Together, for the past 25 years, we have helped children and families break the cycle of poverty, and have provided immediate assistance to communities living in daily danger because of unexploded bombs and mines that remain from the Vietnam war. PeaceTrees' investment in education is based on the philosophy that to create lasting positive transformation in post-conflict communities, investments must be made in partnerships, safe land (free from unexplode bombs and mines), education and infrastructure. This type of holistic approach to development, and the understanding that no one issue can be tackled on its own, has led to our many successful PeaceTrees partnerships and projects.
Our kindergarten program gives ethnic minority students a head start through stable early childhood education which improves their chances of success in primary school. Classes are taught in Vietnamese so that the children are linguistically prepared for primary and secondary school and are familiar with formal classroom instruction. This is particularly important in ethnic minority communities where children often speak languages other than Vietnamese at home and therefore have few opportunities to pursue education in public schools where lessons are taught in Vietnamese. We also provide kindergarteners with a hot nutritious lunch each day, and a safe place to play, free from dangerous UXO.
Recently, we engaged our partners in Vietnam to evaluate our kindergarten program. This evaluation found that PeaceTrees kindergarteners experience less malnutrition than other kindergarteners, PeaceTrees kindergarteners attend school more regularly, and their level of nutrition increases over the course of the school year. Our first kindergarten, the Friendship Village Kindergarten, was built in 2002 in Dong Ha City, Quang Tri Province. Since then 15 additional kindergartens have been built, one in Quang Bình and the rest in Quang Tri. This year we are excited to announce the construction of an additional three kindergartens that will educate 118 children in the 2020/21 school year. We look forward to updating you on their construction progress soon!
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