1. More than 100 women, including traditional birth attendants, from four villages joined in new awareness-raising training for safe birthing support. After the initial training, the TBA cadre also practiced how to organize effective community mobilizing for prenatal care, safe delivery, breast feeding and other aspects of safe motherhood which, unfortunately, are not always guaranteed in the communities where CWS works in northern Vietnam.
2. Hundreds of students and their parents and teachers from two primary schools in North-Central Vietnam joined Book Festivals organized by CWS project to encourage better reading habits to support student learning. An encouraging show of teachers’ and parents’ understanding of the value of school libraries. ± $140 as well as new books were donated by them.
3. Thanks to new water storage tanks funded as part of the ELCA-funded NEW IDEA initiative in northern Vietnam, 250 boarding students in Ta Ba Primary School now have plentiful water for their everyday needs. Thankfully, they no longer have to collect and carry water from far outside their school grounds; nor must they wait in discouraging lines for rationed water for bathing and clothes washing, which is helping students improve their personal hygiene. Finally, students also have enough water for vegetable gardening, which helps them to improve their diet. Altogether, these are very important changes for ethnic minority children and the CWS team is quite proud of their learning and progress.
1. The worst drought in the last 40 years and severe saltwater intrusion in 10+ provinces in the Central, Central Highland and South regions threaten the livelihood hood of million farmers; CWS asked to respond after joining assessment mission, but this is fairly far outside current program scopes and staff / agency capacity; EPR Focal Person will stay engaged.
2. Miia Barrow and Markus Ilomaki from the Finish Evangelist Lutheran Mission (FELM) made a six-day visit to CWS Hanoi office and to project sites in northwest Vietnam recently. During and after the field visit, both colleagues said they were very impressed with the fact that the lives of many ethnic minority students and others are changing positively because of FELM-funded efforts in education development and health–hygiene promotion, which have translated into community initiatives to foster a strong commitment from local government as well as community leaders for sustainable community development.
3. The Latter-Day Saint Charity (LDSC) representative in Vietnam has decided to cooperate with CWS for a project on sanitation improvement in Tan Lac district, Hoa Binh province – a mountainous area in northwest Vietnam about 100 km (65 miles) from Hanoi. This new partnership started when the LDSC country representative joined a CWS-led sanitation and hygiene education workshop and field visit in another province, and the Tan Lac initiative is the immediate result, which both partners are hoping to expand.
4. Witnessing the many challenges faced by children in their own country’s remote ethnic minority communities and being inspired by the ELCA-funded NEW IDEA project for which they did a baseline survey, the consultant team from Hanoi Public Health University decided to donate 10 million Vietnamese Dong ($450) to support child-friendly libraries and afterclass activities in some of the schools they visited during the survey. They want to join hands with CWS and local government partners to help improve children’s learning environment and opportunities, which both activities seek to enhance.
5. Early this year, an American graduate student, Ariel Lubin, interned with CWS in Vietnam to learn about our community development activities. During his field trips to the remote areas, he was so inspired by the changes CWS was helping many ethnic families make, Ariel filmed and presented a video about CWS-facilitated rural sanitation and hygiene promotion activities and outcomes. The video was showed at the Bangkok meeting for our regional team.
1. Mr. Chu Mu Ca is Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee in Ka Lang commune, which is in the far northwest of Vietnam’s remote Muong Te district, and recently he shared his enthusiastic thanks for hygiene and sanitation improvements – including many more home latrines – from their partnership with CWS, which started last year. In truth it is Mr. Ca who should be thanked as he led the way to mobilize community members to build and use sanitary latrines. His dedication and enthusiasm inspired many villagers, who are ethnic minority Ha Nhi people, to change their unhealthy habits and use well-built latrines, which, over time, he now knows, from joining in CWS-hosted education sessions, will improve their health and wellness.
2. During recent multi-stakeholder meetings in the Vietnam provinces where CWS is funded by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM), key Government colleagues acknowledged the evident results of 2015 efforts while affirming plans to collaborate further this year and into the future. Without question CWS partnership and accompaniment appeals to local government leaders because it supports the government’s strategic priorities and ensures collaboration with members of People’s Committees and Women’s Unions as well as Health Center and Education Department staff to ensure progress and development for some of Vietnam’s most vulnerable people – for which national leaders fully acknowledge the need for other’s support.
3. In a new partnership with Tetra-Pak in Vietnam CWS is working with communities in Thanh Hoa province along the north central coast to initiate, Cleaner Schools; Healthier Students to help schools improve their water supply and to promote positive hygiene practices, following CWS Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) model. Local leaders and community representatives were extremely receptive and enthusiastic about the initiative and fully expect that our projects will be widely welcomed in their communities. Additionally, in central Thai Nguyen province, assessments in two new communes have shown the need, and community support, to expand CLTS and related hygiene and sanitation efforts even further.