I'm Back to School

Story by: Alounsavath Thongphanith 

Photo by: Da Chanthisouk

Vongkam, 11 years old boy with disability, he’s got seeing disability. He is child among 7 children of Mr Kam Aiy Ser, 50 years old and Ms Oun Boun, 40 years old, they are one of the poorest families in the village, live in rural Khmu ethnic village in Viengphoukha district, Luangnamtha province.

Vongkam studies in grade 2 of primary school, he receives scholarship support from LWF Rights Based Empowerment Project (RBEP) through provision of education materials such as books, pencils, textbook, uniforms, school bag, and others.

Ms Da LWF Community empowerment Facilitator (CEF) who works based in this village told that ‘‘Normally Vongkam is supposed to study in higher grade but because of his disability made his learning and development slower than others children’’

Supporting scholarships is among many activities under empowering people access to social services especially the most vulnerable groups of people in the villages. There are many factors contribute to low quality of education including lack of proper teaching techniques, insufficient supportive materials and non-friendly learning environment for children particularly for children with special needs.

Mr Phan, primary school teacher grade 2 said that ‘‘Vongkam’s family is very poor, they could not afford to fully support Vongkam to study, he just got one little tinny book and pencil to the class’’ Mr Phan and other teachers in school have never obtained additional training to further improve their teaching skills especially for children with special needs.

A school director, Mr Tokkeo said that ‘‘we have to go and talk to Vongkam’s family many times to ensure his regularly present at school’’ he also emphasized that ‘‘I always suggest his teacher to give special attention to Vongkam, ensure he’s happy at school without discrimination since I observed the evidences of ridicule among his friends‘’ 

Mr Kam aiy said that ‘‘I’m very much happy that my son received the support from LWF, we don’t have capacity to handle this and we’re also illiterate, Vongkam is very active at home I think also at school’’ Kam Aiy family has strong committed to continuously encourage Vongkam and their other children to school. And thanks to LWF for considering this assistance to the family.

LWF Laos values all form of education as important tool to support enhancement of community understanding and united, turn people from dark to brighter corners and contribute to sustainable development. LWF Laos together with the communities will continuously seek grassroots of poverty and address them together.  


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