Ben Tre is a City in southern Vietnam, on the Makong Delta. Traditionally, people living in here have earned a living from agriculture, forestry and rice farming.
Today, many live off fishing and aquaculture, especially of shrimps, and the cultivation of coconuts.
It's a region familiar with poverty, and has a high child poverty rate. Many children work to financially support their family, and thereby miss out on education. We began supporting children and families in the area since 1999.
One of the poorest provinces in the region
Government initiatives have sought to reduce poverty, with some success. Yet relatively high levels of poverty endure. Those especially vulnerable to the effects of poverty are women, people with little education, and households with little or no land to cultivate.
Mekong Delta has one of the highest child poverty rates due to a number of unfavourable factors: social inclusion and protection of children, water and sanitation infrastructure, education, housing, and child labour rates. The quality and availability of education remains limited. Many children leave school because families can't afford the cost. These children often work to raise the family income. For example, in rural areas they may work in the fields, while in urban areas they may beg or sell small goods on the streets.
How we help families in Ben Tre
Through the SOS Family Support Programme we help vulnerable families living in the community. Tailored services help families to stay together and ensure children are well cared for. When required, we give financial support to children living in poverty so that they can attain their nutritional, educational and medical needs.
Children find a loving home in our Villages
When a child in Ben Tre can no longer live with their biological family, they can find a home in our Children's Village. Here, they are cared for by an SOS Mother and live in a family home with SOS brothers and sisters.
Young children go to the SOS nursery, along with children from the local area. Older children attend the SOS school, which caters for pupils at both primary and secondary level. Children can receive special support from their teachers if they are struggling with a subject. There are also a wide range of after-school sports and cultural activities which they can partake in.
Young people attend the SOS youth programme, where they are supported to complete higher education or vocational training courses. For example, some young people in Ben Tre have gone to university, while others have trained as tailors, electricians, mechanics and cooks. With the help of SOS Children, they are supported on their journey to independence.
With your support children and families in Ben Tre are given hope for a better future. Will you sponsor a child Vietnam today?