The Oxalis Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2015 by Oxalis Adventure, which focuses on promoting and supporting various initiatives, including education, community assistance, career development, infrastructure, and welfare projects. The Foundation is committed to disaster relief efforts in the Quang Binh province while also creating sustainable solutions that will continue to benefit the community in the long run. Its focus on education aims to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their future careers, ultimately benefiting the Quang Binh province's economy. By targeting these issues, the Foundation is working towards achieving long-term solutions, which will improve the lives of the people in the Quang Binh province. Read on to learn more about the Foundation's initiatives and how it is making a positive impact on the community.

A Commitment to Social Responsibility

Oxalis Adventure, the parent company of the Oxalis Foundation, has a long-standing commitment to sustainable tourism and social responsibility. The company has been organizing adventure tours to explore the natural beauty of Quang Binh province since 2011 and has been recognized for its efforts to promote responsible tourism. The Oxalis Foundation was established to further this commitment by providing support to the local community and empowering them to create a better future for themselves.

Major Projects

1. Building Floating Houses in Tan Hoa Commune

Tan Hoa is a remote commune in Minh Hoa district, Quang Binh province, known for its majestic Tu Lan cave system. However, the area is also prone to floods, which occur almost every year, causing significant damage to the local community. To address this issue, the Oxalis Foundation, in partnership with Oxalis Adventure, organized the "Tu Lan Adventure Race" from 2015 to 2020 to raise funds for building floating houses in Tan Hoa Commune.

Floating houses are essential for the community to cope with the flood season. However, not everyone can afford to build such houses, making it challenging for them to live together with the floods. The Oxalis Foundation donated all the money from the races and participants to build 90 floating houses, which helped more than 510 families in Tan Hoa commune.

In recent years, local people could set rest in mind in the rainy seasons (from October to early November), without having to run up to the mountains to avoid floods. They can live together with a flood on the floating houses after a good preparation of food and drink and necessary stuff. This type of house is a great solution and plays an important role in reducing difficulties and damage to people living in flooding areas.

2. Opening Free Swimming and Drowning Prevention Courses for Children

Quang Binh province has many natural rivers and streams, where children often go swimming in the summers to cool off. However, due to the lack of swimming education, child drowning incidents have occurred frequently. The Oxalis Foundation recognized the critical need for swimming lessons and drowning prevention education for children in rural areas. Therefore, since 2019, the Foundation has allocated funds to organize free swimming lessons and drowning prevention programs for children in Phong Nha town and Tan Hoa commune.

The free swimming lessons and drowning prevention programs for children will be an annual activity organized each summer as a meaningful gift that Oxalis dedicates to the little ones. Oxalis directly invites professional teachers (certificated by the Department of Culture and Sports) in Quang Binh province to teach them. The Oxalis Foundation covers the expenses for the instructors with a rate of 500,000 VND per child who learns how to swim (at least 20m). Each course lasts for 18 sessions, including both theory and practice.

As of 2022, nearly 600 children have learned how to swim through these classes. This activity contributes to raising awareness and skills in preventing drowning accidents for children, while also providing an opportunity for them to improve their physical health and engage in a beneficial activity during the summer.

3. Supporting Building Schools

The Oxalis Foundation recognizes the importance of education in empowering communities and creating a better future. However, many communities in Quang Binh province face significant challenges in providing adequate education to their children. The Foundation has been making every effort to support the children to go to school and develop education and infrastructure in difficult areas such as Ban Doong and Tan Hoa.

Ban Doong is a small village in the core zone of Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park inhabited by Bru Van Kieu people (an ethnic minority group). Without traffic, Doong Village could not be reached by any transportation but by walking. Their living is mainly based on farming and breeding, just enough for themselves, and only very few products are sold outside.

Due to low income, the villager's livelihoods are faced with many difficulties, not to mention regular severe impacts from floods. The educational conditions for children here are also very challenging. The Ban Doong School was established to provide education for children, but the school's infrastructure was only temporary. After being destroyed by storms and floods, the school had to undergo many repairs, causing teachers and students to borrow houses from locals to continue their studies.

In 2015, Oxalis directly provided financial support to rebuild the old school based on the foundation of the previous school. The school was divided into 3 rooms, including 2 classrooms and 1 teacher's room. The total cost was 150 million VND (including the construction of a water pipeline for the school and local residents). However, after a period of use, a major flood in October 2020 struck 5 houses in Ban Doong, including the school. As the school was made of lightweight wood and thatched roofs, the rising water caused the entire house to float. When the water receded, the school was tilted and did not return to its original position, posing a high risk of collapse. Therefore, teachers and students had to temporarily borrow a local's house to continue their studies.

Since January 2021, Oxalis has mobilized all resources in terms of funding and labour to undertake the construction of a new school in Ban Doong. Due to the remote and isolated location of Ban Doong School, the construction work was very challenging. 100% of the building materials had to be carried in from the outside, and Oxalis mobilized 125 porter workers from the Phong Nha region to transport over 80 tons of equipment. By March 2021, the school had been completed and put into use. The total cost for this project was nearly 1 billion VND, which was sourced from the Oxalis Foundation Fund with contributions from various organizations and individuals.

4. Giving Scholarships to Disadvantaged Children

Education is an essential tool for empowering individuals and communities. However, many children in Quang Binh province face significant challenges in accessing education due to financial constraints. To address this issue, the Oxalis Foundation has established an annual scholarship program for disadvantaged students with good academic achievements since 2013.

The scholarship program provides opportunities for students to pursue their dreams of education and contribute to themselves, their families, and society in the future. Over the past 10 years, the Foundation has granted a total of 1,600 scholarships worth more than 1.6 billion VND to students in Quang Binh province, including Tan Hoa commune in Minh Hoa district; Cao Quang commune in Tuyen Hoa district; Doong village in Tan Trach commune; Phuc Trach, Xuan Trach communes and Phong Nha town, Bo Trach district. These are where Oxalis is organizing adventure tours to explore caves Tu Lan, Hang Tien, Hang Va, Hang En, Hang Son Doong, Chay Lap Farmstay, and Blue Diamond Camp campsite.

This activity provides more than just material support to help students attend school without worries. It also encourages healthy competition among students throughout the whole school, boosts the confidence of those who have overcome challenges and excelled in both their studies and personal lives, and creates opportunities for students to pursue their dreams with confidence.

5. Other Supporting Activities

Apart from its regular annual activities, the Oxalis Foundation extends its assistance to the community in response to specific circumstances. This includes providing relief efforts during natural disasters, aid to those who are afflicted by illness or devastated by floods, and support for urgent programs initiated by local authorities.

Activities in 2023

The Oxalis Foundation has planned the following programs for 2023, with a total budget of approximately 1.8 billion VND:

  1. Coordinate with local people’s committees to organize swimming and drowning prevention classes for 1,000 children (ages 6-10) in Phong Nha, Phuc Trach, Lien Trach, Hung Trach, Trung Hoa, Minh Hoa, Tan Hoa, and Cao Quang. The cost for each student is 500,000 VND per course, paid by the Oxalis Foundation.
  2. Award scholarships (1 million VND each) to 500 disadvantaged students in the upcoming school year.
  3. Provide support for families in need in the local community, including expenses for food and medical treatment. The total cost of this activity is 200 million VND.
  4. Provide disaster relief for areas severely affected by floods. The total amount of support is 200 million VND.
  5. Support the construction of septic toilets in schools located in remote areas. The total amount is 400 million VND.

The Oxalis Foundation will concentrate its resources to achieve these goals in 2023.

The Oxalis Foundation has made significant contributions to the Quang Binh community through its various projects, including building floating houses in Tan Hoa Commune, opening free swimming and drowning prevention courses for children, supporting building schools, and giving scholarships to disadvantaged children. The Foundation's future plans for 2023 demonstrate its commitment to continuing its efforts to support and improve the lives of those in need. The Foundation's work is a testament to the power of social responsibility and community empowerment in creating a better future for all.

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