Barré is aimed at working alongside KMF in helping to support the education of ethnic minority children in Vietnam to open up more opportunities for them as well as their families. Most of the families are extremely impoverished, and have difficulties making ends meet. They live far up in the highlands of Vietnam where it is difficult to buy food and daily essentials from the nearby towns. Most are uneducated and have lived in the highlands all their life, where they have been overlooked by the government and are too poor to send their children to mainstream Vietnamese schools to receive the most basic of education.
In this light, Barré seeks to work with KMF to provide education for more of these ethnic minority children and to give them a better future. To read more about our relationship with the natives there, go to our trip photo journal
- Ethnic demographics
Vietnam is a multi-ethnic country with over fifty distinct groups (54 are recognized by the Vietnamese government), each with its own language, lifestyle, and cultural heritage. The largest ethnic group is: Kinh (Viet) 86.2%.
The ethnic minorities usually live in the mountainous regions or highlands of Vietnam, and are usually far removed from the towns and city happenings. As a result, they do not possess the same opportunities as the ethnic majority Kinh, such as education, food, housing, and job opportunities.
It is also notable that many of the ethnic minorities live in tribes and cannot speak Vietnamese, the language of instruction in schools. This creates an invisible barrier to accessing education in schools.
- Economic livelihood
For many minority communities, living in the highlands equates to subsistence farming, which, more often than not, is barely enough to feed the children of the community. The land is arid and inaccessible.
- Social reality
The Bahnah minority live in shacks, walk miles just to get to a church, or eat just homegrown sweet potatoes or vegetables for meals. Even with charitable help, most of the children have only 2 meals a day.
The children whose families cannot afford to send them to school, spend their afternoons wandering around or playing in trash lying about on road. Those higher in the mountains have playgrounds that really are plots of dusty, uneven, empty land.
- Daily life is a struggle for them. This is not to say they are unhappy, because they know not a different life.