|Vien Thi Thuy can continue attending school with help from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the European Union. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc|
HA NOI — A project initiated by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and funded by the European Union is offering new beginnings to thousands of children who have toiled with life on the street.
The project, which aims to provide universal rights – like adequate education and health care – for all needy children was carried out three years ago in 10 provinces and municipalities throughout the country.
According to statistics supplied by the Commission on Population, Family and Children, in 2004 there were 12,000 street children nationwide.
In 2006, the efforts of the Commission and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs cut the number down almost by half to 6,700.
More than 7,000 children nationwide are now under the care of social service professionals; nearly 5,000 have access to basic education and healthcare services; about 1,000 are learning a trade through vocational courses; and 600 have been adopted.
According to Le Tuyet Nhung, manager of the project, the most successful pilots of the programme have been in Thanh Hoa, Vinh Long and Phu Yen provinces.
The success of the project lies in synchronised solutions: educational support, vocational training and health care, she added.
But in struggling provinces like Quang Ngai, Phu Yen and Thua Thien-Hue, the high frequency of detrimental typhoons results in a high poverty rate, forcing kids out on their own. — VNS