As scheduled, on 24/8, we come from Hanoi to the schools that are lack of facilities to survey.
On the Khau Pha garge, it was poured. The rain was much stronger than in Hanoi. For safety reasons, we decided to stop for a few minutes at our friend’s house – Giang A Co. His home is right next to the edge of the road, the front toward road. From the back, we can see the valley below.
The smell of kitchen smoke hugged on the shirt, the hair and all around things. It felt so warm. Outsides, A Co and his wife were anxiously stock the soil on the ground to fill the edge of the door, avoiding water into the house. They scared that heavy rain may blow out their simple and petit house.
Luckily, the rain stopped. We say goodbye to A Co and continue our trip to the children.
On Khau Pha gorge, Cao Pha Semi boarding Ethnic Minority Primary School is located between the black roof houses of the Mong Ethnic, surrounded by lush green rice terraces. Mu Cang Chai after the rain is like a beautiful nature painting, rich fields make people feel peaceful.
I still remember when driving on the road, we met a mother a Mong ethnic mother and her child the motorcycle in the afternoon sun. Sitting in front of his mother, his eyes squinted and face up on the sun. Being in love of nature, the children in highland are innocent.
We finally reached the road leading to Lim Thai. A small road filled with muddy path leading to the school, small house stood on 2 sides. Everyone looks at us curiously.
We went to school at 5pm, the students are playing in the yard. Each of them is holding a spoon to wait for the meal!
We visited the boarding house. The school has 710 students, 98% of whom are Mong Ethnic and 500 of them are boarding students.
“So crowded!” There are four long lines lined up waiting to eat. It was dark. The school was out of electricity and it’s seem so gloomy. What an obsession!
The children are arranged into 4 rows waiting to eat
Each child was holding a spoon, seemed very hungry. It was a big surprise to come to the cafeteria. The first surprise was that they were more numerous than I can imagine. With the capacity of such small school. Eating room is surrounded by aluminum panels. Our appearance does not scatter them.
Another surprise is their meal. The plastic tray contains a little white rice, a few nuts and some small dried fish and soup. So confused that I didn’t dare not take pictures. That is the ration of each child. In the beginning I thought of my daughter at home. She is always in love of all members in my family.
Monthly allowance for meal is 400,000 VND per pupil, including food, firewood, cooking oil … There are only less than 5,000 VND each meal. The basic meal is too little, never may they know about biscuit, candy, ice cream like those who are in the city. Finished the meal, they bring tray for teacher to wash in order to make room and tray for their friends lined up behind. In spite of the fact, they still smile so nice!
The other thing we encountered was the place to sleep. So simple! Each bedroom has 10 – 12 bunk beds for 60 – 70 children sleeping together. There were two more rooms of wood, inside lay bunk beds covered by old mattresses.
The children are so shy when looking at us, they stood behind the door, run into the room laughing. They have no good food, no good bed, no warm blanket to lie, even no pillow, but they are carefree!
Their wooden house to be a bedroom with iron bed insides
We gave all the food we have to children, biscuit, candy, bread… all the things we got in bad. Wished that we had more food here to give them!
Leaving the school, still, I remember the curious faces about the camera, laughs in love and innocence. The Mong ethnic girls wear T-shirts but their colorful ethnic skirt. They are fresh just like a sunny day!
We get back in the car immediately in the dark back to work in Hanoi next day. My heart is filled with joy. We are delighted to have reached the point where really need our help, delighted with the upcoming plans to help the children and the teachers.
We are stranger at first, but now we are familiar. In this place, the children do not have many conditions like those in city. They are playing school yard, walking on street of the village, around the terraced fields full of sunshine. They do not know about Iphone, Ipad, ice cream… but they still grow up in such an enjoyable way!
Let’s go to school with Minh Long Co., Ltd:
Time: September 4th, 2017
Place of delivery:
• Cao Pha Semi boarding Ethnic Minority Primary School, Lim Thai Village, Cao Pha, Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai: 710 pupils
• Xeo Di Ho Semi-boarding Ethnic Minority Primary School, Lao Chai, Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai: 508 pupils
• 90 sets of tables & chairs + 6 sets of tables and chairs for 2 teachers in Mu Cang Chai district, Yen Bai province
• Books, learning tools
• Food (biscuit, candy…)