Build playground for children of poor populations along the road they are every day in the mountains of Vietnam; this is the target we have set for the coming months.
Playgrounds are a vital aspect of childhood because they help children develop imperative physical, social, and cognitive skills. With the support of Plan International, we aim to provide the children of the poorest province in Vietnam an important foundation in their development as well as a safe and secure environment to learn and have fun.
These areas will serve as an important link between homes and schools, and will facilitate more interest in educational pursuits.
THE LOCATION ?
In the heart of the remote mountains of Northern Vietnam, at the place where Vietnam meets China, the road winds, uninterrupted through sharp mountains and deep valleys. On both sides, the rice fields stretch to the horizon, untouched by modern conveniences, and aside from the main villages, one will rarely see a house in the picturesque background. This is the site for our project, Ha Dau Co Village, located in the town of Can Chu Phin, district of Meo Vac, in the continuity of Dong Van Plateau, ranked a World GeoPark by UNESCO in 2010.
THE PEOPLE ? The province of Ha Giang is the home of some 22 minority ethnic groups in Vietnam, primarily with the Hmong as the most represented. These groups live below the poverty line, and survive mainly on economical trades such as the growing and selling of rice and woven garments. The activities of the day are always followed by the inhabitants returning to their isolated homes in the evening. With the resources they have, these mountain populations make every effort to ensure a good harvest, which will give them enough strength and security to get through the long, hard winters. It is not uncommon to find children of all ages working alongside their parents to provide for the family's livelihood, instead of attending school. These types of substinence farming techniques leave little time for other economic and educational activities. For children to attend school, they must walk an average of 6 km per day one way to reach a school or facility.
Between two villages, we met children and it is clear that they should probably go tens of kilometers to reach their destination
During the day, those who cannot attend school for lack of money, time, or age, find themselves playing on the edge of the road, in unsafe and insecure places.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT ? On our first trip to the area, we marveled at the breathtaking scenery. The terrain of these territories showed us the extraordinary ingenuity of the seasons rice farmers who inhabit the lands.
Some cities, such as Dong Van, are already seeing their lands and cultures changed by the effects of mass touris. However, the villages located outside of these areas, as well as those residing in the high mountain passes, are still relatively untouched by modern conveniences.
While there are some schools in the area, there is very little infrastructure surrounding the lives of the children. The language that is formally taught in the schools is Vietnamese, but since a majority of the children come from ethnic minorities, they speak their own dialect instead of the national tongue. If you couple this fact with how scattered many of the settlements are, it is easy to see why local NGOs have such a difficult time sending the local children to school.
When we walked through the countryside for the first time, we were awestruck by how many times we repeatedly found children occupying spaces to play alongside the roaft, often in precarious conditions. We also found that many schools provide outputs directly on to the dangerous road, with trucks and motorbikes whizzing by at top speeds!
This is why we want to build small playgrounds throughout these villages to provide the children with safe and secure spaces, adapted to their own personal needs.
THE PLAN/DETAILS OF ACHIEVEMENT ?
So far, we have already located a field which will be lent free of charge to our project, since the government of Vietnam does not make a profit on land which is used for community development projects.
Our first playground will be a flat surface of at least 25 m2, fitted for the games that the children of this province love so much, such as football and spinning tops.
We also intend to build a covered area of 15 m2 housing a large table with benches for families to spend time together in a safe space. The sheltered space will also possess swings and possibly a mezzanine with a slide.
As responsible architects, we will not interfere with the natural ecosystems of the area. We are currently focusing our efforts to complete the finishing touches on the models, which we will then post here for all to see.
a sunny morning...
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We are developing this project with the organisation Plan International (logistic, research, information...). The organisation Playground Ideas further helps us to relay information to. Znappit society is collaborating with us with their new app “Soap” allowing to create group videos from 8 seconds sequences.
> > > TO CHECK :
See page of PLAN International to learn more about the programs that are conducted for children in the region of Ha Giang in Vietnam :
Also follow our project and projects playgrounds worldwide on playgroungideas.org :