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Interns advance a united Nga

The 4,500 people who live in the mountains of Nga have called this beautiful, secluded area their home for generations.

An elderly woman in traditional dress smiles at the camera in front of a mountainous landscape.
And with a population comprised of three unique ethnicities (Hmong, Khmu and Lao) – each with their own language – working and learning together can be complicated without a common language.

One of the main issues is the ability to fully communicate with one another across diverse contexts, as well as access institutional services, like formal schooling, which is taught in the Lao language.

Mor, a ten-year-old girl from a Khmu-speaking family, recalls her first day of school: “I remember crying when I first attended school and my teacher called my name to read. I couldn’t pronounce the Lao words.”

Today, you’re helping ensure everyone is included in the conversation.

With your support, we’re working hand-in-hand with community members to open shared channels of communication – respecting diverse cultures, while making livelihood opportunities available to all.

And thanks to you, a greater sense of community is being made possible for children like Mor, and adults alike.

A girl and a boy smile, arm-in-arm in class.
The gift of language, learning and growth translates at any age

Your generous contributions have helped identify Khmu and Hmong speaking interns, providing them with training and employment opportunities. These interns act as ambassadors who connect with locals in some of the most remote corners of the community, extending awareness – and your reach – even further.

With your backing, they’re building skills through valuable work, and earning added income to carve a better trajectory for their own career, as well as their community.

Double panel: community members cheerfully lift bags and dig holes to help with new project builds.

Step-by-step, brick-by-brick, local interns and families are forging a strengthened community, set upon a unified purpose: children’s rights.

In addition to helping roll-out, monitor and contribute to the completion of upcoming projects like school builds and water improvements, the interns have started teaching parents how they can get more involved in developing their community – starting with their own children.

“What these activities teach us is kindness and solidarity, contribution and working as a team,” says Thao, mother of two.

Educated interns engage parents, in turn

So far, the specially-trained interns have led a series of 11 hands-on, practical parenting sessions, educating parents from remote areas about topics such as children’s hygiene, nutrition, protection, physical and socio-emotional developments and literacy.

Many of the participants have never had the opportunity to receive a formal education themselves, making it a valuable chance to learn how to improve their children’s lives, as well as their own.

Parents sit and listen to two interns, instructing with diagrams and teaching aids, outdoors.

Parents travel from far isolated homes to join in attending the intern’s lessons.

Parents hold up visual learning cards.
Visuals like the ones shown above enable the interns to effectively share information with Khmu, Hmong or Lao speaking parents who may be partially or fully illiterate. The sessions also align with the pre-primary curriculum so parents can leverage concrete and complementary examples of how to promote their children’s growth.

A young girl from pre-primary holds up a visual learning card and smiles.
“Last year, my son, Kongxueng, tried to start school, but after one week he quit,” explained Mr. Sava who never had the chance to complete primary education, himself. “He said it was too difficult for him.”

“But this year is much better, because of these activities. Yesterday, he came home and told me that it was really fun at school,” he adds, with enthusiasm.

 A smiling mom holds her happy daughter up.

Uplifting parents, to uplift children: you’re fostering inclusivity all across Nga.

No person or child left behind

Today, children, interns and parents across all Nga’s groups are gaining the tools and confidence they need to nurture a new age of knowledge and advancement.

“I love learning the Lao language – especially reading,” says Grade 3 student Pha. “It tells us good stories and provides knowledge to us. I think it is very cool to teach others,” he reflects, eager to carry his experience forward.

“It is an important step for everybody who wants to be educated and employed in the future.”

Through your generosity, big change is taking shape that can be heard, seen and felt throughout Nga.

And whether English, Lao, Khmu or Hmong speaking, one thing is understood across every language:
a smile.

A group of children laugh and raise their arms up.


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