Friday, January 24, 2014

Semi-boarding schools in the remote Vietnamese province of Dien Bien are at the heart of a UNICEF-supported primary education policy for ethnic minority children.

A healthy start in Viet Nam

Ten-year-old Xi, a member of the Vietnamese Mong ethnic minority, wants to be a police officer when she grows up. “I’d like to protect the ethnic minorities, and to be able to spot the drug dealers and stop them,” she says.

Such confidence and social responsibility in someone so young is startling, especially bearing in mind that her home is in one of the most disadvantaged and remote parts of Viet Nam, where making ends meet is the main priority. Her mature attitude also represents an encouraging victory for UNICEF’s new country programme geared towards supporting ethnic minority children as well as disabled and other disadvantaged young people.
Students at Dien Bien’s semiboarding schools take health and hygiene lessons back to their homes.