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Xuan Hoa is a poor commune in Minh Hoa district, a mountainous region in Quang Binh. This commune was heavily bombed during the war because it served as a storage location for Vietnam soldiers' weapons. It is no surprise that cluster bombs and other ordnance were left behind in the area long after the war ended.

In the heart of the commune is a kindergarten that serves 195 families. The school is a beacon of hope for the community since it is the place where their children first access education.

There used to be a house with two rooms that served as a school building, but it had no toilets and was dilapidated. And because it was located on relatively low land, the entire area flooded when it rained.

In 2010, the Provincial People's Committee approved relocating the kindergarten to a larger and higher location. However, the area chosen for construction was one where locals believed bombs were hidden underground.

"While I was a child, I herded buffaloes in this area and saw many bombs on the ground. Once, when my father was digging the land here to plant cassava, two fist-sized bombs appeared," recalled Chi, father of a 3-year-old attending kindergarten at the time.

"When I knew the school was going to be built on the land, I worried about the children since they were very curious and didn’t know about bombs. If they accidentally uncover bombs, they will likely think they are just toys," he shared.

In January 2011, MAG was asked to assist the school with the clearance process in preparation for construction. Across 15 days MAG cleared nearly 3,400 square metres of land and found and safely destroyed seven unexploded bombs.

In his memory, Chi recalls feeling reassured after MAG cleaned the area. "It was a pleasure to see a new school built in our community. We were thrilled that our children would receive a better education than many of my generation ever could."


Chau, the son of Chi, who was 3 years old when the school was built, is now 15. He likes maths and wants to be an engineer.


In 2012, 50 children were enrolled in the kindergarten after the new facility was completed. It covered 98% of preschoolers in the commune at that time, more than doubling from the previous year. This success is indicative of the importance of the new facility and the benefits of providing adequate preschool infrastructure.

Tien, a kindergarten teacher, said, "With the new school, we can grow fresh vegetables for students' lunches, and we don't have to worry about flooding every time the rainy season comes."



While the COVID-19 epidemic raged in 2021, the Xuan Hoa kindergarten served as a quarantine area where the local community received medical treatment. During times of need, the school is also a reliable resource for the community.

The land where bombs and bullets once fell has become a school that offers education to the next generation in Xuan Hoa. Education is essential for protecting children and eradicating poverty - it is also a key tool for human development.

Thanks to the long-term support from the US Government, MAG has been able to respond to an urgent request from Xuan Hoa commune. By clearing unexploded bombs from schools, we uphold the right of girls and boys to an education in a safe environment.