About the «Honghian Ban Hao» aid project for Mangkong children in Laos
The «Honghian Ban Hao» («Our village school») aid project supports the establishment of child friendly primary schools and pre-schools in Mangkong villages in Laos. The Mangkong are an ethnic minority that live in a remote region (Savannakhet) of southern Laos. Most Mangkong are very poor farmers.
Laos's development is far behind that of its neighbours, especially Thailand, Vietnam and China. Education in particular is at a low level. Only one third of women are literate, and an estimated 40% of the population have never attended school. The situation of the Mangkong is even worse because they have almost no access to schools. Only very few men can read and write or speak Laotian. Before the project started, children were educated in temporary schools by their parents.
In addition to providing new facilities, the project also focuses on the quality of education. It introduces child-friendly school criteria that encompass not only the school facilities, but also the teaching and learning process. Village teachers are supported with training and guidance to help them to improve their lessons. Extra-curricular activities for the students make school more attractive and more fun.
The project also supports adult literacy courses which particularly target women (70% of males, 100% of females are illiterate). Apart from strengthening education, the project also contributes to community development. Skills training in agriculture and handicraft production impart knowledge that can be used to create additional income and improve people’s livelihoods.
Impacts and results
A beneficiary tells
«I like to read and to play football. I would love to attend secondary school and become a teacher. Then I would go back to my village and teach the children there.»