Little House at the Foothill

Home of 4 orphan siblings


Up high, there are some hills, with nothing but some small bushes on top. They are typical hills that can be seen in many places in Dien Bien.

Down here, there is a small garden, dry and uncultivated.

Next to it, there is a small but firm house. There is almost no furniture in the house except two small beds, enough for four orphans to pass their nights.

Some packages of cements lie inside. They were collected by members of the women’s union of Tua Chua district from local businesses to build a kitchen for these orphans.

A big old fashioned television which had just been collected from a family in Dien Bien city was placed in the only table in the house.

The house was also built thanks to the work of these women who called for contribution in terms of materials, finance or labor from local companies or villagers. The house was built with brick and concrete with metal roof. The orphans can be safe living inside until they became mature adults.

Ms. Hằng (on the left), Head of Tua Chua Women’s Union, is telling about how she raised funds to build the the house for the kids

These women, with their own concerns for their families and for the lives of women in the district, could not resist before these orphans’ living conditions. Their father then their mother died in turn one year after the other. Their big step brother, scared of the burden of caring for four little brothers, had left home. When their old and torn house collapsed, these women determined to find ways to help the orphan a strong roof to protect them.

The house was built. At least they would be safe from rain and sun under this roof. Few rice scholarships and constant support from the women’s union will save them from starvation the whole year through. They can feel confident going to school to prepare for a better future of their own.

Four orphans with donors’ representative in their home

The names of Bi, Chick or Gau who saved for their rice scholarships might not be familiar to them. But the names of those “friends in the mountains” Chang, Chinh, Xo, Xu have become familiar to these little kids in Hanoi. Sometimes these names are mentioned during the discussions between parents and kids in the capital.

Four orphan brothers received their scholarships


Outside of the fence, a milk flower tree was planted and is growing big and green. The tree will grow higher and bigger, providing shade to the house which will fade with time. An in autumn, it will blossom, spreading special fragrance across the hills. A typical fragrance of Hanoi autumn.

Written and photos taken by Vũ Thị Hải Anh

Rice Scholarship in Vietnam

The Rice Scholarship Program is a charity program aiming to assist disadvantaged students, particularly those from ethnic minority groups, in remote and mountainous areas, to continue their education. The program was initiated in 2005. Individual donors contribute money, time and effort to raise fund, establish relations with local partners, coordinate and manage the program on a voluntary basis. Contact us here

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