Photographer's Note


This picture has been taken at Lao Chai Elementary — the lone school in this minority area about 14 km South of Sa Pa town. This is the tribal area where 90% of children never had a chance to hold a pen simply because their parents could not afford the expense. Waiting until their recess when they were having educational games outdoor, we didn’t wish to disturb them either, even though with our donation, both teachers offered if we have any kind of activities in mind and wanted them to pose for pictures…

These are lucky kids since they are among the tiny percentage of H'mong Minority children to go to school. Again, attending class is rare within this area, where children are leaded into adult work: teenager boys normally follow their fathers into the jungle, hunting or cutting timber. The duty of girls in this range of age is hand-weaving, dyeing and making clothes for entire family, or going to rice paddies to do the family agriculture. Kids stay home to take care of their younger siblings, or waiting along trekking paths to sell souvenirs to tourists.

Looking at this picture and count back the time... this month last year I was with them. After 12 months, I still have nothing done for me or for them. Most travelers arrived this area to witness these people living at low level without electricity, to satisfy their curiosity. I was here to see and went home with the wound in mind that I couldn't do anything to help them.
In 10 more years, I pray that these lives will be in better condition...


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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 471 W: 125 N: 2332] (8458)
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