Welcome to the Kon Ray Ethnic Minority Boarding School, brought to Nga by USAID. The school is perched high above lush valleys in Vietnam’s picturesque Central Highlands. “This school is so clean and so nice,” says the 14-year-old from Kon Keng village, an ethnic Sora farming community that produces cassava, rice, corn, and rubber.
Patiently, Pham Thi Bich Ngoc angled her right elbow to type in what she would like to be when she grows up. Beaming, she threw a sideways glance at a teacher. The laptop screen read “doctor” in Vietnamese. The room burst out in a chorus of approval led by Ngoc’s mother, Bui Thi Mai.
Dang Van Toan shuffled across the floor of his garage-sized shop. Flipping a switch, he warmed up his new photocopy machine against the din of heavy pounding and drilling from the metalworker next door. For years Toan hoped he would one day have his own business.
In the Mekong region, USAID's Biodiversity Conservation Program is demonstrating an innovative approach to forest man-agement and sustainable conservation financing known as Payments for Environmental Services (PES).
Last updated: March 11, 2014