Stories of Change

Top: CWS and teachers analyzing school’s water access. Middle: CWS staff and builder checking the pumping station of the water system. Bottom: CWS staff teaches teacher how to use water filter system

Safe Access to Water Transforms School in Vietnam

The primary satellite boarding school in the Ban Mui village in Vietnam is a place of learning, laughter and growth for over 230 young children. Most of the boarding students are from Thai, Dao or H’Mong ethnic minority groups. The school is a path for children to grow and discover a brighter future.

While working to develop this path for its students, however, the school struggled with a major obstacle: water access. Since the boarding school was built on a large hill, anyone who wanted to access water had to walk down to a nearby stream. Teachers had to take time out of their day to walk the children to the stream where they could bathe.

Not only was this stream far away from the school, but it also didn’t have enough water for all the students to bathe frequently. This resulted in widespread scabies amongst the students and teachers. Scabies is a highly contagious skin disease that can result from poor hygiene and causes intense itching in affected areas. In 2021 the school reported that 30% of children at the school suffered from scabies.

This complication made it difficult for teachers to teach and for children to learn. To address this, CWS partnered with the Alstom Foundation, the school teachers and the Head of the District Education Department to perform a site analysis of the school’s water access. The information we gathered from this analysis was then used to develop a system to supply clean water to the school. Now, the school community has filtered water that they use for drinking, showering, bathing, cooking and flushing toilets.

This new development is a dream come true for the school community. Teachers can now educate students without distractions, and it’s a clean and hygienic place for boarding students to live. The school would like to express its most sincere gratitude to the Alstom Foundation. Their meaningful and timely support has allowed children to learn better while living healthier and happier lives.