Dien Bien Phu

SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Vietnam).

The province of Dien Bien is located in northwestern Vietnam, about 35 km from the border with Laos. The region is very mountainous, but the city of Dien Bien Phu itself is located in a large valley. The city’s population is estimated to be around 40,000, and is growing quickly. Numerous ethnic minorities live in the rural surroundings, each speaking their own language, and very often, they do not speak Vietnamese. Dien Bien is one of the most economically deprived provinces in Vietnam. 36.7% of the population of Dien Bien live in poverty

Since 2009, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Dien Bien Phu.

Of students complete upper secondary school in rural areas

Lack of education in rural areas

With a population of over half a million, about 45% live below the poverty line. Most of the people live off farming or herding animals. Infrastructure in these more rural areas is in need of investment. Children from rural areas are often unable to attend school, only 46.6% complete upper secondary school. On the one hand, there is a lack of schools, which means that they may have to walk long distances to get to school. In addition, the extra cost of schooling is often unaffordable to parents who are struggling to make a living. Children may also have to contribute to the family income - by working in the home or on the land.

Of sex workers in Cambodia are Vietnamese

Human trafficking

Human trafficking is a problem throughout Vietnam and the northern province of Dien Bien is no exception. People are trafficked both internally to other cities in Vietnam, but also across the borders to Laos, China and further afield. They are forced to work in construction, fishing, agriculture, mining and logging as well as commercial sexual exploitation throughout Asia and further afield. Most are tricked into leaving their home, thinking they are going to a legitimate job, only to find themselves trapped and exploited. For example, around one third of sex workers in neighbouring Cambodia are Vietnamese. Furthermore, when parents migrate their children are often left in the care of relatives.

Your support makes a difference for children in Dien Bien Phu

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Children and young people
Learn at our kindergarten and school, and attend trainings
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Two young people are repairing a bicycle together. Children and young people enjoy riding their bikes, and sometimes they need fixing! (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Vietnam).

How your support helps in Dien Bien Phu

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.