COV came to Son Ha district with the purpose of expanding the soup mix nutrition program to areas that would have the most impact. Son Lien is a poor mountainous district to the West of Quang Ngai province. It is difficult to travel around the area due to dangerous roads and unpredictable weather. Local people depend on the forest and have an unstable income. This area has an extremely high poor-household rate. Most of the residents are ethnic minority (Ho Re), and do not have the means to give their children proper nutrition and many days they are hungry.Son Lien kindergarten, one of the farthest sites, was one of the kindergartens we helped. There are total 104 children, 100% are ethnic minorities, malnutrition rate is more than 40%, 76 are from poor households. We quickly realized after meeting with the teachers, principals and students that they needed the food COV provides.
Fish, Meat, Salt or nothing
Interview with H’nhiWe met H’nhi, a 5-year-old boy from the Ho Re group. He was small and in ragged clothes and was afraid of us. After a few minutes he warmed up an began to tell us about his life.
He said: “My house is far away from here so my parents take me to school every day. If they were busy, I would walk to school in the early morning. My father goes hunting and does farming”.COV: Do you like going to school?
H’nhi: Yes, I do. I like going to school because I have a lot of friends to play with. Moreover, when I stay at home I have less food than at school.
COV: What kind of food do you have at home every day?
H’nhi: Fish, meat or salt or nothing…
Talking to his teacher, she shared that not only H’nhi, but many other students were hungry every day. Watching the children eat lunch brought tears to our eyes. They had almost nothing maybe a little rice or cassava. The teachers said when they arrived at school in morning they had difficulty focusing because they were weak and drowsy with hunger.