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ASIF Foundation collaborates with Ho Chi Minh City Youth Union for sanitation and hygiene strengthen

An MoU was signed on the morning of 14 July 2023 at the office of the HCM City Youth Union between ASIF Foundation and the Ho Chi Minh City Vietnamese Youth Association and the City’s Social Work Centre for Youths to implement the project “Improving access to quality and student-friendly toilets 2023”.

Generic view of MoU signing broadcast on HTV

At the signing ceremony were Mr. Ngo Minh Hai, Permanent Deputy Secretary of HCMC Youth Union and Chairman of HCMC Vietnamese Youth Association, Mr. Duong Ngoc Tuan, Director of the City’s Social Work Centre for Youths, representatives and the Youth Union members, and on the donor side, Ms. Lam Ngoc Thao, ASIF Foundation Executive Director and Mr. Nguyen Van Thuan, Director of Community Development Programs and Projects.

A recent survey on school toilets based in Ho Chi Minh city by the ASIF Foundation and partners in 2023 shows that students in most primary and lower secondary schools have access to toilets. However, they are met with numerous issues with the facilities having been run down, moldy, poorly air-ventilated, ill-lit, lacking toilet papers and hand soaps, or unclean. A more concerning issue is the increased risk of child abuse in unhygienic and unsafe toilet areas and child injuries for children with disabilities due to lack of disability-related access.

According to a 2022 report by the Ministry of Education and Training, there were 180,000 toilet facilities in public-funded kindergartens and pre-tertiary level schools nationwide, and over 77,000 of them would not pass the quality and suitability test for students.

A site survey with ASIF Foundation staff discussing with primary school principal in Binh Chanh

Toilet-related issues, although thought to be of minor importance, have become hauntingly unpleasant to children and led to a chain of negative impacts on their physical, mental health and learning.

Ms. Lam Ngoc Thao, ASIF Foundation Executive Director speaking

“As a Vietnamese Foundation Towards Global Impact founded and led by Vietnamese to address issues facing vulnerable and marginalized groups in Vietnam, the ASIF Foundation understands deeply the range of negative effects caused on the children due to unsafe and unhygienic sanitation systems.”, said Ms, Lam Ngoc Thao at the signing ceremony.

Two parties signing MoU

Representatives from Standing Committee of District Youth Unions of Hoc Mon and Binh Chanh symbolically receiving project from ASIF Foundation

For the second half of 2023, the HCMC Vietnamese Youth Association, the City’s Social Work Centre for Youths and the ASIF Foundation will kick off a pilot project to build a new toilet area for the children of Tan Xuan Primary school in Hoc Mon and renovate an existing one for Go Xoai primary school in Binh Chanh with a total estimated fund of 2 billion Dong.

Group photo with participants at the MoU signing ceremony

This project will lay the groundwork for the HCMC Vietnamese Youth Association, the City’s Social Work Centre for Youths and the Foundation for potential continued partnerships for other projects in Ho Chi Minh city and other places throughout the country.

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