French colonial rule lasted nearly 100 years from 1858 to 1954 and at this time the country was divided into north and south. Vietnam only became united in 1975 after the US troops left. Vietnam has had to recover from years of war and the loss of financial support from the old Soviet bloc. Many goods and services previously provided by the state, like seeds, agricultural tools, education and healthcare are now beyond the reach of many.
ActionAid International began operating in Vietnam in 1989 and works mainly in remote rural areas with ethnic minorities, and where the majority of vulnerable people live.
Over 1 million primary level children are currently out of school in Vietnam. Public schools are particularly underfunded with the average salary of a public school teacher at 60USD per month. Currently, only primary schools are subsidized by the government, to 50% of the total tuition cost. Enrolment rates may be high; however, primary education quality, particularly in poor areas, is below the required standard. The drop-out rate tends to be high for secondary schools as students cannot afford the tuition costs. For many poor households, child labour is considered much more valuable than school attendance.
ActionAid works towards securing the basic rights of vulnerable and marginalised people, working in partnership with communities so they can have a say in decisions that affect their lives. Key focus areas are education, food security, HIV/AIDS and, with our Irish Aid funding, women's rights.
- Women’s rights - we work with poor migrant women workers in urban centres. We also aim to increase awareness of women’s rights, reduce the incidence of trafficking of women and children and of violence against women.
- Education - we work to improve access to and the quality of education particularly for children from ethnic minority groups
- Community development - we work to improve literacy, health, livelihoods and access to water in resettled communities
Child Sponsorship in Vietnam
In Quan Ba there are more than 50% of people living below the poverty line with an average income of €300 per year. Children in these households usually do not have enough warm clothes and have to skip class and stay at home in the winter. In December 2012, ActionAid provided 400 warm jackets for 80 of the poorest students in Tung Vai primary school. Thanks to your support, these students can now keep warm and go to school more often in the winter.