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March 2016: GVI Laos Monthly Achievement Report: Fundraising for a Rural English Centre

By Thomas Dann 7 months ago
Categories Luang Prabang

March 2016: GVI Laos Monthly Achievement Report: Fundraising for a Rural English Centre

Objectives:

  • To strengthen existing partnerships and nurture the growth of new ones: To develop relationships with educational institutions and temples with the aim of increasing their ability to provide educational opportunities.
  • To provide educational opportunities to all students in the local community, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity or gender.
  • To increase access to English education and to improve students’ general English language ability.
  • To improve employment opportunities and the socio-economic status of community members.

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In March, GVI interns collaborated with a local teacher to arrange a village visit and fundraiser for a new English Centre in a rural village in Luang Prabang. Employing the skills learnt in the leadership course, the interns planned the entire visit and logistics related to fundraising: liaising with a local teacher to arrange a schedule; encouraging volunteers to participate; ensuring health and safety requirements were met and setting up a fundraising page.

The day started with meeting the local teacher and some of his students. The interns organized GVI volunteers to lead English language activities, including a memorable rendition of ‘Goldilocks and The Three Bears’. Living outside of Luang Prabang city, the students’ interaction and thus practice with native English speakers is limited, so it was amazing to see how eagerly they participated. Similarly, it was impressive to witness the local teacher’s commitment to education; devoting his non-work hours to teaching English.

After hard fought football match under the midday sun, everyone sat down together for a delicious Lao meal prepared by the local teacher’s family. He then led the participants to the land where he plans to build a small English Centre.

The village is inhabited by approximately 4000 disadvantaged families, predominantly from the Hmong and Khmu ethnic minorities. Many of these are children and young adults whose future employment opportunities and life-chances would be significantly impacted by increased access to English education.

The local teacher showed the volunteers the proposed site, giving everyone a typed outline of his plan with detailed architectural schematics and a meticulous costing of the materials and labor required for the project. With a total cost of 186,030,000 kip ($23,000 USD) the plan is ambitious but truly worthy, as it is designed to improve the educational opportunities and thus the lives of the community. This is something that strongly echoes the goals of GVI Laos. Consequently, the interns committed to fundraising some of the required money on behalf of GVI Laos. Currently the aim is to cover the cost of the bricks required for construction, 16,250,000 kip ($2000USD). One volunteer who participated in the visit was so inspired that he immediately donated 5,000,000 kip ($625 USD). At the time of writing, over 50% of the target has been achieved! We hope to reach the target in order to help the local teacher begin building his English Centre, to allow GVI to develop and strengthen links with rural Lao communities and most importantly to increase these rural students’ access to education.

Written by Intern Thomas Dann

Link to the JustGiving page