The Government of Vietnam has honoured a Saskatoon woman for her years of commitment in raising money to build schools in remote regions of the country.

"The walls were crumbling." - Carin Holroyd 

Carin Holroyd was a guest today on CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

Carin and her husband adopted a baby girl from Vietnam more than a decade ago.  

"I wanted to say thank you for my daughter and try to do something in some small way to make something better for people," Holroyd told CBC Radio.

She met with local officials to try and find out what was most needed. They, in turn, were only more than happy to tour her around to some of the schools in remote regions.

"One was a converted pig farm, so you can imagine the dirty condition that it was in," she said. "The walls were crumbling; there was very little light, really a terrible learning environment."

Tour brings need into focus

And so Holroyd rolled up her sleeves and began fundraising to try and fix up schools at a rate of about $5,000 U.S. per classroom. The initial success encouraged her to carry on with other projects, such as early childhood facilities, lunch programs and scholarships.

Years later, after building numerous learning centres, and raising some $700,000, Holroyd is showing no signs of slowing down. She is thrilled to be honoured by the government there, but is even more pleased, she said, with the impact her hard work is having on the ground.  

"A new school brings new teachers; new teachers mean more people want to move to the community."