School Building Programme


Saigonchildren believes that a child’s education is the foundation for their future well-being. That is why we are committed to building schools in disadvantaged areas, often serving low-income communities where existing facilities have become unsafe or unsuitable, and in areas where children must travel a long distance to school. We use private donations, along with contributions from the government to build safe and secure schools which are publicly owned and operated as part of our School Building Programme.

Our aim is to provide fully operational classrooms, hygienic toilets and wash facilities, libraries and playgrounds whenever we identify the opportunity to improve access. We also use these schools and our strong community networks to strengthen the awareness and understanding of a number of vital issues like sustainability, environmental protection, health, and inclusion. 

Since the first saigonchildren school was established in Can Gio in 1993, we’ve built 233 schools and a total of 605 classrooms.

These have their doors open to brighten the futures of over 20,000 disadvantaged children every year. We operate all across Vietnam, from Tra Vinh on Vietnam’s southern coast to Tuyen Quang nearly 2000km to the north.

Guidelines and Maintenance

The design and construction of the classrooms follow the standards of the Ministry of Education and Training. Saigon Children’s Charity works closely with the local community to establish a people’s supervision committee that includes parents, teachers, and locals. These are in charge of coordinating the supervision of the construction, as well as preserving and maintaining the facilities in the future. This ensures the longevity of these new facilities so they can continue to impact the lives of the next generation.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

“More than 80 per cent of schools in Viet Nam have water and sanitation facilities, many are not fully operational or are in a state of disrepair” (UNICEF)

Old toilets in need of repairs

Saigon Children’s Charity seeks to eliminate sanitary challenges in the classroom through our School Building Programme through our attention to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities.

Various studies show that a lack of access to WASH for many of these schools increases the likelihood of developing:

Further, saigonchildren has expressed a special interest in the impact school sanitation facilities have for female students through our PowHERful campaign. UNICEF states that female students are at risk of a higher frequency of urinary tract infections, menstrual pain, and absenteeism due to inadequate sanitation facilities. Our research also found that only 23% of female students felt comfortable enough in their school toilets, while 33% didn’t want to attend school because of them.

By constructing adequate sanitary facilities, we seek to eliminate these risks, whether we build a school or simply bring their facilities up to standard. We believe no child should lack access to WASH in their learning environment. Improving this opens the door for these vulnerable children to have fewer impediments to their education and a better livelihood.

Children washing hands

Newly built WASH bathrooms

Computer Rooms

Saigon Children’s Charity also focuses on bringing the existing schools in disadvantaged areas up-to-date with modern computer rooms to suit the education required in the Digital Age. We believe these are great learning tools that open many doors for these young students to receive a current and complete education, reflecting their needs in today’s ever-evolving technological world.

Newly built computer classroom

UNICEF found that some of the benefits of digital learning for children are:

  • Improvement in learning outcomes and working habits
  • More motivation to learn a new language
  • Helps teachers be better able to respond to children’s individual learning needs thanks to the flexibility of choice
  • Higher interest in learning
  • Alternative learning for students with special needs 

This also provides the students and teachers with the resources to develop and integrate modern technology into their learning, and bridge the knowledge gap in disadvantaged areas with the more economically developed ones. With access to the boundless information accessible on the Internet and the right education, it can help students catch-up in all areas of their studies.

Additionally, because of the potential risks related to the Internet use, saigonchildren has been providing the students and teachers with expertise on safe Internet use for children. That way we can foster a space for responsible Internet use that only compliments a student’s learning. Find out more about the work we’re doing to improve Internet safety at Góc Nhỏ An Toàn. (Vietnamese only)

To learn more about the work saigonchildren has been doing to remove barriers to education, check out What We Do or reach out to us at [email protected].

If you’re interested in supporting our efforts to foster a safe and hygienic learning environment for underprivileged children, please consider becoming a donor or corporate partner today!