SON CA KINDERGARTEN – TINH BIEN DISTRICT – AN GIANG PROVINCE (2015 - 2016)

For the poor children in this more remote part of Tinh Bien District in An Giang Province, their kindergarten had been a small one roomed metal shed - hot and dusty with no formal or safe toilet facilities- which belonged to the local primary schol subcampus. It had not been built with the intention of being used as a kindergarten and despite the best efforts of the teachers was not a colourful welcoming environment. Seventeen children (aged 3 - 5 year) were attending kindergarten in this space for half a day as the facilities were inadequate for full day attendance . 

An Giang Province lies in the Mekong Delta in the southwestern part of Vietnam sharing a 95 kilometer border with Cambodia in the north west. The main ethnic groups found in the province are the Kinh, Khmer, Cham, and Hoa. An Giang is crisscrossed by many rivers and canals which make a convenient water transport system. The two tributaries of the Mekong river, the Tien and the Hau, run across the Province. They deliver millions of cubic meters of alluvium annually to the region. As a result, the deposits have formed several islets which are extremely fertile and covered with lush green vegetation. An Giang has long been famous for its traditional occupation of mulberry growing, silkworm raising and silk weaving.

The village where the Kindergarten was located had the highest rate of ‘poor households’ and exists in an area which is mountainous, remote and populated by many Khmer families who are struggling farmers, or have had to travel for work, leaving their young children in the care of elderly grandparents.100% of the children are of Khmer ethnicity and commence at Kindergarten learning in a new language. The committed teaching staff are patient and encouraging and have created a welcoming, bright environment to enthuse the students with their learning. 

The school is planning to create a more friendly green space in the school yard to provide opportunity for the students to learn about caring for the environment and having their own garden. They have also articulated a desire for outdoor play equipment to further enhance the children's physical development and social interactions. 

Kindly sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers (Vietnam) Limited