Phú Mỹ - June 2004
Sunflower Mission has completed the construction of 2 new classrooms in the Phu My village. These 2 class rooms are built on high ground and projected to last over 30 yrs. This is deemed very necessary and significant for the education of the children and will contribute to the sustainable development of the village. The 2 new classrooms are built about 200 meter away from the old school. The degrading classrooms will be used as the dormitory for the teachers coming from other provinces. The total cost for the 2 classrooms, classroom furniture, toilet, yard and fence is 12,867 USD, of which 2,867 USD is funded by the local community and 10,000 USD is funded by Sunflower Mission.
This project was completed with a work camp . Up to 12 Sunflower Mission members and supporters paid their own way to spend a week (June 3-8, 2004) at the site to help complete the school and had it ready for the students. Sunflower Mission will track progress of the school and provide support to its students to ensure that they have a reasonable chance to succeed.
Dong Thap province has made some strides in the last 5 years to develop and improve economic conditions for its people. The average percent of its people living under the poverty level has dropped to 7%. Poverty level is defined as having annual income of less than 120 USD. The majority of these poor people, however, are living in the Thanh Binh district. Also, due to its relative location to the Cambodian border, Dong Thap provincial authorities are struggling to deal with the continued cross-border trafficking of women and children. Having a sense of hope for the future is needed to reduce the increasing number of women seeking to marry non-Vietnamese for convenience’s sake and becoming vulnerable to trafficking traps.Located in the remote and annually flooded area of Dong Thap province in the Mekong Delta, Thanh Binh district is facing problems in all aspects, especially in education. The children there are in desperate need of a stable school not only to keep going to school in the flooding season but also to have hope for a better future.
Among the poorest villages of Thanh Binh district, Phu My village is located on an island on the Mekong River. There are about 130 children of the elementary school age. Most of the people live on agriculture and almost 80% of the population is under poverty level. There is 1 kindergarten classroom sponsored by Hokkaido YMCA in October 2003 and 2 dilapidated wooden classrooms for the elementary school children. Because of this, the children have to cross the river by ferry to attend another school. It is a serious safety concern for small children to cross the river and walk to school by themselves. Some children have had to drop out of school because of this difficulty.