Schools Built In 2007
In 2007, our focus for school projects continued to be in the Mekong Delta of Viet Nam. Specifically we concentrated our efforts in the coastal province of Kien Giang and built a total of 20 classrooms in 10 schools throughout the province. In all, over 1000 students will benefit from these schools for years to come.
Kien Giang is one of the 12 provinces of the Mekong Delta and situated in the extreme south – west at about 250 kilometers from Saigon. It covers an area of 6,300 square kilometers and has over 200 kilometers of coastal line. The population in 2004 was 1,634,000 people, mainly live in rural areas (78.12%), while only 21.88% live in urban areas. Kien Giang province is comprised of 01 city (Rach Gia city), 01 town (Ha Tien town) and 11 administrative districts.
The population mainly lives by agriculture and livestock husbandry and the living standard is still very low. Most of the existing schools in the rural areas are degraded or in temporary state and need to be rebuilt. The main mode of transportation in the rural areas of Kien Giang is through the use of canoes via the crisscrossing waterways (canals). This transportation method severally limited the ability of young students to go to school.
At the new economic zones in Kien Luong, Hon Dat, Go Quao, Giong Rieng, Chau Thanh districts, people still lack basic living necessities such as clean water and electricity. In the barren fields and under the relentless sun, elementary age children often walked 5-10 kilometers to attend school. It is not unusual for a child in these areas to go 6-8 hours without taking a sip of water.
As a part of our collaboration with YMCA International since 2003, Sunflower Mission funded 02 classrooms for a junior high school at the Vinh Dong hamlet, Ngoc Thuan commune, Giong Rieng district. About 120 students, divided into 02 shifts, will study in the 02 new classrooms. The school was completed in March and was dedicated to the Vietnamese Students Association at University of Houston. Bao Huong, then VSA President, attended the dedication ceremony.
In May of 2007, we built a 2 classroom school in Kien Son hamlet, Kien Binh commune, Kien Luong district as the school for our annual summer workcamp. In conjunction with the workcamp, we built 4 more 2 classrooms school in the Kien Giang at the following locations:
- HT2 hamlet, Vinh Dieu commune, Kien Luong district
- Roc Xay hamlet, Vinh Dieu commune, Kien Luong district
- Hoa Thanh hamlet, Dinh Hoa commune, Go Quao district
- Thanh Binh hamlet, Thanh Loc commune, Chau Thanh district.
Additionally, 8 more class rooms were built in the second half of 2007. We are honored to recognize the direct contribution to the school building program by the following groups which enabled us to build these class rooms:
- Harvard OPM35 and Westney Consulting Group: 4 classrooms school at Thang Loi hamlet, Thanh Loc commune, Vinh Thanh district, Can Tho province.
- Wynn Vu and Friends: 2 classrooms school in Hoang Minh hamlet, An Trach commune, Dong Hai district, Bac Lieu province
- Others: 2 classrooms school in Kenh Xang hamlet, An Tract commune, Dong Hai district, Bac Lieu province.