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 61,453 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 85 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 both access to educational infrastructure and access to quality instruction.
Before the PoP School Build
Previously, Pa Phai students attended classes in a 60 year old provisional building made of wooden polls and metal tiles. The open-air layout for classes meant that students were regularly distracted by the adjacent class and outdoor noise. This structural issue paired with a rise in student population made it difficult for students to focus and for teachers to create a proper learning environment. Despite these conditions, Pa Phai students were still engaged and eager to learn and teachers reported that students remained highly motivated even though they lacked formal classrooms. Through our community scouting process, we realized it would be possible to also include children from the villages of Si Moung Khoun and Phon Hin, making the new build in Pa Phai available for all three communities.
Your Impact with the New PoP School
You recognized and responded to the needs of Pa Phai, Si Moung Khoun and Phon Hin by helping PoP and the community break ground on a new 3-classroom school, the Nan preschool. 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 Pa Phai will be able to learn and realize their potential and promise.