In improving early education facilities the community hopes to continue to increase school enrolment rates and the level of literacy. The long-term effects of early childhood education are expected to lead to a better economic and social future for the community.
Binh Ninh is a small community, in the Vinh Long Province of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Most families living here rely on agriculture, particularly rice farming and cash crops. But, as there is very little access to technology or mechanised farming, the work is still highly labour intensive. Crop yields are also at the mercy of the extreme weather conditions that affect this part of the Mekong Delta and often farmers can be left with little income for their hard labour.
Vietnam has made rapid progress in its economic development over the past years. Universal access to basic education services is now provided but disparities between urban and rural areas still exist. According to Unicef there is a widening gap between Vietnam’s rich and poor and many, especially in remote rural locations, still struggle to maintain a livelihood. Unicef states that although the poverty rate is 18.3 per cent in urban areas, it is 44.9 per cent in rural areas.
The Union of Friendship Organization says that more than 200 families out of the 2,500 living in Binh Ninh have been identified as poverty-stricken and are forced to live on an average amount of 21 USD per person, each month. The community has poor infrastructure and a serious lack of clean water leading to high illness rates as people are drinking from contaminated sources.
Parents who find themselves in difficult financial situations are sometimes forced to leave their children at home while they work. And so Kindergartens become even more important, not only for early childhood development but to prevent children being left at home unattended or left in the care of older siblings where they are at risk of accident and poor supervision.
The Kim Dong Kindergarten in the Binh Ninh Commune not only provides an education for the children but also has a positive economic impact on the families. The parents are able to work knowing that their children are safe.
Although Vinh Long Province receives some financial support to build kindergartens from the Government, they are still in need of assistance from outside donors, like CNCF, to help them build more kindergartens to meet the needs of the families living here.
With thanks to CNCF Australia and our local partners, the Union of Friendship Organization of Vinh Long Province People’s Committees of Tam Binh District and Vinh Long Province.