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Stories: Children, Community, Future

Hien’s journey of independence at the semi-boarding school

Hien is a Dao ethnic girl born and raised in Ngan Son district, Bac Kan province. Hien’s parents and two older siblings all work far away, so she spends most of her time at home with her grandparents and goes to a local school in the village. Hien was always timid and did not know how to take care of herself since daily tasks such as preparing school supplies or personal hygiene were all done by her grandparents.

During her first days of moving to the semi-boarding school, Hien was always sad and afraid to interact with people, rarely participating in group activities with school mates. However, after a period of studying at the school and participating in trainings of the project “Safe and supportive semi-boarding schools for students”, Hien was carefully guided by teachers and gradually change. Along with other semi-boarding students, Hien was trained on independent living skills such as oral hygiene, daily personal hygiene, keeping the living space clean, etc.

Hien studying with her friend in class

For her teachers and friends at the semi-boarding school, Hien is now much more sociable and bold. Aside from working with her roommates to build room rules, regularly cleaning her living space and taking care of trees and flowers on campus, Hien also spends time to share and help her classmates with school work during self-study hours. She now knows how to take care of herself and keep her clothes and books neat and tidy.

When a student from the Tay ethnic group transferred to the school, Hien was trusted by the teacher to help her get used to the new environment. Everyday, Hien spends time to chat and help out her new friend. Thanks to Hien’s efforts, the new student quickly got used to life at the school and became more cheerful.

Hien is very happy with her changes and loves her current life at the semi-boarding school. She shared: “Now I am used to life at the school. I feel like this is my home. Every time I go back home or go on holiday, I really miss my friends and teachers at school!”.

Hien during lunch time at the semi-boarding school

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