Mrs. Phung Thi Huong, a teacher eat Hoang Lien Primary Boarding in the northern highlands of Vietnam, was deeply concerned about the impact of poor water, hygiene, and sanitation on her students.

“The water we use is supplied by a nearby household. It comes from an untreated water source from the mountain spring. During the flooding season, the water is too turbid to use. During the planting season, the water supply is unstable since the owner needs the water for crop irrigation,” she shared.

Although the school had a cement water storage cistern, it was damaged and could only store up to six cubic metres of water, which lasted them only one day. The lack of higher-capacity water storage tanks put the students and teachers of Hoang Lien School at constant risk of water shortage.

“The toilets always smell because the students don’t have enough water to flush,” she shared.

Two hundred students attend Hoang Lien School, but there are only two functional handwashing taps, one in the boys’ bathroom and one in the girls’ bathroom. The lack of water taps partly contributed to the students’ poor hand hygiene practices.

Samaritan’s Purse donated a Reverse Osmosis (RO) water filtration system and five water storage tanks to the school to increase the students’ access to safe and clean water. The RO system enables them to treat the water pumped into the school from the nearby household while the water tanks, each with a capacity of two cubic metres, allows them to store enough water to last them about five days.

“Thank you, Samaritan’s Purse, for your provision. It meets a critical need. My students can now drink safe water and have enough water for their daily use,” Mrs. Phung Thi Huong said with a radiant smile on her face.

In addition, Samaritan’s Purse provided five handwashing stations to allow the students to wash their hands right after using the toilets. Pham Minh Thuc, a fourth-grader at Hoang Lien School said in great excitement,

“My friends and I love the handwashing stations. We can now wash our hands at the same time without having to wait for our turn.”

After attending the Training of Trainers (ToT) course on children’s hygiene and sanitation funded by Samaritan’s Purse, Mrs. Phuong Thi Huong and her fellow teachers applied the training methods to educate their students on hygiene and sanitation.

Mrs. Phung Thi Huong is excited to see the positive impacts the lessons will have on her students. “Many of my students have adopted proper hygiene practices. They wash their hands with soap before meals and after using the toilet. They also actively participate in cleaning the toilet after use, and they take ownership for maintaining the cleanliness of the school and classrooms.”

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