Dien Bien Phu
Dien Bien province is in north-west Vietnam, not far from the border with Laos. The city of Dien Bien Phu is in a large valley, and home to numerous ethnic minorities.
Our SOS Children's Village in Dien Bien Phu opened in 2009 to provide a home for vulnerable children in the region.
45% live below the poverty line
Dien Bien is one of the poorest provinces in the country. Largely a rural area, most people live off farming or herding animals. Infrastructure is often lacking, and many children from rural areas are unable to go to school. This is partly because there is a lack of schools, but also because parents who are struggling to make a living can't afford the extra cost of schooling. In these circumstances, children may work so as to contribute to the family income.
Like in other parts of Vietnam, human trafficking is a growing issue in the northern province of Dien Bien. People are trafficked both internally, but also across the borders into Laos, China and beyond.
Ethnic minorities disadvantaged
Due to the social and economic hardships in the region, children are vulnerable of loosing parental care. Many children who come into our care are from the ethnic minorities who live in the isolated mountainous areas, and often only speak their ethnic language and not Vietnamese.
When they arrive in our Children's Village, these children require intense support so that they can learn Vietnamese and do well academically. We have been successful in this respect, and these children have improved their language skills and are enjoying school.
We provide loving homes to lone children in Dien Bien Phu
When a child can no longer live with their family, we care for them in an SOS Children's Village. Here, they are looked after by an SOS mother and live in a family house with their SOS brothers and sisters. Each child has a "Child Development Plan" which highlights their individual needs. We set up a nursery class in the Village for young children, as the nearest nursery was far away. Here children between the ages of three and six can learn through play.
Older children attend local schools and make friends with children from the neighbourhood. Children can attend various after-school activities, including a chess club, a sports club and a singing club. If a child needs extra help with their school work, we provide special tuition. We're currently working with the local authorities to introduce additional programmes in the area.
With your help, we can give children in Dien Bien Phu hope for a better future. Will you become a child sponsor today?