The working session between representatives of the Save the Children organisation and the Can Tho municipal People’s Committee on May 16 (Photo: VNA) 

Can Tho (VNA) – Save the Children is planning to open a representative office in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, and Can Tho city, as the growth engine of the region, is suitable to be the location of this office, said the organisation’s Country Director Dragana Strinic.

She was speaking at a working session with the Can Tho municipal People’s Committee on May 16.

She noted that Save the Children currently has representative offices in Hanoi, northern mountainous Lao Cai province, central Da Nang city, and Ho Chi Minh City. They are tasked with learning about the situation of local children and implementing support activities.

As the representative office in HCM City is unable to cover all child support issues in the southern region, it is necessary to set up another office in the Mekong Delta, she added.

Strinic said the Save the Children office in Can Tho will focus on education, health care, disaster relief, and prevention of violence against children. 

She elaborated that the organisation will coordinate with the local educational sector to improve children’s reading and writing skills through learning toolkits with proven effectiveness. It aims to expand the teaching of Vietnamese as the second language for local ethnic minority children through bilingual education programmes.

To end violence against children, they will work with the municipal Department of Education and Training to step up preventive measures and protect children from violence and abuse by educating students on forms of abuse and self-defence skills, encouraging parents to regularly talk to their children, and giving parents advice on the education of children at different ages.

In health care, Save the Children will coordinate with the municipal Department of Health to provide free check-ups, treatment and medicine for disadvantaged children while popularising basic health knowledge to low-income families, rural residents, and ethnic minority people. It will also join hands with schools and localities to promote food fortification for mothers and children through giving milk, vitamins and tonics to malnourished students, pregnant women, and new mothers.

In terms of disaster aid, the organisation will open training courses to improve students and teachers’ awareness of disasters and response skills, work with local authorities to provide emergency relief in case of disasters, and carry out a post-disaster poverty reduction programme by offering loans, breeding stock and plant seedlings for disaster-affected households, Strinic noted.

At the session, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Truong Quang Hoai Nam welcomed the plan and operation orientations of Save the Children in Can Tho. He promised that the city’s administration will actively support the organisation’s programmes.

Export processing and industrial parks is growing rapidly in Can Tho, leading to the fast growth of the number of children whose parents come from other localities to work in the city. This fact has caused difficulties in managing and ensuring children’s life quality. Therefore, the city wants to receive the organisation’s assistance in this problem, he added.-VNA