When given the chance to partner with CWS member the Disciples of Christ to work with a community with a clear and present need, our CWS team in Vietnam readily named the Thanh Cong commune. Not least because it is one of the poorest places in northern Vietnam, but also because we have a partnership with the community there already. Quickly the commune’s families and leaders told us Kindergarten No. 1, and especially clean water, was a priority.
For the 515 children, aged two to five years old, who attend Kindergarten No. 1 and have their meals there, there was great concern about the water. Not only was there not enough water, but it was not safe to drink and cook with. Proper hand washing with soap to prevent illness and ensuring that the children would have safely prepared food were also concerns.
Having enough clean water for daily use, therefore, was a dream for the community, teachers and kindergarteners. CWS got to work.
- CWS upgraded the school water supply and storage with a new pump, water pipes and elevated water tanks
- Two water filters now supply clean water to the school kitchens
- Two water filters for the children’s use were installed
- A new solar energy water heater will help reduce firewood use
- The water supply to the school toilets were upgraded, and
- Water taps and vaults for the children’s hand-washing were installed.
A drawing contest and school festival were also organized to help teach the children and parents learn more about proper hand washing, personal hygiene and sanitation.
We are certain that all the information shared and new knowledge gained by the children, teachers and parents in this project will be further translated to improved understanding and behavior at school, in the home and throughout the community. Thanks to the Disciples of Christ and CWS, the dream for clean water is now come true for Kindergarten No. 1!
Leslie Wilson, Nguyen Thi Huong and Quoc Dung are CWS’s Vietnam team.