Tran Thi Cam Nhung Hiep, principal at the My Tay A primary school in the district’s Hiep My Tay Commune, recalled times when the school had no bathroom and the students had to use an area behind the classroom as a toilet.
“It is the school’s pain as we teach the kids to maintain hygiene for the environment but we cannot help them follow it,” said Nhung.
She was later relieved as a bathroom with separate sections for boys and girls, was built based on a fund supported by ActionAid.
Some projects aiming at improving students’ life skills have brought positive changes to the countryside kids. Many timid children have become more confident while engaging in daily activities.
“We are very grateful for ActionAid,” said the principal.
ActionAid’s main goals in the area are to eliminate illiteracy and promote community development, HIV/AIDS prevention, women’s rights and gender equality.
Within 10 years, this organization and other sponsors have supported Cau Ngang District with VND30 billion (US$1.44 million) in aid, which has benefited 25,000 people over the last three years.
In Hiep My Dong Commune in Cau Ngang District, Chinh, a Khmer woman, went from being illiterate to becoming a leader of a community development group.
Back in 2009, Chinh studied in a class held by ActionAid and later became a teacher. At first, she was not supported by her husband, brothers and sisters. The job took up a great deal of her time, and she could not earn much money and take care of her family like before. Chinh persevered by telling herself she was providing motivation to other local women.
“While it is a little loss for the family, I can make other women happy, so that loss is not considerable. Poverty has to end at a point, it cannot last forever like this,” she said.
The community development group has become a common house for all women, who come to seek resolutions to any individual problems.
At each meeting they donate an amount of VND50,000 (US$2.5) or VND100,000 (US$5) each to the group’s fund, which will act as loans for the members to invest in business.
“We have collected more than 100 million dong for the fund,” said Lan, deputy head of the group.