Ethnic minority children in Thua Thien – Hue enjoy new kindergarten rooms

Ta Oi and Van Kieu ethnic minority children have new kindergarten rooms built by the sweat of US veterans in partnership with Boeing Company and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation.

Ten former US soldiers and pilots spent two weeks in the remote A Ngo commune, A Luoi district, Thua Thien – Hue province, near the Lao border, to work with local builders. They added three classrooms, a teacher’s room, a kitchen, bathrooms and a playground to the kindergarten which was opened at an official ceremony today (September 18)

“Getting a good start in education is important in this poor mountainous area. When they were young, these Americans were soldiers. Now they have returned and are helping improve lives for the grandchildren of the Vietnamese soldiers they fought”, Chairman of Thua Thien - Hue Union of Friendship Organization Mr Le Van Anh said.

VVAF country director, Ms Thao Nguyen, said that none of the 10 veterans from two non-governmental organizations in the US (LOTUS and the VVRP) were rich. “They are just ordinary people, most of whom rely o­n their pension to live. It is just amazing and so kind that they raise funds to help children and their families in Vietnam”.

Speaking at the event, Mrs Trung headmaster of the A Ngo Kindergarten stressed: “The children are studying in rooms built by love. The men spent two weeks in our community. They stayed in our guest house, and played sport with our children. They have built classrooms and a bridge of peace and friendship”.

Half of the funding to expand the kindergarten to eight classrooms was provided by Boeing Company as part of its program to build and improve schools throughout rural Vietnam.

According to Boeing’s Vietnam Sales Director, Mr Kevin Heise, now the teachers have more room to prepare their lessons. “There are 160 children enrolled this year and there is enough room for more children. We hope that these children can get a good start at school and maybe some of them can become pilots, engineers, or mechanics for Vietnam Airlines in the future”.

Project funding included kitchen equipment to prepare meals for the children and school supplies to facilitate learning experiences of the children.