50 new kids from Meo Vac

50 new youngsters from Meo Vac benefit from Platypus supporters in the 2014-15 school year.

2014 scholarships

2014 Scholarship Ceremony in Meo Vac

Platypus is blessed with generous supporters in Western Australia and that has enabled us to steadily grow our modest operation in Vietnam.
2012 was our first year in Vietnam and we helped 100 youngsters in Quang Nam Province continue with their schooling. Most were from ethnic minority groups and all were from families living in poverty. We under took to support them through the whole school education experience, which is what we do while we promised our supporters that 100 cents in every dollar they gave us would end up in the hands of a family for that education process.

We are delighted to advise that continues to happen – we know that because we travel to each site every year to meet the students and their families to see how they are doing and to hand out the scholarship funds.

2013 saw us add 50 young students to our program. These new students were from mountainous Ha Giang Province, located in the top left hand corner of the country, if you can imagine that, on the China border. That particular journey is described elsewhere on this website. We found youngsters determined to make the most of an opportunity to be educated and it was rewarding to be able to offer a hand, Aussie style. It was very easy to form a bond with the dedicated ladies of the Women’s Union and the strong family women of places that pose challenges for families on a daily basis.

2014 was better again. We visited Quang Nam Province first and found that despite tough economic conditions 98 out of 100 students completed the year, with health and family circumstance causing 2 to leave the program. We have now set up a small emergency fund to help families in times of stress so that youngsters can continue to attend school.
We then visited Ha Giang Province. Terrific support at our fundraising dinner allowed us to undertake an additional much needed project: 50 more youngsters from around Meo Vac, the highest town in mountainous Ha Giang Province. Students of Hmong and Dao ethnicity presented themselves for scholarship and were joined by proud and happy relatives in a festive atmosphere.
The mountainous terrain, challenging roads and endless limestone karsts make both cultivation and transporting goods to the markets difficult; life is not easy here and unemployment is high.

Our local partners, the Vietnam Women’s Union monitors the spending of scholarship money. There are no hard and fast rules: school fees, uniforms, text books and stationery are main expenses, but a few bicycles have been purchased to reduce school travel time.
Family commitment to education is obvious: in 2 years only 2 students have dropped out, and not for financial reasons, so money has not been misspent.

2014 family comitment

Family commitment to education is highly visible


It was a pleasure to initiate a pilot micro-banking scheme in Meo Vac, details of which appear elsewhere on this website. We were delighted by the piglet experience (see Deidre’s Gift) and see it as a path out of poverty and a stepping stone to a measure of financial independence. Over time we want provide more of this type of support should funding permit.

2014 pigs

Blossom and passengers (see Deidre’s Gift and Sequel story)

Platypus now includes among its members Dr Judith Gliddon an education academic and we will be working with the Women’s Union and the ethnic minority education organisations in an effort to link our education project to vocational opportunities.

We hope also to be able to assist a few graduates with higher education. If that means paying a share of college or university fees, or sharing students, as it were, we will happily do so.
We are extremely grateful to all those who have supported our projects to-date.

A big THANK YOU to all who have supported this cause so far, its your support that makes these project possible.

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