Hope Foundation begins construction of 20 school toilets in Yen Bai, Lai Chau

By Thanh Nga   May 23, 2024 | 03:00 pm PT
As part of the School Hygiene project, Hope Foundation has initiated the construction of sanitation facilities at 20 schools in two northern mountainous districts, sponsored by Sanofi Vietnam.

The groundbreaking ceremonies took place on May 15 and 16 at Mo De Primary and Secondary School for Ethnic Minorities in Mu Cang Chai District in Yen Bai Province, and Nung Nang Primary and Secondary School in Tam Duong District, Lai Chau Province.

Đại diện Quỹ Hy vọng, Sanofi Việt Nam và địa phương khởi công dự án tại huyện Tam Đường. Ảnh: Thanh Nga.

Representatives of Hope Foundation, Sanofi Vietnam and local officials at the groundbreaking ceremony in Tam Duong District, Lai Chau. Photo by Thanh Nga

According to Pham Minh Dung, Principal of Mo De Primary and Secondary School for Ethnic Minorities, the school's current toilet area is degraded, with only four stalls, roofed with corrugated iron, rendering it insufficient for over 1,000 students. As a quick fix, teachers would put aside their lesson plans to help unclog the toilets every recess. Despite the efforts, the stinky smell remains a problem, directly affecting student's learning.

The Department of Education and Training of Mu Cang Chai District has reported a severe shortage of sanitation facilities in ethnic boarding high schools, with each unit having only one toilet for 560 to over 1,000 students. "Building sanitation facilities for students is an urgent demand that needs to be resolved," Nguyen Anh Thuy, head of the department, said.

Nhà vệ sinh dựng từ tôn tại trường PTDTBT TH và THCS Mồ Dề có hơn 1.000 học sinh. Ảnh: Thanh Nga.

Toilets built from corrugated iron at Mo De Primary and Secondary School for Ethnic Minorities, serving over 1,000 students. Photo by Thanh Nga

Overcrowded and degraded toilets are also a common issue in many boarding schools in Tam Duong District, Lai Chau Province. Doan Thi Hien, Deputy Head of the district’s Department of Education and Training, noted that many schools still use makeshift toilets.

"Newly funded sanitation facilities at 10 schools are both a gift and great source of encouragement for teachers, students and parents of Tam Duong," Hien said. "With a new toilet, children will enjoy going to school more and teachers will also have more time to focus on their teaching," principal Dung in Mu Cang Chai said.

20 sanitation facilities are slated for completion by the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year, contributing to improving the living and learning environment for more than 8,500 students in the two highland districts.

Children in mountainous boarding schools are in dire need of clean toilets. Video by Anh Phu

Mai Thi Thanh Huong, Public Affair Head on Consumer Healthcare of Sanofi, said: "We always have a strong and long-term commitment to community activities. Accompanying us in this project is a probiotic brand, whose aim is to reduce the mortality rate in children due to diarrhea, change behavior and create good hygiene habits in addition to spacious, standard sanitation facilities."

Deployed from June 2022, the School Hygiene project has delivered 100 toilets to mountainous, impoverished districts in the northern provinces of Son La, Dien Bien, Ha Giang, Thai Binh, improving sanitary conditions for about 20,000 students and teachers. Sanofi Vietnam accompanied the construction of 40 projects.

Readers can learn more and support the program here.

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