"Since Plan started its projects in this area, our community spirit and team work have improved significantly," says Dang Van Thuong of Hoang Su Phi village. “We have more opportunities to meet and to work together.”
Thuong's comments sum up the sense of community spirit that is running through Hoang Su Phi these days. Villagers experienced the rainy season, making travel to their community difficult, and the rainy season, when schools were closed and children helped their families with crops. Despite this very busy time of year, people still made time for planning for a better future.
Plan staff met with community members to provide training on how to set up social economic development plans, based on the principle that these plans must be based on community consultation and the needs of the poorest families, children and women. This training also helped develop people's skills through workshops on budgeting and how to set up monitoring systems.
There were also group meetings for over 100 families to share ideas on how to implement their individual household development plans in an effective and sustainable way.
And there were certainly emotional moments of celebration at the final hand over of key community projects:
- Six clean water facilities in kindergartens
- Two newly built kindergartens
- One new kindergarten kitchen
- Construction and upgrades on four cultural centres.
The effect is changing the way of life in Hoang Su Phi. "After joining Plan's project, I decided to allow my eldest daughter to return to school," says Lù Sào Kinh. "In the past, I did not understand the benefit of education."
Collaborative community improvement has brought villagers together with a renewed sense of spirit and purpose. Explains Trang Sao Hui: "Though I'm busier working for my family, I also spend time for the project including meetings, training, and community activities. I'm very happy as I know many new things, such as how to develop the family economy and how to raise our children to become good citizens. I will work hard, learn hard to earn more money and to make our family dream come true – to give our children vocational training in the future."
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