Pho. Not only because of the recent heavy and persistent rains, but also because the route is too dangerous, we walked the last 2 kilometers on foot. School started on September 05 here as well. We met the children and teachers, who showed us how the classes usually take place (see photo gallery below). We are astonished and shocked under which circumstanced the children are learning. Something has to be done!

The LO-ANH foundation (LOAN Stiftung) is still looking for suitable sponsors to realize this project. Ban Pho is patient and we remain optimistic that we will soon be successful.

Status November 2017: On November 26, 2017 the team of the LO-ANH Foundation (LOAN Stiftung) (Isabelle Müller, Rebecca Müller and Stephan Müller) travelled (at one’s own expense and not at the expense of the foundation) to Ban Pho, Vi Xuyen district, Ha Giang province, North Vietnam. Thanks to a generous private donation in October 2017, we are now able to start this project. However, part of the project still needs to be financed. We remain optimistic that we will be able to find additional sponsors. Details of this visit can be found in the related photo gallery.

Status January 2018: Tons of building materials were brought to Ban Pho on mopeds. The enthusiastic population removed the earth and leveled the ground out.
Status February 2018: Heavy stones are still brought to the construction site on mopeds. This is arduous work and demands lots of patience and courage. People work tireless. Soon the “Tet-Holiday” will begin and most Vietnamese people will take a break. Accordingly the next report will then follow at the middle of March 2018.
Status middle of March 2018: After the Vietnamese New Year holidays the work on Ban Pho´s construction site goes on. Stones and cement blocks, cement and sand were brought on mopeds to Ban Pho. The first fundaments of the new building are visible. The workers always have a smile on their faces. Happiness is in the air.
Status May 2018: On May 13th, 2018 our team of the LO-ANH Foundation (LOAN Stiftung – Isabelle Müller, Corinna Buchholz) visited the construction site in Ban Pho (at one´s own expense and not at the expense of the foundation). The new spacious building is constantly growing bit by bit. The construction supervisor stays confident that the new primary school with kindergarten will be operating before the new school year.
Status October 2018: On October 08th, 2018 the LO-ANH Foundation (LOAN Stiftung) team (Isabelle Müller, Corinna Buchholz) visits (at one’s own expenses and not at the expenses of the foundation) Minh Tan commune, Vi Xuyen district, Ha Giang province. The completed project of Ban Pho village is officially handed over with a wonderful ceremony. We wish the children and the teachers good luck and much success in their new school for the future!:)

Status February, 2019: On February 19th, 2019 the LO-ANH Foundation (LOAN Stiftung) (Isabelle Müller) visits (at one’s own expenses and not at the expenses of the foundation) the site in Ban Pho, Vi Xuyen district, Ha Giang province. It was a short visit. Our sponsored building is in excellent shape und currently in use. We are satisfied!:)

Status November, 2019: On November 7th, 2019 we visited shortly Ban Pho, this time together with H.E. Nguyen Huu Trang. We had some useful gifts for the children with us and distributed them, what made them very happy. Our primary school with Kindergarten is kept in good shape. The teachers and children are lucky. It was great again to see how our building contributes directly to the positive development of the commune!:)

Status September, 2021: School in Ban Pho has started again. We have received new pictures of the daily life of the students. The new elementary school with Kindergarten is well used. We are happy!:)