Helping Students and Educators Recover From Disaster, Covid-19

Nearly 900 individuals are served with funding support from GE Foundation through renovated classrooms and a new adequate latrine with the handwashing facility. With this support, students and teachers will have access to a better learning facility and improve their hygiene and sanitation practices.

The renovated Binh Nguyen primary school with a new typhoon resilient roof. Source: Habitat for Humanity Vietnam

Habitat for Humanity Vietnam recently completed a four-month project to recover and improve education facilities in Quang Ngai Province post-disaster. Nearly 900 school children and teachers are served with funding support from GE Foundation.

Being a coastal province in central Vietnam, Quang Ngai is vulnerable to natural disasters, with hundreds of unroofed schools and houses during the 2020 typhoon season.

In collaboration with Binh Son Department of Education and Training and school management boards, Habitat Vietnam renovated 10 classrooms with new typhoon-resilient roofs and electricity system establishment, provision of fans and lights in Binh Nguyen primary and Binh Thanh 2 primary schools.

A new latrine is also built-in Binh Thanh 2 primary school with disability-accessible features and a hand-washing facility. With this support, students and teachers of two primary schools will have access to a better learning facility and improve their hygiene and sanitation practices.

Principal of Binh Thanh 2 primary school To Van Duan, was thankful for the project’s support. "With the new facilities, we feel more confident and safer during typhoon season, and school children’s academic performance is no longer disrupted. The new latrine also creates a more hygienic and sanitation environment for children’s education; especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, teachers can educate students on proper hygiene practices with the handwashing facility.”

On the left is the unhygienic and damaged school latrine and on the right is the newly built latrines with adequate hygiene and sanitation facilities in Binh Thanh 2 primary school. Source: Habitat for Humanity Vietnam

Deputy Head of Binh Son Department of Education and Training Tran Thi Phuong Linh, thanked Habitat Vietnam and GE Foundation for cooperating with local authorities in the recovery effort after typhoons to help students and teachers soon stabilize their learning environment. The school becomes not only a safe shelter for students but also an evacuation site for the community in disasters. This support not only helps students and teachers have a comfortable environment for their study but also increases the capacity of public facilities to receive more evacuees, thus enhancing the disaster preparedness of the community.

“Having this support in place is a great step forward in strengthening community disaster preparedness capacity,” said Bells Regino-Borja, National Director of Habitat for Humanity Vietnam. “I am grateful that Habitat Vietnam has been able to partner with GE Foundation, the local authorities, and schools in ensuring the best education environment for children and build community resilience to disasters.”

At groundbreaking ceremony. Source: BASF Vietnam

Elsewhere, a school renovation project co-sponsored by Saigon Children’s Charity and BASF Vietnam has been kicked-off on Dec. 7 in a remote area of Nhon Hung Commune, Tinh Bien District, An Giang Province.

Nhon Hung is one of those communes sharing a border with Cambodia in the mountainous Tinh Biên District, An Giang Province. Over 25% of the district’s residents are Khmer ethnic people and 11.5% of them are from poor households. School dropouts by Khmer students has been one of the biggest challenges for the local community.

As part of the project co-sponsored by BASF and six co-sponsors along with other partners, two new classrooms and a playground with a total area of 328 square meters will be built. Facilitated by Saigon Children’s Charity CIO, the construction project will be completed in 2022. The new facilities will benefit about 105 students for the 2021-2022 academic year and almost 150 school children from 2022 onwards, offering them improved learning environment.

Before the renovation, the school children attended their classes in old facilities built in the 1990s, with basic structures and materials, which did not offer a comfortable environment especially during high temperatures and rainy weather. The new facilities will provide the children a safer and more comfortable place to learn and develop various skills.