Dien Bien is a Province in the north west of Vietnam, with a population of around 540,000. The capital of Dien Bien is Dien Bien (City), which is almost 11 hours by car from Hanoi.
The regional gross domestic product per capita (data 2011, at prices 1994) was less than 4 million VND (or less than USD 200) compared to a nationwide average of more than USD 1,370 (2011).
The village Cha Noi 2 is situated in the Quang Lam community in Mhuong Nhe district, 50km away from the district’s center. The roads are in very poor condition and slopes, streams and other obstacles make it impossible for a car to reach the village.
Due to the lack of infrastructure, but also due to old traditions and outdated farming techniques, most of the 44 families in the village are extremely poor and have neither awareness nor financial means to support their children’s education.
The population belongs to the ethnic minority group „Dao“ whose total population is estimated at around 620,000. Their language is Hmong-Dao.
There are around 30 children aged between 6 and 11 in the village.
The old school was a derelict wooden building with a canvas roof?? that could not protect from the cold. Lessons thus needed to be cancelled occasionally during winter.
Due to the lack of proper roads and the transportation issues, a steel-based construction with a solid foundation was chosen. The new school will consist of two classrooms, each of 25m2 and a teachers’ room (15m2) which is necessary given that teachers have to live in the village during the week. Additionally, a toilet will be built and solar panels will be installed for electricity.