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    Viet Nam

Project Background

This project promoted education for children aged 0-8 years and targeted specific communes in particularly disadvantaged and mountainous districts so the Bahnar ethic minority communities can learn in their mother tongue. This early childhood development and stimulation helped children transition to Vietnamese in readiness for school so that they don’t feel isolated and left behind when they move to a primary school.

Key Program Strengths

  • It has valued formal learning and playtime in early learning through preschools and parent-run community playgroups and reading groups
  • The project worked with parenting groups to enhance knowledge and practical skills like toy making and gardening to improve the health, development, learning and protection of children
  • It sustainably trained and encouraged the professional development of pre and primary school teachers and school managers to improve teaching and learning methodologies
  • It supported culturally appropriate, mother tongue learning with a transition to Vietnamese so that their cultures are nurtured
  • It has improved teaching materials and manuals so that they are culturally relevant for ethnic minority children

Key Achievements


  • The project maintained the operation of 28 parenting groups with a regular participation of 1,029 parents, operating 2 times/month
  • Parents’ have started preparing child meals with ingredients of four groups of nutrition, improved care of children’s hygiene and environmental hygiene
  • Parents have noticed changes in their child’s health and development after taking care of their child’s personal hygiene and from making toys and playing games with their children, and feeding children nutritious food


  • 14 child playgroups for children aged 0-3 and their mothers have been maintained with a participation of 392 children and 410 parents, which operates 2 times a month
  • 42 play and reading groups for children aged 4-11 continue to be enjoyed by 1,716 children, operating once a month.

Teaching Improvements

  • Pre-school materials across the region have been developed which promote learning through play in the mother tongue and Vietnamese
  • 366 volunteers have been trained to run community based activities that focus on play and child development
  • 2,346 preschool and lower grade primary school teachers trained in quality early learning programs that support physical, cognitive, language and social-emotional development of children
  • An additional 210 sets of the learning packages were provided to the volunteers of 42 child play and reading groups to run community-based activities for children
  • In 2016, 96% and 89% of children achieved Maths and Vietnamese respectively, in comparison with 71.4% and 45.6% in 2012

Community Groups

  • 32 community-led initiatives such as building playgrounds, fences of community halls, public bathrooms, lean-to, raising goats, cows, birds were successfully conducted
  • At a recent community festival communication messages including Child rights, Child protection, child meals, personal hygiene, and environmental protection were presented through a contest. Through the communication event, parents and children’s knowledge have been improved significantly. All of the designed communication questions were answered exactly and fluently by children and their parents, showing that messaging has spread through communities.

Program Beneficiaries

  • During this funding period, 494 parents have the skills and knowledge to help their child’s development;
  • 906 girls have benefited from improved parenting and teaching in the region; and
  • 898 boys have benefited from improved parenting and teaching in the region.
  • A further 10,077 children and their parents have indirectly benefited from the project due to increased communications around enhanced early childhood development practices in the community.

Community Feedback

As a mother in a remote community in Vietnam, providing your child with a fair start in life can be challenging. Dinh Thi Tiep is the mother of 5 year old Thuan who now attends a child play and reading group.

“In previous times, my son used to only play with me at home and be very shy and timid with strangers or in crowded places. He often hid behind me and kept silent whenever someone talked to him.”

“I was very worried and didn’t know how to make him more confident”

But she took her little boy to the project’s play and reading group over a year ago where he began playing games, listening to storytelling, singing, painting, drawing, reading poetry, and playing with other children. 

He became more and more confident.

His mother says, “He enjoys fun with others… I feel very happy when my son changes every day. He even sings a song wherever he is now”.

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