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Meet the families

A teenage girl holds up a young child A teenage girl holds up a young child

Meet the Tan family

Father: Mr. Tan

Mother: Mrs. Tan

Children names: Duc(4), Kien(2)

Housing: 2 small rooms, approximately 30m

Distance to latrine: 20m

Transportation: By Foot

Ethnicity: Dao

Introduction to the Tan family

The Tan family, like all families from Hoang Su Phi, welcomed us into their home with open arms.

We entered their 30m⊃; bamboo hut, which had a partitioned-off kitchen and a small area for sleeping. There were no blankets in sight, which Mr. Tan said made sleeping in the winter quite cold for the family. Born and raised in this community, Mr. Tan got married in Hoang Su Phi and lives here his wife, their 4 year-old adopted son and 2 year-old son. In 2005, Mr. and Mrs. Tan had a daughter who passed away 5 days after birth, without diagnosis.

Livelihood:

Last year, Mr. Tan planted 1kg of rice seeds, however because of the arid land and water shortage, only 300kg of actual rice crop was harvested. As a result, Mr. Tan's family could not grow enough food to feed themselves for nearly six months. During this time, Mr. Tan tried to find labour jobs to earn enough money to purchase food.

Water and Sanitation:

The Tan family gathers water from a cement basin at the foot of a small hill stream which is about 10m from their home. This family does have a bathroom structure, however there is no toilet.

Education:

Everyday, Mr. Tan walks his children to preschool, which is just over 1km from home. In the rainy season, this walk can take the three of them almost 30 minutes.

Meet the Ky family

Father: Mr. Ky

Mother: Mrs. Ky

Children names: Sái (3), Rỏ (5), Sáng (7), Dìn (15)

Housing: One room, approximately 60m

Distance to latrine: 1km

Transportation: By Foot

Ethnicity: H'Mong

Introduction to the Ky family

When we first met Mr. Ky and his family, he was enthusiastic to show us around his one-room house. Although this family is one of the poorest in the community, they had been informed we would be taking some photos, and so, Mrs. Chu had dressed herself and her children in their finest cloths. Even the large pile of wood outside had been neatly stacked for our arrival.

Livelihood:

In the last year, the government gave the Ky family rice seeds and fertilizer, however, the productivity of rice and other foods has decreased as rudimentary farming techniques have exhausted the soil. From June to august, every year, the Ky family must borrow food from their neighbours to provide enough food for their children to eat.

Last year, the family borrowed two pigs that had 5 piglets! But the piglets are malnourished, because there is not enough food to feed them. And while there is a government supplied veterinary service, it is very basic, and cannot provide vaccination against many of the epidemics that have potential to break-out.

Even though the the Ky family are the poorest of the poor in Hoang Su Phi, Mr. Ky declared that he would never apply for a loan in fear of inflated interest, and the uncertainty that he would never be able to re-pay it.

Water and Sanitation:

The Ky family gathers water from a small hill stream which is about 100m from their home. Thanks to a government provided water tank, they are able to store their water for use all year-round. This family does not have a bathroom. Instead they walk 1km from their house, where they dig holes in the ground to use as a latrine.

Health:

The Vietnamese government provides medical insurance for the Ky family, as well as access to the health clinic for check-ups and treatments when sick.

Education:

In the Ky family, Din, Rỏ, and Sáng all attend school. While it takes Din over an hour to get to school in the local village, Rỏ, and Sáng walk together for about 30 minutes to their primary school.

Meet the Them family

Father: Mr. Them

Mother: Mrs. Them

Children names: Trinh (grade 3), Chong (grade 5)

Housing: Five small rooms, approximately 70m

Distance to latrine: 200m

Transportation: By Foot

Ethnicity: Dao

Introduction to the Them family

Mr. Them was born, raised and still resides in the community of Hoang Su Phi. While he and his wife originally had 3 sons, they could not afford to keep the youngest, and were forced to give him to a foster family in another community of Ha Giang.

Now the family of four live together in a stilt house made of wood and bamboo. There are five small rooms – the biggest of which is used for welcoming guests while the other 4 rooms are for cooking, sleeping and storage.

Although nearly baron (apart from cooking utensils, the Them family does not own anything more than some clothes and quilts) this house is one of the more spacious houses in the community.

Livelihood:

The family lives and farms on land inherited from Mr. Them's parents. Last year, the government gave the Them family rice seeds and fertilizer, however, the productivity of rice and other foods has decreased as rudimentary farming techniques have exhausted the soil. The Them family also plants cassava and corn. From June to august, as food cannot grow, the family much work labour jobs to earn enough money to purchase food.

Them has a buffalo on loan to help till the fields, as well as a goat.

Water and Sanitation:

The Them family gathers water from a small hill stream which is about 200m from their home. Because there is no filtering of the stream water, and open defecation and manure can contaminate, the water the Them family drinks is often quite dirty. This family does not own a tank, and so, in the dry season, water shortage is a significant problem.

This family does have an outhouse which is about 200m away; however, it lacks both a toilet structure and a roof.

Health:

The Vietnamese government provides medical insurance for the Them family, as well as access to the health clinic for check-ups and treatments when sick.

Education:

Both Them children attend school, which takes over an house to walk to. After school, in addition to school work, the children help their family with chores around the house.

Meet the Tuan family

Father: Mr. Tuan

Mother: Ly Thi Hien

Children names: Duc (4), Kien (2)

Housing: 2 small rooms, approximately 30m

Distance to latrine: 20m

Transportation: By Foot

Ethnicity: Dao

Introduction to the Tuan family

The Tuan family, like all families from Hoang Su Phi, welcomed us into their home with open arms. We entered their 30m⊃; bamboo hut, with a partitioned off kitchen and a small area for sleeping. There were no blankets in sight, which Mr. Tuan declared made sleeping in the winter time quite cold for the family. Born and raised in this community, Mr. Tuan got married in Hoang Su Phi and lives here his wife, a 4 year-old adopted son and 2 year-old son. In 2005, Mr. Tuan and Li Thi Hien had a daughter who passed away 5 days after birth, without diagnosis.

Livelihood:

Last year, Mr. Tuan received 1kg of rice seeds from the government; however, because of the arid land and water shortage, only 300kg of actual rice crop was harvested. As a result, Mr. Tuan's family could not grow enough food to feed themselves for nearly 6 months. During this time Mr. Tuan worked as a labourer to earn money to purchase food, however, he often only earned enough to feed his children.

Water and Sanitation:

The Tuan family gathers water from cement basin at the foot of a small hill stream which is about 10m from their home. This family does have a bathroom structure about 20m from their house, however there is no toilet.

Health:

The Vietnamese government provides medical insurance for the Tuan family, as well as access to the health clinic for check-ups and treatments when sick.

Education:

Everyday, Mr. Tuan walks his children to preschool, which is just over 1km from home. In the rainy season, this walk can take the three of them almost 30 minutes.

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