A new home for ethnic minority students

Connections team lent hands to build new home for ethnic minority students of Nguyen Binh school, Cao Bang

For Vietnamese kids, living in house with their family is the best thing of world to enjoy happiness, security and care. Unfortunately in many cases across this developing nation, teenagers of secondary and high school level with ethnic minority background must live far apart from their family for study goal.

There are a number of public schools based in remote areas, in Central Highland or Northern Vietnam offering dormitories to boarding students, yet most of them are not properly equipped facilities for the all-year-round living and even not sufficiently serving the demand of stay.

Via 3-year-project titled READY 4 HEALTH in Cao Bang Province, ADRA in Vietnam did a small research on the need of boarding houses from schools in Nguyen Binh and Thong Nong district. We later endeavored to connect schools in most need with donors, supporters and volunteers across the globe to bring on idea of CREATING A BETTER HOME FOR ETHNIC MINORITY STUDENTS.

2013, this idea was approved of assistance by a group from Mosaic Community Church, New Zealand. The program was projected later with numerous efforts spent on both sides, including the volunteers and the organizers.

For dedicated members of Mosaic Community Church, who saw them putting their offering wholeheartedly for the good of community, the project was a big mission yet promising in forming a thread with the less fortunate lives residing in under-developed society.

A variety of fund-raising activities prepared for the trip were steered and self-implemented by the Mosaic Group, including auctioning home-made cake, serving dinner for church community, selling traditional lemon drizzle cake.

April 2014 was the initially saved period Mosaic Community Church Group coming to Vietnam and ready lending a hand on field. The date was postponed for several reasons of difficulties. Team still held to the project with great determination and passion.

September 2014, the Mosaic group eventually came up of 16 members joining in the Connections Trip with ADRA in Vietnam. PROJECT BOARDING HOUSE IN NGUYEN BINH HIGH SCHOOL, Cao Bang Province was kicked start on the 25th September, aiming at the building of two 24m2 rooms that are ready to accommodate 12-16 students.

Throughout 6 working days, a considerable volume of work was completed with amazing speed, thing that ADRA in Vietnam had not witnessed in previous projects. The whole team nevertheless confronted challenge of lacking construction tools and guidance from the main builders, yet some stood up to draw out the progress and led the group to other necessary work.

Connections group did brick layering, concrete mixing, materials moving, roofing, site clearing, rendering and assisted to finalize few parts of the boarding house. There was sweat damped in every t-shirt of ADRA volunteers, but laughs and smiles and sparks of happiness were witnessed of never being absent on this construction site. Lots of students came to us and asked for joining help. We were happy to share and to work with them.

Few members of Connections team were invited to English lessons with local students. This was such an activity heaps of excitement, starting the language and cultural exchange in practicality.

In order to better complete the boarding house, Mosaic Community Church group did further support the purchase of necessary equipment, including bunk beds and mats. The New Zealand volunteers also gifted 40 thick blankets to current ethnic minority students boarding at school, that would help them stay warmer in this and later freezing winter.