Location of Impact
In Laos, one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, a lack of educational infrastructure is one of the greatest barriers to accessing a quality education (BBC News Asia). 27% of people in Laos are illiterate, with even higher illiteracy rates amongst ethnic minorities (World Bank 2014).
Pencils of Promise works with 88 communities in Laos to ensure that our students overcome these, and other, barriers to accessing a quality education. To date, PoP has impacted over 61,000 lives in Laos.
Luang Prabang Province, located in northern Laos, sits at the intersection of the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers. Although a beautiful area, Luang Prabang lacks sufficient educational infrastructure.
PoP has built over 88 schools in Luang Prabang Province, working in collaboration with communities to couple school builds with teacher training, in order to ensure that our students are benefitting from access to both educational infrastructure and quality instruction.
Before a PoP School Build
When our team first visited Houay Ver, they found students being taught in an aging provisional structure with clear signs of deterioration. Nearly all of the furniture was falling apart. Many school-aged children in the community did not even bother going to school because there was not enough classroom space to fit them. For those who did attend, they were placed in overcrowded classrooms, which created a very poor learning environment filled with distractions. The community did not have funds to build a new school, and instead were contributing money every year to make the bare minimum of repairs needed.
Your Impact with a New PoP School
You recognized and responded to the needs of Houay Ver by helping PoP and the community break ground on a new 3-classroom school. Teachers, parents and community members were dedicated and committed to the project, contributing up to 20 percent of resources and labor. The Ministry of Education was also supportive throughout the build. After two and a half months, we mounted the plaque, concluding tireless work to build a school equipped with formal blackboards, benches, desks, doors, walls and windows. You made this school build possible, creating a safe, strong structural foundation where students in Houay Ver will be able to learn and realize their potential and promise.