La 3 Loi, Cu Xa Tan Cang, P25,
Binh Thanh District, HCMC, Vietnam

Students age
Kindergarten: 5 year
Primary school (class 1-2-3): 6/10 year
Secondary school (class 4-5): 11/18 year

Students number
Kindergarten: 16
Primary school: 45
Secondary school: 30



Admitted Pupils
The teachers select the pupils that are admitted to Pho Chap school. The school team, made up by the teachers and Mrs. Doan, the school director, works in close touch with local people. Over the years, they have become well-aware of the important humanitarian work they are doing.

The Pho Cap school admits children and young people from a poor background, living in material and social deprivation. Most of the pupils come from the streets of Hcmc and used to beg for a living. They are at risk because of child trafficking, as they represent a very "cheap good" for the small local criminality. They often live in shacks with no running water and not enough food. In many cases they don’t have all the necessary documents to be recognized by the state as "persons in need of help".

Many of the Pho Cap pupils were abandoned, sometimes brutally, by their parents. 
Sometimes parents separate, form a new family and abandon the children had in the former marriage. Everyday some of these children suffer abuse, deprivation, both material and emotional. The school team works on different aspects, admitting the children more in need of help and supporting their families by providing basic necessities, and by creating a link between this hard reality and the institutions, to let these children and young people get in touch with the world of legality.

The history of the school
In 2001, Mrs. Doan and Mrs. Trang, two Vietnamese teachers, started a free school for the poor children of Hcmc, with the help of local authorities. An old abandoned house was donated by the authorities, but the restoration was entirely made by the two teachers, together with local volunteers and students.

In 2005 a third teacher, Miss Khanh, joined the team. In the same year the NGO Azione Famiglie Nuove Vietnam (AFN) (authorized charity for international adoption in Vietnam) began unofficially to collaborate with the school thanks to a long distance adoption project.

In 2011 a school canteen was started and now all pupils have adequate food and have the chance to learn during the whole day.

In 2012, a substantial restructuring enabled to restore the upper floor of the building and to open a kindergarten. The school canteen and the restructuring work are both financed by Italian authorities and privates operating in Vietnam.

Since 2013 teachers have a fair salary (compared with the Vietnamese average) and the general conditions of the school have significantly improved, thanks to the 
long-term partnership with an Italian company operating in Vietnam.  
The art workshops
In 2011 Anna Borghi, former student at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, began to collaborate with the Pho Cap school, directing art workshops. Starting from a selection of works by masters of contemporary art, Anna created intellectual and emotional paths aimed to focus on every child’s interior aspect, resulting in meaningful signs and thoughts. These art workshops are a new moving experience.

In the school year 2011/2012 she leads a project on behalf of an Italian school, combining ideally and practically the thoughts and artworks by Italian and Vietnamese children.

Since 2012 Anna is committed to Pho Cap as a volunteer teacher, as she conducts the art workshops.

In August 2012 Elisabetta Susani went to Saigon together with some photographers and volunteers, to visit the school, meet the children, see the workshops and evaluate if it was possible to create an educational project involving the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera and the Vietnamese school.

In 2013 the teacher and artist Barbara Anchisi began to collaborate with Pho Cap, at first leading art classes combined with the workshops of Anna, and then conceiving and making her own personal art workshops.

In 2014 Tiziana Tacconi and Laura Tonani lead the workshops of Art Therapy for Nourish them with Art.

In 2015 Anna Borghi produce the artistic installation I want to sleep well.