CARE brings school kitchens to rural areas

April 24, 2024 | 15:31
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Four out of 11 school branches of Xuan Hoa Kindergarten in Tien Nguyen commune, Quang Binh district, Ha Giang province are supported by CARE's Advancing Women's Economic Empowerment in Vietnam (AWEEV) project that sets up kitchens to relieve some of the burden faced by parents in these communities.
CARE brings school kitchens to rural areas

CARE International in Vietnam is funded by the Canadian government and has provided stoves, cooking utensils, food-storage cabinets, and blankets so schools can implement boarding for students.

There were no cooks previously at these schools, but now the children's parents are the cooks. Every parent is obliged to work in the kitchen at least once a month to prepare vegetables, while meat is bought from the market.

Previously, only the largest kindergartens had kitchens that were funded through the state budget, while smaller branches had to make do with either inadequate facilities or no kitchens at all.

But recently, thanks to support from the AWEEV project, school kitchen facilities have improved greatly, enabling preparation of lunches on site and full-day care for children.

"Previously, I had to pick up my children at noon each day and bring them home for lunch and a nap, then take them back to school. It is several kilometres from my house to the school, and I had to go there and come back twice every day," said a parent of one of the students.

"Now I send my children to school in the morning and take them home at the end of the afternoon, saving a lot of time and effort, so we can spend more time doing housework or farming," he added.

CARE brings school kitchens to rural areas

Principal of Xuan Hoa Kindergarten Bui Hong Hanh appreciates the effectiveness of the model and would like to receive more funds to deploy it at other branches.

"Thanks to the support of the CARE and AWEEV project, more parents are sending their children to school. Children are taken care of better, while parents have much more time to work and improve their situation," Hanh said.

CARE coordinated with relevant agencies to conduct a survey on unpaid care work in small population communities in the AWEEV project area and nationwide in 2021. Following this, the charity proposed solutions to reduce and reassign unpaid care work, to be deployed in two districts of Ha Giang and Lai Chau provinces.

One of the recommended solutions was to improve the quality of preschool services to reduce the burden of child care and enable women to have more time to do paid work.

The AWEEV is a gender-responsive and integrated project that contributes to the economic wellbeing of ethnic-minority women in Vietnam by increasing participation in paid economic activities and enhancing the promotion of economic rights, particularly in poor rural and mountainous communities.

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By Nguyen Huong

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