May 6, 2014

Vinh Long, 27th march 2014, The Dariu Foundation today organized the opening ceremony of a new mobile school funded by HSBC – the first ever “floating school” dedicated to youth training in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

The floating school was remodeled from a ferry into a computer training classroom with 36 laptops, LCD air-conditioners and solar energy system, offering the disadvantaged youth with opportunity to master basic software programs, including Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel and PowerPoint and financial literacy in three-month time.

This school is part of the HSBC Global Education Programme granted to Dariu Foundation since 2012, with a total funding of US$339,500 (just over VND7 billion), including the launch of another mobile school (in a converted container) introduced in March last year, and sponsor of operational funding, facilities, training the trainers and students and other related activities.

“In remote areas, computers are a luxury and computer literacy can be seen as far out of reach,” says Mr. Scott Solberg – Chairman of HSBC Vietnam’s Corporate Sustainability Committee. “Through this ground-breaking program, we will bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots in Vietnam by providing children in disadvantaged rural areas with the tools and skills required to establish careers and live rewarding lives in the 21st century.”

By far 9 mobile schools, one of which is floating school, have been opened by Dariu Foundation by end of March 2014, increasing its training capacity to 7,000 students a year. The foundation has plan to operate a total of 20 mobile schools in Vietnam by 2016, and expand its mobile school project into Myanmar in May 2014, with the first 3 mobile schools.

The Dariu Foundation is a Swiss-based international non-governmental organization working in Vietnam since 2003, with activities focusing on microfinance, scholarships for poor students, funding to build kindergartens, and computer skills training and financial education via mobile schools. Today it is providing microfinance services to around 15,000 low income households in Dong Nai and Vinh Long provinces, awarding 1,500-2,000 scholarships, building 2-3 kindergartens and training around 7,000-10,000 students on computer, internet and financial education every year.