Any street children in future?

Any street children in future?
09:24′ 06/08/2007 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Over the last three years, the project “Support Street Children” funded by the European Committee (EC) has helped return more than 4,200 children to their families and stabilise lives and arrange for more than 6,000 children to go to school.

The EC has committed more than 6.8 million euros to help Vietnam achieve the goal of having no street children roaming on the roads.

Since its launch three years ago, the project has been implemented in 10 precincts of the three major cities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang and 40 communes from seven cities and provinces of Vinh Phuc, Hung Yen, Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Ngai and Phu Yen.

The project’s overall objective is to ensure the children, particularly street children or vulnerable children, have the right to attend school, be taken care of and stay in a safe home.

In addition to attending school, many of them are sent to vocational training centres to learn a career to help their parents supplement their meager incomes.

A case in point is the family of little girl Pham Quynh Anh, from Minh Thang village, Minh Loc commune, Hau Loc district, Thanh Hoa province.

Anh and her brothers earned their living in Hanoi as street children for several years before the project commenced. With financial support from the project, they all returned to their parents and used the grant to produce fish sauce.

“My family is now much better, me and my brothers all go to schools”, said Anh.

Beneficiaries of the project include 3,400 disadvantaged families having street children or at risk of having street children.

To help these families stand on their own feet, the project provides loans to start production or businesses and provides them with technical know how through training.

Luong Van De, Vice Chairman of the Hoa Dong Communal People’s Committee, Tay Hoa district said, “Over the last three years, the economics unit, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development organized many training courses for the villagers in areas like cross-breeding cows and sows or growing crops for a better yield.”

The project has also helped the local administration and people to raise their awareness through various communications activities.

Nguyen Trong Dung, Chairman of the Ngu Loc communal People’s Committee and head of the project said he has applied different methods in the communications activities, including through people’s meetings, Party meetings or social organizations’ meetings to make everyone understand the threats and dangers that street children may have to face.

Dung said the project has also formed counselling groups to offer consultancy to parents and children.

In his opinion, one of the reasons that have made the project in his commune successful was the active participation of many volunteers, the women’s union, agricultural extension workers and local veterinarians.

A mandate for the project is the transparent element of all its activities, including finance. The project’s progress is closely monitored and supervised by the local community.

All people in Ngu Loc deeply understand that the project is addressing both economic and social issues.

Though the first phase of the project is about to end and as yet no decision has been made on the second phase, the Ngu Loc Communal People’s Committee is determined to continue enhancing the results of the first phase to put an end to the problem of children leaving their home for big cities to earn their living.

To make sure the target is achievable, Dung said, “It is important to have a supporting mechanism for disadvantaged families in line with the programme of poverty reduction.”

He asked the Government to introduce strict measures against child traffickers or other acts detrimental to the lives of the children.

Project director Le Tuyet Nhung called on authorities and people in the project sites to continue with efforts to keep the project sustainable even without a second phase.

(Source: VOV)

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