A Norwegian woman in her 50’s just had her birthday. Instead of a regular gift, she wanted friends and families to give an optional amount to School Support Laos. This birthday gift will be used to help all the children to get an education in a whole village.
A few months ago, the SSL team traveled to the Sepon district. We had long been looking for a boy we had helped before but that we had lost contact with when he and the family moved without us knowing where.
When we arrived at the village we were faced with great poverty. Very few of the children could afford to buy school uniforms and writing materials so that they can start school.
Teenage girls either woven skirts or look after newborn baby or both.
As a gift to the people of the village, we brought with us a blanket for all the families. Here, Satad gives a blanket for a beautiful, older lady standing in front of her home.
In this village there is an urgent need for help. The most important thing we can give these children is a long-term education. Because a woman in Norway decided that she wanted to send her birthday gifts to SSL in Laos, a whole village can now celebrate that children and grandchildren can start school.
Thank you very much to you and others who choose to give gifts to the important work we do among the beautiful people of Laos.
If you want to help by giving a one-time gift, birthday gift or gift, you can transfer to our account number 3936.01.14868
We promise to help those who need the most!
On February 19th and 20th, we arranged English Camp for the 6th time, this time at Naxeng secondary school in Savannakhet town. There was over 200 students, 16 volunteer teachers from both abroad and local schools, teachers from Naxeng school, and not least representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Education Directorate and the school office that came. Everything was made sure that February 19th and 20th would be memorable days!
Our goal with English Camp is to make language learning fun and exciting for the students, create engagement around the English language and inspire teachers for creative and fun teaching. Our experience is that these are relevant goals for the schools in Laos, and that’s why we arranged English Camp for the sixth time!
The students got to learn about the themes: Verb, family, body, school equipment, animals, mood and places. All the students were divided into 8 groups, and 7 volunteer foreign teachers were responsible for each topic. They set up 40 minutes of teaching, and all student groups went between the themes (stations). Station no. 8 was a creative station where all the students wrote their name on a large poster. Between the stations, there were also various activities, both dance, song and competitions.
We are very grateful to be able to help give students an experience of attending a larger event in a larger community, with toys, laughter, and challenges. We are already looking forward to the next English Camp!
Last week, one of SSL’s teachers came to the office. He had spent 4 hours of scooter on a really impassable road, followed by a 5-hour bus tour, to tell about the various challenges at the school he is working on.
Additional Info: In Laos, graduates must work for free for 2 years to show commitment before they receive a salary. For some reason, Bounthan is on her 3rd free year, something more teachers are experiencing at the moment. Can also add that teachers are placed arbitrarily around the province depending on where it is needed. We tried last year to travel to the village of Bounthan working in, but it’s so difficult we had to turn around. We will try again in February!
It is common for the villages to have their own home for teachers. Bounthan says he lives in a single cabin with bamboo walls and everything gets wet if it’s raining. It will also be very cold in the winter, and it blows all over the wall. Since he does not get a salary and the village is so bad that they do not have much to go to the village’s teacher, he must also find the food himself.
The goal of his visit was to tell that the 54 students at his school have nothing. No books, notebooks, stationery or uniform. The teachers, too, have not received the textbooks that the state should initially provide, and it is challenging to teach all subjects without aids. In addition, few children have clothing that covers the entire body, which makes it difficult during the cold months. And then I mean woolly smoke.
We have known Bounthan for over 6 years, and we have learned that he has a big heart for the students and their teachers. With a Norwegian starting point, it’s hard to get into his everyday life: work for free, live in a straw cabin and live by hand to mouth. In addition, he takes the time and afford to travel all the way to our office to share – for the benefit of his students.
For his return home, he brought 100 scrapbooks and 140 pencils as a temporary solution until we visited the village in February.
Today, I’m pleased to inform all our readers that we have got two new members in the SSL family. We have long seen the need for more workers who can stand with us to provide the best help for those who need it most.
After interviewing many applicants, we were confident in our case when we asked Nick and Boi if they wanted the job. They thanked yes, and yesterday was their first day at work.
I am proud to have a team of six permanent employees in addition to Satad and myself. We are now well equipped to take many new steps together so that even more children and young people can get a solid education and a safer future.
Since 2001, SSL has helped countless children in Savannakhet. You may wonder what has happend to everyone? I have asked three of my employees in SSL to go on treasure hunting to find out how they are. Do they still live in deep poverty and have to live by hand or do they have a better life through education?
17 years ago, we met this smiling and beautiful boy at Nonsavat Primary School in Savannakhet. He lived with his mother who was widow and did whatever she could to make the children get enough food in their stomach.
Phontavi was a diligent student and after schooling he went on to middle school. He was allowed by his mother to continue. The years went by and after close contact and support from SSL he could proudly graduate with a bachelor degree from the teacher college.
Last year, he was employed by a Chinese company and he worked in China for a year. Now, he soon will travel to Bangkok and Thailand, where he has got a new position that gives him a safe income.
Nid and Mong met Phontavi and he wanted to thank all of you who have helped to educate him. He says that his life would have been completely different if he had not received SSL support since he was young.
Now he can not only support his family but he also has the opportunity to travel and see the world outside of Laos.
Phontavi has a life many can only dream of. We in SSL believe that education is the key word.
There are still many who need help to get education.
Do you want to be a permanent donor or give one-time gift? Our account number is: 3936.01.14868 (Norway)
This coming year, as an act meant to attract more tourists, Laos have decided to promote their country as “Laos – Simply Beautiful.”
As a little bonus, the government have decided that 2018 will be a year where tourists coming from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland won’t be needing visas to enter the country. After meeting with representatives from different public offices, I learned that SSL and the work that we do among the poorest in this country, is may be one of the triggering causes for this decision.
– “We want to open our country, and invite more people like you to come. People who respect our culture, dress appropriately, and who are kind hearted.”
I also learned that in the government corridors, people are talking about SSL and the work that we do. They also appreciated our participation in the meeting with The Department of Education and Sports last December.
I am both happy and proud that the job we are doing here, and have been doing for 16 years now, have resulted in decisions like this. It is a real privilege to know that our work is making waves that reaches even the shores of Scandinavia.
This is cause for celebration! Let’s honour the trust and recognition the government have shown to us and to our work by helping even more children and schools, more villages and new districts!
If you want to help us help even more, our Norwegian account number is 3936.01.14868