DONG HAI ‘C’ PRIMARY SCHOOL- DUYEN HAI DISTRICT – TRA VINH PROVINCE (2015 - 2016)

An exciting library of reading resources, enticing books, educational games, and a welcoming space to be enthralled by literature and stories has been created for the 160 students and 20 teachers of Dong hai C primary school. 

Tra Vinh Province is in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. The capital is Tra Vinh town. Besides having mostly Vietnamese, Tra Vinh Province is populated with many Khmer people: they are members of the Khmer Empire – later divided under political and historical turmoil. The Province is divided into seven Districts.

The topography of Tra Vinh Province includes coastal plains, alluvial deposits, hundreds of mounds and sand caves as well as a complex network of rivers and canals.

Surrounded by the Tien and Hau river and long coast, Tra Vinh's economy is based on agriculture, aquaculture, fish and shrimp breeding. The Province is covered by luxuriant plants in garden villages along banks of rivers.

In Tra Vinh Province there are 140 Khmer pagodas, 50 pagodas of Viet (Kinh) and 5 pagodas of Hoa (ethnic group). The famous ones include: Ang, Sam-rong-ek, Co, Hang. Co Pagoda is home to thousands of birds including storks and pigeons.

Duyen Hai is a rural and coastal district of Trà Vinh Province. It has a population of 90,002 and the district covers an area of 384 square kilometers. The District capital lies at Duyen Hai.

Dong Hai ‘C’ Primary School lies in Duyen Hai District. There are two campuses with 160 students from two poor remote and isolated hamlets. The school is situated on an ‘island’ - 28 km from Duyen Hai Town and 700 m from the beach. Local people live by fishing and aquaculture, and have an average income/capita/year is some $900. There are no cement roads to the get to this school and students have to cross a river by canoe and walk for kilometers on a winding muddy pathway to school. This is extremely difficult, dangerous and discouraging in both dry and rainy reasons.

The library at the main campus had been a storeroom and students had no space to enjoy reading let alone participating in educational and creative library activities. There were no interesting books or exciting resources to encourage reading amongst the students. The library cum storeroom had only cupboards, text books and dusty furniture. Most of the students did not have a single book of their own but were inquisitive and wanted to have the opportunity to enjoy reading.

It is now an attractive and inviting space which has clearly been well utilized and enjoyed by the students and supported by a qualified librarian who has creatively encouraged use of the library.