MEKONG COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The Mekong Area
The Mekong Delta is a region in the south of Vietnam, where the Mekong River (Sông Cửu Long) meets the South China Sea. It is filled with small tributaries and rivers breaking off from the main river, which combined with the area’s tropical weather and low-lying terrain provides a strong platform for agricultural and aquaculture production.
Known as Vietnam’s ‘rice basket’, it’s strong agricultural production has allowed Vietnam to become the second largest exporter of rice in the world, while it’s fishing industry accounts for just under 60% of Vietnam’s total overseas exports. Despite this, industrial infrastructure and foreign investment is relatively small across the region. This has meant the area has remained largely undeveloped economically, especially in comparison to neighbouring Ho Chi Minh City and as a result, most inhabitants work in low-paying agricultural production and those seeking higher income jobs migrate to larger cities in order to find work. Besides the region’s economic centre of Can Tho City and larger provincial capitals, the Mekong Delta is mainly comprised of rural areas filled with agricultural land.
Despite falling rates of poverty across the region in general, which is arguably due to the development in metropolitan areas such as Can Tho, Long Xuyen and Rach Gia cities, development in rural areas is still desperately needed. Whilst the development in the metropolitan cities is needed to encourage regional advancement as a whole, in the short-term the rural areas are left behind as many inhabitants remain in low-income work and live in poor housing conditions. Inevitably, the rural population has less exposure to socio-economic development and action needs to be taken to ensure inhabitants, in particular families living around the poverty line, are encouraged and provided a platform to improve their livelihood.
Improved housing provides countless benefits as the family have a comfortable living environment allowing them to focus on securing income. As well as this, the reduced risk of contracting illness and disease is paramount. Parents can work steadily; able to provide food and other basic essentials whilst arguably most important, the child can focus on their education with less chance of a disrupted attendance and a clean and healthy environment to study at home
We believe that better educational environment can foster the engagement and eagerness of students in their learning at school. The activities include building children playground, painting or renovation task. These activities are usually combined with Teaching English or Cultural Awareness to the kids in the village.
For disabled people in the rural area in Mekong Delta , they need to travel about 2-3 hours in order to come to the rehabilitation center for the treatment. Therefore, we believe that having the Rehabilitation Center in the village would be a long term "investment" because it will not only help to lessen the cost of transportation of these special people but also assists them in maximizing their physical functioning.