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Building a bright today and tomorrow in Nga, Laos

The families of Nga, Laos have been busy as bees this spring. Your kind community support has proven that with the generosity and support of others – mixed with a shared effort – everyone can harness their full potential.

18-year-old teaching assistant Ms. Davone has seen firsthand how your involvement in her community has helped them spring forward to flourishing new heights.

“Villagers are happy and inspired to join Plan International’s activities and excited that supporters are standing by their side to break through poverty,” she exclaims. “When Plan International proposed a hand washing station, people came to help construction: some prepared land, some cooked for workers. It was very exciting to see our solidarity and witness the first community construction the villagers had ever truly done all together.”

Ms. Davone and her students smile and wave by their new school hand-wash station.

Nga springs forth

Clean water and sanitation were hard to come by in the mountainous regions of Laos. “I always had to get water from the nearby river in the morning and in the evening,” 10-year-old Tue reflects. “Tragedy came to our village when a young girl was taking a bath at the river and disappeared. Since then, I’ve been scared to fetch water alone, especially in the rainy season when water flows over the bank.” In Laos, it is typically the task of women and children like Tue to collect water for household use.

But when Plan International introduced plans to defy the harsh norms that kept progress at bay with the construction of new water tanks and taps, latrines and hand washing stations – the community sprung into action!

  • Community volunteers inspect water supply materials.

    Community volunteers come together to plan the community-wide water system and network of pipes.

  • community come together for the construction.

    It’s all hands on deck to build the framework for the new water tank.

  • new water tank

    With the fresh water tank in place, it’s time for the finishing touches.

  • Laam and her brother Saikot happily water a plant.

    A pristine hand washing station for the students of Nga, built by the people of Nga and made possible thanks to you!

“Everyone was happy to develop our home village,” vice-chief Mr. Vathor declares. “We broke down barriers and brought water access to everyone.”

Over 270 people rallied together, helping defy what used to be normal, to make clean water and new life flow throughout Nga. Today, over 2,500 villagers and nearly 800 students are soaking up the life-changing benefits of clean, accessible water and hygiene and sanitation facilities.

“The new water system keeps us healthy and out of harm’s way. We love it!” cheers 10-year-old student Khammun.

collage of 3 photos: 1- girls and their teacher happily wash their hands,2 -Khammun and a friend collecting water, 3 - 3 days happily use water from a new tap

You’ve also helped establish and train water management committees that will lead the community’s water development and wellbeing for years to come.

Thanks to your support and the community’s efforts rippling hope across Nga, girls like Tue are learning and playing, rather than fetching water and students like Khammun are free from water-borne illnesses. Finally harnessing their right to health and education, now all children can blossom to their sparkling, full potential.

Shaping their future

When the Hmong-speaking children of Nga enter grade 1 at the neighbouring (nationally-standardized) Lao-speaking primary school, they can fall behind, often resulting in them dropping out, simply because they don’t know the language. “It was hard for me to stay in school – I couldn’t write any words,” 11-year-old Anousone discloses.

But dropping out shouldn’t be normal. With the help of your compassionate support, we set out to help children Defy Normal and overcome the language barrier by constructing 3 brand new pre-schools where young Hmong children could begin to learn the Lao language.

Eager to give their children an earlier chance for enhanced schooling and a stronger chance for success, residents set to work. “I was very excited to participate in the pre-school construction. This development can improve my son’s and daughter’s education,” says Mrs. Leuy, mother of two children currently enrolled in the new pre-school you helped construct.

  • A blueprint for one of the three new pre-schools

    Together with Plan International staff, community members draw up the plans for one of the three new pre-school buildings.

  • A resident saws a wood board for the new school.

    Parents are hard at work building their children a brighter future.

  • Pre-schoolers cheer outside their new school.

    Construction complete! All that’s left is to fill it with books, toys and growing minds.

  • Students wave in their bright, lively new classroom.

    Look what your support has helped accomplish: a classroom bursting with light, life, learning and laughter!

74 girls and boys, like 5-year-old Ye, are enrolled at your new pre-schools and loving every minute of learning Lao language through play. “I am very happy to go to school like my brother. I have learned many things like how to read and write, sing songs, play games and draw,” she smiles.

You and the people of Nga have built more than a school – you’ve helped create a safe space for children to be children that prepares them for a successful scholastic career and sunnier future.

  • 5-year-old Vee, future drum sensation. 5-year-old Kong smiles on the school porch.

    “My teacher often speaks in Lao and now I’m beginning to understand Lao language. I am happy to study and play with friends in class and I think I will gain more skills.” – Kong, 5

  • Two students practice their writing.

    “I love drumming and always share this enjoyable equipment with friends. I am very happy being in a new class, singing songs, painting/drawing cartoons, counting numbers and playing with my friends.” – Vee, 5

  • 5-year-old Luckie, future artist.

    “I like painting a lot, especially painting flowers. Thank you to my teacher who always helps me clean up when I accidentally paint on my arms and legs.” – Luckie, 5

Thank you for inspiring the families of Nga to come together to put together such life-changing community developments that are opening up fresh sources of water and improved learning and growth experiences. Just like spring, your caring and generous support, has helped make their days brighter and hearts warmer. Thank you!

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