Over 100 children, of the Mong ethnic minority, currently live, study and take care of one another without the support of their parents in a remote area in the Central Highlands.
These children, aged from six to 18, now reside in a resettlement area in Krong Bong District, Dak Lak Province.
Their parents have left this area to come back to their old village, situated in a forest which is around 12 kilometers away, to earn their living.
They return to the resettlement area once a month to supply food to the children.
Giang A Nu, head of Giang Dong Village, said that the area was established in 2004 with 87 houses.
“In 2009, all households in the village voluntarily relocated to the resettlement area, but left the new place one year later as it lacked arable land, while the irrigation systems were not well functioning,” he explained.
As their school is only 300 meters away from the resettlement area, the children stay there to continue their studies.
Eighty percent of the children go to school, while the rest are their brothers and sisters who follow to look after them.
Without the help of their parents, they have to manage their studies and living by themselves.
Every day they eat rice with salt, a few slices of dried fish or instant noodles.
Sung Thi Sua, a fifth-grade student, said that her parents are too poor to take care of her.
“They come to see me every three to five weeks, then giving me around VND20,000 [US$0.89] to buy vegetables,” she added.
Ho Thi Huong, a second-grade student, studies in a class in the resettlement area while still holding her little sibling. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Children gather to watch TV at Sung Vang Lao’s house, one of the rare households where adults still live. Photo: Tuoi Tre
These small kids enjoy their funny moment on the way to school. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Girls are seen gathering to fetch water for daily consumption in the resettlement area. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Children go to school in the morning and play together in the afternoon at home. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Sung A Giong, a second-grade student, currently lives in the resettlement area with his two brothers, who are in third and fourth grade, respectively. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Two months ago, Sung Vang Lao, a villager, established a class in his house to encourage the children’s self-study. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Vang A Dong, a second-grade student, cooks for himself after class. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Sung A Chua and his two brothers study at night. Photo: Tuoi Tre