Thai Binh is situated on the coast in northern Vietnam, just over 100 km from Hanoi. About two million people live in the province, with over 200,000 living in Thai Binh itself.
The social and economic situation of the area has recently improved, however not everybody has benefited from the changes. Children continue to be at risk.
Since 2013, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Thai Binh.
Although Vietnam has made impressive progress, many children in the northern mountainous region live in inappropriate housing, with no access to sanitation facilities or safe drinking water. Access to flush toilets is high only in urban districts.
In addition, many children are malnourished, and this makes them more vulnerable to illness. Rates of stunting for children under 5 range between 20-40% everywhere except the largest cities in Vietnam. When children become unwell, it is often hard for them to get affordable medical attention.
There continues to be a shortage of schools and well-trained teachers in Vietnam. According to experts, the educational system needs to be modernized, so that children are able to find jobs when they leave school.
In the northern mountainous area, where Thai Binh is located, around 18% of the population live in poverty. As a result, some children have to work, often in bad conditions and an increasing number end up living on the streets.
Moreover, only 66% of children currently aged 5-14 with disabilities from low income households attend school.