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Welcome to Hoang Su Phi

A happy father holds up his smiling son A happy father holds up his smiling son

Follow the journey

Welcome to the community of Hoang Su Phi. In early spring 2010, the people of Hoang Su Phi welcomed Plan into their community with open arms.

Living high in the mountains, citizens of Hoang Su Phi have, for years, faced hardship and poverty, primarily because of their extreme isolation.

While the Vietnamese government attempts to provide access to social services to all citizens, the extreme isolation of remote communities such as Hoang Su Phi has created challenges to the government's efforts.

To compound this disadvantage, 95% of people in Hoang Su Phi belong to an ethnic and linguistic minority. When government-funded services, such as education, are available, the community members can’t fully access them because of language and cultural barriers.

Plan is thrilled to be partnering with this community, as well as the hundreds of Canadians who have come on board as community sponsors to be a part of Hoang Su Phi's journey of change.

On behalf of all the children and families in this community, we thank you. This could not have been done without you.

The Facts for Hoang Su Phi

Geography: Hoang Su Phi is a remote district in the mountainous province of Ha Giang in North Vietnam

Population: 58,000 people

Climate: Temperature ranges from 35-28°C in the summer to 6-8°C in winter

Ethnicity: 11 ethnic minority groups make up over 75% of the population – the primary ones are the H’mong, the Tay, the Dao and the Nung

Water: Open or drilled wells without filter systems

Transportation: Primarily walking

Electricity: Rare

A girl in red standing with other children


Education in the communities is divided into three areas: preschool, primary school, and secondary school. Most of the preschools located in the villages are in poor condition. With few toys and learning material, enrollment rates are very low. Of the 40 preschool classrooms in use, only 19 are in adequate condition.

There is a primary school located in most communities, as well as some satellite schools and informal pre-schools in the villages. The majority of teachers in these schools have a college degree, but they have limited knowledge in quality teaching methods and require refresher training courses. Very few of the schools have adequate hygienic sanitation facilities and/or a safe water supply.

The secondary schools in the region are in slightly better condition. The main challenge is the lack of boarding facilities for students who live in more remote areas and cannot attend school because of the distance and safety concerns.

Absenteeism is common and the dropout rate is pervasive throughout the education system. The language of instruction is Vietnamese; however, ethnic minority families speak little Vietnamese at home, putting younger children at a disadvantage when it comes to formal education.

A water station


Most communities have a health clinic, but because of the isolated living conditions, many families in Hoang Su Phi cannot access medical services.

Equipment is outdated, medical supplies are inadequate, and the centres are in serious need of repair. Last year, only 16% of births took place in a health clinic, the rest were delivered at home. Malnutrition among children is widespread and only 60% of children have been fully vaccinated.

Although surface water supply is available year-round, untreated and contaminated water remains a concern. Only half of all households have a water tank and just one-quarter have a household latrine. As a result, intestinal diseases are common, especially among children.

A woman harvesting with a sleeping baby on her back


The majority of the 58,000 people living in Hoang Su Phi make their living from crop farming and livestock. As cultivation is highly dependant on rain water, in periods of drought, locally produced food is insufficient to meet basic needs. Average household income is extremely low at $0.50 USD per day.

Since water is untreated, contamination remains a concern. Only half of all households have a water tank and just one-quarter have a household latrine. As a result, intestinal diseases are common, especially among children.

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