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HEDO - A close and faithful organization of the highland people

Speech by Mr. Leng Van Ty, Head of Civil Committee of Bac Kan province at the HEDO Seminar on 28 March 2000.

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Dear distinguished guests,

Dear comrade and friends,

Bac Kan is a highland province have been reestablished for 3 years, which has large area of 4,500 km square, 90% of which is hilly land, inhabited less than 300,000 people, among them 7 ethnic groups live in the Center of Northern part of Vietnam. Bac Kan is the revolutionary base. The Bac Kan person endows tradition of solidarity, patriotism, hardworking, struggle against natural calamity for earning living. Bac Kan has potential of mineral, agricultural and forest resources. But for many decades, Bac Kan was forgotten in economic investment.

Recently, the Party and Government have paid attention to the development of infrastructure, network of road have been upgraded and repaired, expanded to the center of communes. The national power network has extended to 100% of districts. Hydropower dams and irrigation canal have been built up or improved. Schools and clinics have been constructed with State investment. And the province has reaches the national target of primary education generalization and anti-illiteracy 2 years earlier. The living standard of people has been improved considerably. The hunger elimination and poverty reduction campaigns have come to effect, poor farmer households have been reduced from 40% to 30%.

HEDO, an NGO is the first one, which much concerns and helps the most difficult areas at the beginning of the provincial reestablishment. Beside high mountainous areas, HEDO also come to the most remote areas in the province, shared poor meal and bad accommodation with local people. HEDO officials whole-heartedly work for ethnic people actively cooperated with local authorities on the method of development of education, health care, bringing advanced technology into production to eliminate hunger and poverty. HEDO, in cooperation with national and institutional organizations, have collected tens of thousands dollars to give non-interest loan for Dao, Nung, Tay ethnic people to raise animal and produce food plants. Thanks to the loan, hundreds of farmers in the remote Nari district can buy buffaloes rear poultry and fish.  Advanced technology know-how on animal farming, planting tree has been transferred to the people. Hundreds tons of new soybean seeds and bio-fertilizers from Hanoi have been transported to hilly productive field land. The introduction of cultivation suitable for hilly soil and one-crop field land and animal farming has changed the old production method of ethnic people. As the result of it, the ethnic people gain more income, improve their living standard. I take this opportunity to express thanks and gratitude for fruitful assistance of the British Embassy, Asian Center for Population and Community Development (ACPD), CNST, NGOs and HEDO.

However, Bac Kan is still the poorest province which is facing so much difficulties such as GDP less than 100 USD, especially the small ethnic groups who live in the deepest and most remote areas on the top of mountain. So far, Bac Kan has 20,000 people who live in nomadic way, the free-wandering movement is still widespread. Many of them are illiteracy, social diseases develops such as malaria, goiters, leprosy etc.

Bac Kan is a province, which lies in mainland of the North, far from ports and airport, industrial centers, communications and transport are underdeveloped. Therefore, the agricultural and forest products can not be exchanged in market, and processed in the factories. The farmers have no extra-income except for self-supply production. The State and local projects often have limited capital investment and are small-scale, short-term and not well integrated so they are like salt drops in the immense ocean.

Some proposals, we would like to put forward with the hope that HEDO may consider and give support:

To train human resources, in Bac Kan, we should have boarding schools at provincial and district level. But only recruit student to secondary school... There is no primary school in some isolated and high mountain areas, particularly H’mong, San Chi peoples...Therefore, many children are not able to go primary schools. We propose Ministry of Education and Training consider that problem and HEDO support to solve.

The school equipment in highland school is almost nothing, teaching and learning without equipment aid. The other thing is health service, medical doctors, physicians and nurses have so low qualification that they are not able to manage advanced technical equipment to diagnose and treat. In the past two years, though Health Ministry some professors of Central Highlands and Hanoi has shown sympathy with the health service in Bac Kan, and ready to train and upgrade their profession at medical centers, but they can not afford to attend because of poor budget. The vocational, job training and employment is also an unsolvable problems due to lack of cadres, limited budget and poor- condition materials.

Requirement is plenty, but some crucial needs that we have mentioned above are urgent problems, so that the ethnic highland people gradually stabilize their living condition for abolition of hunger and poverty.

Once again, we hope representative from Ministries, Government agencies, provinces and HEDO pay more attention to support and help Bac Kan province so that in a short space of time it can keep pace with other provinces in the region.

Thank you for your attention.




© Highland Education Development Organisation (HEDO) 2001
4 Trinh Hoai Duc, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: +84 4 7345292 / 7345293, Fax: +84 4 7345293
Email hedo@fpt.vn