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 61,400 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 workshops 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 Mak Phouk Preschool and Primary school, they found students being taught in a severely dilapidated structure made of bamboo, dirt floors and a metal roof. The wood showed signs of deterioration, evidenced by mold and water marks, which posed as a health hazard to students, while the roof was turning red with rust. Inside, students used makeshift seats and desks. Classrooms were crowded, limiting student mobility and making it difficult for students to concentrate. The school lacked the capacity to meet the needs of the growing student population and did not have the means to regularly repair the deteriorating buildings. These conditions were not conducive to learning.
Your Impact with a New PoP School
You recognized and responded to the needs of Mak Phouk by helping PoP and the community break ground on a new five-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 six 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 and strong structural foundation where students in Mak Phouk will be able to learn and realize their potential and promise.