Minors was established as a 501 (c) (3) Organization at Mankato, Minnesota, in 1984, originally as Minors In Need Of Resettlement, to provide family reunification and related assistance to orphaned and abandoned children in refugee camps in Thailand. Since 1990 we have worked to serve severely impoverished highland ethnic minority communities in Laos and Viet Nam.


Minors provided legal, medical and nutritional support at several camps for more than 2,000 orphaned and abandoned children, as well as elderly and handicapped refugees from Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam in the 1980s and ‘90s.
See many more photos from these refugee camps in our Galleries

More than 1,200 ethnic Hmong children, orphaned or separated from their families, as well as handicapped and elderly refugees on their own, were provided U. S. resettlement assistance and related support through Minors in Ban Vinai Refugee camp in Pak Chom District of Loei Province in northern Thailand from the early 1980s through the early 1990s.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s Minors continued to assist a number of children and elderly refugees who were transferred to the camp at Chiang Kham District, Payao Province, in northwestern Thailand.

At Panat Nikhom Camp, Chonburi Province in southeastern Thailand, Minors provided several hundred unaccompanied minors and elderly refugees from Cambodia, Laos, & Viet Nam with resettlement and family reunification assistance.

Minors provided nutritional and other support for more than one hundred ethnic Hmong refugee orphans and children separated from their families at Wat Tham Krabok, in rural Phra Phutthabat district of Saraburi province, Thailand. Many photos of these children and our activities there, and at other refugee camps, are found on our Galleries page, so please look for yourself if you were one of the Menyaum Ntsuag at Wat Tham Krabok


In the 1990s Minors provided nutritional and medical support as well as clothing and school items for orphaned and abandoned children in Battambang Province, Cambodia.
"Yes, he's my brother. Yes, he's very heavy."

From the 1990 onward Minors provided education support in Laos, and began support programs for critically ill hospital patients, later bringing this program to hospitals in Viet Nam as well.

Cooperating with The Ministry of Education in Laos, our education support reached thousands of students at remote village schools in the Provinces of Houa Phan, Luang Prabang, Oudomxay and Xieng Khouang.

This boy built his own dorm room, in Houa Phan Province
Primary students share a desk, at Phongsali Province
A boarding student prepares Khai for cooking lunch at Na Lae School, in far northern Luangnamtha Province, Laos
Students in their unfinished classroom in Tum Lan District of Saravanh Province

Students await opening of their new classroom, construction supported by Minors with our local partners, at Kadab Village in Saravanh district of Saravanh province.

Delivery of sweaters on a very cold morning.Mr Siphone, our local partner and the Education Dept staff, at Hua Muong, Huaphan.

Students at Jijo village school in Phongsaly province, awaiting delivery and happily taking delivery of warm clothing and school supplies.

Awaiting school supplies at Nam Xad village school, Viengthong district, Huaphan province; delivery of blankets, mosquito nets and clothing for boarding students at Nambak, Luang Prabang province.

Warmup exercises at a mountaintop school in Phongsaly, and warm clothing delivery for dorm students at Nalae district in Luang Namtha.

New Dorm in Huaphan, exterior, interior

New dorm for girls in Huaphan

From 1994 - 2006 Minors implemented education and health care support projects in 21 communities in 7 districts of the Central Highland province of Gia Lai, and at schools and health stations, as well as disaster relief at 52 communes of 18 districts in the central coastal provinces of Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue. Please see our Map Room

Students receiving school supplies in Gia Lai province
Elderly sisters at the remains of their home after a flood in central Viet Nam; Minors distributed blankets, clothing and other emergency supplies at difficult to reach villages in the bitter cold rainy aftermath.

From 1996 – 2005 Minors undertook rural classroom and health clinic construction projects, and began programs sponsoring cow loans and rice scholarships, as well as disaster relief at 54 communes of 18 districts in the Mekong Delta provinces of Soc Trang and Tra Vinh, and at 51 communes of 13 districts in the southern coastal provinces of Ba Ria Vung Tau, Binh Thuan, Long An and Ninh Thuan. Please see our Map Room

Ready for distribution, mosquito nets and other necessities for severely impoverished villagers of the J'Rai and K'Hor ethnic minorities, in the office ofthe Peoples Committee at Dong Tien commune, Ham Thuan district of Binh Thuan province.
Above and below photos are of the hastily formed emergency disaster relief team of Minors and our local partners, the Long An Women's Union, loading and delivering mosquito nets, food and cooking utensils to villagers who were inundated by flood waters.

In 1992, at the invitation of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs ( MOLISA) of Viet Nam, Minors began education and health care support projects in Viet Nam.

Northern Beginning in 1992 projects were implemented at district level schools and orphanages in Viet Nam’s northern provinces of Cao Bang, Hoa Binh, Son La, Thanh Hoa, Tuyen Quang and Vinh Phuc.

From 1994 to 2014 Minors has focused on assisting commune level boarding schools serving ethnic minority villages in the very poorest districts of Viet Nam, in the northern mountainous provinces of Bac Kan, Dien Bien, Ha Giang, Lai Chau and Lao Cai.

Please see What We Do for details of our current program, focusing on northern Viet Nam

Minors' Team & Fellow Travelers

Mr. Bui Thanh Minh, Minors' Viet Nam Projects Director, hard at it in top three photos, and former Minors' staff at work over the years in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam are also pictured below.

Minors has cooperated with more than 100 Local Partners in 33 provinces in Lao PDR and Viet Nam over the past 24 years implementing support projects, mostly in very remote regions of both countries.

On the way to La Pan Tan school, Minors' and partners take a lunch break at Lung Khau Nhin market in Muong Khuong District in Lao Cai Province.
Mr. Le Van Phong who recently retired as Director of Bac Ha Dept. of Education and Training, with boarding students in front of a Minors' supported dormitory at Coc Lau Primary School.
Above: Mr. Nguyen Van Quang, then of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Dien Bien Province, graciously helped out with finding traction for our stuck vehicle, and later (below, left) dried off before they would let him enter the school.
Mr Lung, Director of Doplisa, Moung Te, Lai Chau, hiking to Bum To school.
Mr. Ly Seo Lung - Chairman of Si Ma Cai District People's Committee, is confronted by his mother in Sin Cheng market as to why he is not at work. He explained we had just visited the local schools.
Minors and District Education Dept staff were invited in to warm-up on a cold day, at the home of the village chief, on visit to Minors' project at Man Than communal school (Simacai District) where Mr. Son (left) was formerly School Director.
Meeting Room of Thuong Quan School, in Ngan Son District, Bac Kan
Mr. Vi A Henh, Chief of the Section of Planning & Investment of Tua Chua District Peoples Committee stops with Minors staff to visit his adoptive mother in Sinh Phinh commune , on the way back from Trung Thu school.
Planning construction of new dorm, staff from the Phong Tho district Education and Training Dept, (DOET) at Lai Chau province, inspect the current structure at this commune boarding school.
Moms and dads pitch in to help: constructing dormitories for their children, assisting with kindergarten classes and grinding cornmeal for school lunches.
Proud parents look on at scholarship awards ceremony for top students, mostly girls, at this school in Bac Kan Province.
No room at the dorm, these two boys from a distant village stay at the house of a Hmong family living near the school.
Loading up bricks from Nam Dan Commune center to carry to an outlying village to build a branch school, Sin Man, District, Ha Giang Province .
Heading out, with no bricks short of a full load, from Thong Nguyen Commune center to build a branch school at a remote village, in Hoang Su Phi District, Ha Giang.
Teachers construct additional classrooms for overflow of students at Khong Hin Junior Secondary School at Na Say, Tuan Giao District, Dien Bien Province
Teachers' dormitories at remote commune schools are sometimes rustic at best, and may also house the their families, like this kindergartner heading to morning class.