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When a small piece of land makes a big difference

Min (seated at right) and his wife donated some of their family's land so Plan could help their community build a new preschool.
Min (seated at right) and his wife donated some of their family's land so Plan could help their community build a new preschool.
The new preschool will replace the current one (see above) and provide a safer and more child-friendly environment for learning.

PHOTOS: Plan staff
The new preschool will replace the current one (see above) and provide a safer and more child-friendly environment for learning.

PHOTOS: Plan staff

Farmer in Vietnam donates land to help build a preschool

By Nguyen Thu Thuy, Building Relationship Facilitator, Ha Giang Program Unit, Plan Vietnam

Giang Van Min is a 43-year-old farmer in the Ha Giang province of Vietnam. Min lives with his wife, his parents, one daughter and one son. Living in a modest traditional stilt house with an average life, Min and his wife earn their living by cultivating rice and other crops.

Last summer, Min persuaded his family to make an important decision: the family donated 1,292 square feet of land for the community to build a preschool.

An opportunity for community support arises

“A few months ago, during the village meeting, our village leader informed us that a preschool will be constructed in my village under the support of Plan Vietnam. My children used to attend the earth preschool that was so degraded and totally cold during winter. They didn’t have toys to play with.

“[The announcement of the new preschool] was such a great happiness for everyone as young children will now have a new and safe classroom with enough toys and teaching aids instead of a cottage with insufficient materials.

“However, the land to build this school is not big enough. The village leader called for land donations from the habitants living around the preschool,”
said Min.

Making the decision of a lifetime

Min thought a lot about the call. For his farming family, having land is essential as it brings them food and shelter. However, he reasoned, he did already have a stilt house and he could cultivate his family’s other land even though it was further away.

Min decided to discuss the donation with his wife, his parents and children. The family carefully considered the preschool. They knew that lack of a solid and safe school and teaching aids were the main reasons for children not going to preschool. Although difficult to reach, a decision was eventually made. The preschool is now being constructed right on Min’s garden.

Min and his wife are very happy with their decision. “Helping our children is our happiness,” said Min and his wife.

How will the new school help?

Min’s donation is proof that Plan’s work to improve education in Vietnam has strong support at the local level. Min’s donation is already benefiting hundreds of children and will allow many more children in the future to attend a solid and safe preschool.

In addition to the construction of a new preschool, the community will also benefit from training courses for teachers and parents on how to educate and take care of children. Teaching aids, toys and facilities of the preschools will also be provided to ensure a child-friendly and safe learning environment for every child under five years old.