Stories from change-makers in Laos
Many of the boreholes are located in steep valleys and along dangerous paths. And often, the girls and women collecting water fall down under the weight of two full buckets of water on their shoulders.
“A few times, my friends and I have fallen on the path — luckily, we were not seriously hurt, but we didn’t have much choice until Plan International came to the village,” says Nuei. “Then, things changed.”
Engaging young people like Nuei in the conversation, Plan began working in the village to identify the needs of the community. We introduced new sanitation solutions and worked with the community to construct a water system, which was also connected to the local school to benefit almost 100 children. Before the school had the water system, students had to collect water from the borehole to use in the school latrines.
Thanks to the new system, every household will soon have its own latrine. Once this happens, the village will be certified as an open defecation free village (ODF village) by the district governor of Houn.
“I feel safer to use water from the community water taps,” Nuei says happily. “It is much cleaner.”
“I think health and education are key factors to pull a community out of poverty, and we are on the right track,” says Vanny. “If people are healthy, they’ll be able to focus on earning money and supporting their children’s hygiene and education.”
With Plan’s support, Vanny has learned about nutrition for mothers and children, skills when delivering children, sexual and reproductive health rights and how to create comfortable spaces for young mothers by listening to their needs. Last year, her health center provided services to more than 7,400 adults and 3,300 children.
“Pulling my community out of poverty is not an overnight action,” Vanny says. “It takes time and needs supports from other related bodies. And the training activities that I have participated in impacts the quality of life of the community, especially mothers, children and pregnant women — who are the majority of the community.”
Although Nak still wanted to go to school, he couldn’t. He faced many challenges to return to school: lack of family support, transportation and spaces at the school for students with disabilities.
When Plan heard of Nak’s situation, we took action. The first step was to diagnose Nak’s illness, which was determined as polio. He spent two weeks at a physical therapy center, and a rehabilitation plan was prepared. A specialist also visited Nak to construct exercise bars in his home. And, the specialist worked with Nak’s teachers to discuss how children with disabilities can better access education.
With our support, Nak received a wheelchair and can now attend school. He enjoys learning with his friends and participates in other Plan-implemented activities at the school, like hygiene training and reading sessions. But most of all, he loves to be with friends.
“It is so much better being at school, learning, playing and having fun with friends, rather than staying alone at home,” he says with a big smile. “I love reading stories and singing songs.”
Plan International has been working to improve children’s lives in Laos since 2008.
Our work in Laos
Office & operations
Plan Laos’ country office is located in Vientiane, with program unit offices in Bokeo, Saravan and Oudomxay provinces.
Education, health, water and sanitation
Gender equality is a fight we must all take on together. Through sponsorship, you can change lives and create long-term impact in communities.
The full circle of Fate
When you sponsor a child through Plan, you form an incredible friendship.
But that’s just the beginning. With Plan, you also have the unique opportunity to:
Send them birthday gifts and cards.
Give them special holiday presents called Little Treasures.
Subscribe them to Plan’s educational kids’ magazine, Sunny Days.
Arrange a visit (pending any travel restrictions), with individual travel assistance from us.
Each gift offering is safely hand-delivered by us, and given to your child with personalized cards from you. It’s likely that the child you sponsor will have never seen anything like these gifts, and with the exception of Little Treasures they’re available year-round to make the bond between you and your sponsored child even stronger.Meet a child to sponsor