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  22/11/2023

Technology and Innovation Aid Children in Sóc Trăng

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How can children improve the quality of their education through better access to clean water and sanitation at school.

The Impact on Children’s Health and Education

Lâm Thị Diễm Như, a 10-year-old Khmer ethnic girl, lives with her grandmother and younger sister in Soc Trang province while her parents work in another province. Drought, saltwater intrusion, and rising sea levels are causing a shortage of domestic water, affecting the health and education of children here.

Như’s family does not have a proper toilet at home and has to use makeshift toilets on fish ponds. This is still common in many households where she lives.

At school, Như limits her use of school toilets because she shares, “”””I find the school toilets quite inconvenient. Whenever it rains, it gets very dark. I want the school toilets to be clean and safer for me and my friends to use.””””

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Lâm Thị Diễm Như and her grandmother, Sơn Thị Sương (Long Phú district, Soc Trang province, Vietnam), are members of the Khmer ethnic group without proper toilets.
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UNICEF and Masterise Group officials survey the current state of school toilets for Như

Lâm Thị Diễm Như, 10 years old, Khmer ethnic student, Long Phú C Primary School, Soc Trang

These challenges, along with the use of makeshift toilets in the community, pose many risks to the health and education of children.

However, we can bring about change through advanced and innovative technologies.

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UNICEF Vietnam\Trương Việt HùngChị Nguyễn Hồng Hạnh, UNICEF Vietnam’s Clean Water and Environmental Sanitation Officer (in green attire, on the left), and Masterise Group officials share joy with the students of Long Phú C Primary School upon receiving the non-discharge toilet equipment.

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UNICEF Vietnam\Trương Việt HùngThe first non-discharge toilet in Vietnam, the ‘Net-Zero Aquonic,’ being transported to Long Phú C Primary School for installation. This is a groundbreaking wastewater treatment system that harnesses clean energy from solar panels to convert wastewater into clean, bacteria-free water for toilet flushing.

Như’s school will be the first to implement this model as part of the project’s goal to expand this initiative to other climate-affected areas.  

“”””UNICEF, with support from Masterise Group, collaborates with local partners to renovate and upgrade school toilets, using smart technologies and climate-resilient solutions to ensure a conducive learning environment and a sustainable future for all children.””””

Nguyễn Hồng Hạnh, UNICEF Vietnam’s Clean Water and Environmental Sanitation Officer.    

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UNICEF Vietnam\Trương Việt Hùng

Masterise Group’s support also helps UNICEF establish digital libraries in Vietnamese and Khmer languages. This initiative enhances digital literacy and provides access to educational resources for children, including digital reading software and sign language materials for children with disabilities. Như had her first experience with digital books on a tablet.

“”””I find it quite enjoyable and exciting. I hope to study science, read books, and explore different topics for fun and learning from this digital library,”””” Như said.

(Source: unicef.org)

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