History & Context

The Banhar minority

Vietnam is a developing country. It has about 54 different ethnic groups. Each one has its own culture, its way of life, its dialect and its traditions. Some groups are scattered across mountainous regions with very much more difficult living conditions because of natural catastrophes which form a barrier to the development of the region’s economy.

This region also witnessed violence during the Vietnam war.

Most of the children in the Bahnar ethnic minority come from deprived backgrounds and live in the region of Kon Tum on the highlands of central Vietnam.

This region of Kon Tum lives from agriculture and raising livestock. The farmers here grow staple crops of manioc, sugar cane, bananas and rice, because the soil and the climate do not yet allow them much diversity.

The most pressing problems in this remote region are access to clean drinking water, healthcare, hygiene and education for the children.

Investment in infrastructures such as schools, bridges and roads is still inadequate. Children have to walk for hours, risking their lives facing numerous obstacles, to get to school. For this reason, and also because their families are very poor, many children sacrifice their education and their health to go and work in the fields with their parents.

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