Song Thi Banh and her sister cook their meal in a kitchen built from canvas
The students are now living in some deteriorating houses that have been abandoned by local people in the remote mountainous commune of Quang Hoa in Dak G’Long District.
They live far from their home to study in the area as their parents cannot afford to rent a proper house for them.
Sharing one house with 10 other pupils, Song Thi Banh, 13, and her 11-year-old sister are given a small bag of rice and VND50,000 (USD2.20) each a week to buy food. So their meals normally have only rice and vegetable.
Banh said that their house has been abandoned for long and was in bad condition now.
“It was very hot in summer when we often have to stay at school until the evening to hide from the heat as we have no electricity,” Banh said. “During the rainy season, it is often flooded. 12 of us share a small kitchen built from canvas which leaks in heavy rain.”
About one kilometre away, Phung Mui Lieu, 14, live with three other friends in a restored wooden cowshed.
Four pupils live in a restored cowshed
“My house is some 20 kilometres from the school so my parents got this house built for us on a garden of a local family here,” Lieu said. “I’ve been living here for three years and are familiar with the poor living condition.
Lieu said that the most valuable thing in their house was an electric cooker which was given by a kind donor.
“We were lucky to have power last year,” she added. “Now we can have better light to do homework and cook our meals quicker.”
According to vice headmaster of Quang Hoa Secondary School, Le Luong Nhien, the teachers have tried to help their students to have better meals but restoring or building the boarding houses for the students are out of their reach.
“We want to call on agencies and donors to help build a proper dormitory for the 150 pupils here,” Nhien said.
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