VIETNAM: Villages have clean water access thanks to the Salesian Missions ‘Clean Water Initiative’
Poor students, families and farmers are benefiting from the projects. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (April 19, 2022)
Villages in Vietnam have clean water access thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The projects, part of the Salesian Missions “Clean Water Initiative,” provided water purification systems and water tanks for the Hoa An Parish in Bac Giang, the Khop village and Thanh Binh Parish in Kon Tum, and the Tac Van Oratory in Tac Van.
The Hoa An Parish has a supply of fresh water for more than 1,000 people. The new water system will also ensure clean water for the 100 children at the Salesian oratory and 20 boarders from the boarding school. Around the parish, there are many poor households with workers staying in rental houses. Ngo Thi Man, a factory worker, is benefiting from this project. With the money she saves on water, she can spend her salary on other basic needs and help support her family back home.
In Kon Tum, more than 1,147 people are benefiting from the water supply in the Khop village where there are poor families working as farmers. Mr. Rhađê, a farmer employed part-time to protect the forest, draws potable water for his family instead of having to get it from streams which are unsafe. He is supplying fresh water to his family and the crops while saving money that he once spent on water containers. There are also 2,700 people benefiting in the Thanh Binh Parish.
At the Tac Van Oratory, there are 500 people in the local parish and 80 boys at the oratory who are benefiting from this new water supply. Around the community there are many poor families who make their living by fishing. Tran Van Ngoc, a fisherman, has an unstable income and is able to draw water for free instead of purchasing water canisters to provide clean water for his family.
“From safe drinking water and healthy sanitation to agriculture, water is essential for life,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Water projects in Vietnam and around the globe ensure people coming to Salesian parishes, schools and centers have access to the water they need. This brings a sense of hope and dignity to the people Salesians serve.”
According to the World Bank, close to 14 percent of Vietnam’s population lives in conditions of poverty. The country has seen a drastic reduction of poverty over the last 20 years when the poverty rate was close to 60 percent. Vietnam has also made remarkable progress in education. Primary and secondary enrollments for those in poverty have reached more than 90 percent and 70 percent respectively.
Rising levels of education and diversification into off-farm activities such as working in construction, factories or domestic housework have also contributed to reducing poverty in the country. Salesian programs give impoverished children and families opportunities that are typically only available to the middle and upper classes so that all people can have hope for a better future.
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