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
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.
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.
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.
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.