Report on the Charity trip in Bac Kan from 20 to 21 March 2023 - Be Better Foundation

Report on the Charity trip in Bac Kan from 20 to 21 March 2023


On March 20-21, the Be Better Foundation visited some schools in Tan Lap and Xuan Lac, which are the two poorest communes in Cho Don district, Bac Kan province. 100% of the students here come from poor households. Electricity has only been available in the villages since 2017, but for the areas with challenging mountainous terrain, the communes had to request sponsorship for generators that run on energy.

Report on the Charity trip in Bac Kan from 20 to 21 March 2023

Everywhere you look, there are mountains and forests. Underneath those lush green forests are the hamlets of the Dao, Mong, and Tay people, living in poverty without any way out. Every day, the adults do farming deep in the forests, and sometimes only return home after 1 or 2 days. Their lives are in desperate need, and the children don’t have enough food to eat.

The parents here hardly take care of their children. Many families consider survival as natural selection, where the strong survive while the weak die. Therefore, they do not pay attention to things like food or medication for their children when they are sick. Child marriage is still prevalent, with children as young as 14-15 years old getting married and having children. Upon arriving, our group immediately encountered a wedding with the bride at only 15.

The schools are all situated deep in the mountains, and the dirt road leading to them is challenging with one side being a steep slope and the other side being a deep abyss. On rainy days, it is extremely dangerous to travel due to the slippery road. Heavy rains often cause serious landslides. Because of the treacherous terrain, teachers often ride their motorcycles to the nearest point and leave their motorcycles behind to walk the remaining 2-3km to reach the schools.

At Phieng Den school in Tan Lap commune, both the school and teacher’s residences are still very poor and have not been invested in for construction. At Pu Lung primary school in Xuan Lac commune, the facilities are better invested in, but there is a severe lack of fresh water supply, especially during the dry season.

The local children’s meals usually consist of plain rice only, and rarely have vegetables or meat, so most of them are malnourished. The good thing is that students in both communes are very well-behaved and diligent in attending school. They are ready to participate in exchange activities with our group as well as share their dreams of becoming police officers, cooks, and more. Smiles and shining eyes still brighten up their sun-tanned faces.

Our group donated many gifts including books, stationery, and snacks to the children. For Na Ban school in Xuan Lac commune, Be Better decided to sponsor meals for the children from April 2023 to May 2024, with a total budget of approximately 155 million VND. For the other schools, we will consider appropriate support plans.

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