The project in Laos got off to a great start of the year thanks to your donations!
First off, $1050 has been used to sponsor 7 students for 12 months of English Learning. These English lessons, at the Mekong English Centre, increases access for these students to future employment opportunities and improves socio-economic status through improved English language skills. GVI Laos also strives to develop strong, mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships with groups in Luang Prabang, such as the Mekong English Centre.
An exciting new addition to the educational support that GVI provides students in Luang Prabang was the creation of our first mathematics class. Held at the Luang Prabang Library, these classes have allowed GVI volunteers to broaden GVI’s educational impact beyond English teaching, while enabling GVI to utilise a new skill set identified within our volunteer team. Whilst December unfortunately saw the successful program draw to a close, we are extremely proud of what has been achieved through the year, and are confident about the possibility of this program returning in 2015.
Secondly, $450 of your donations was used for food for 9 sponsored children and their host family.Providing 30 kilogram bags of rice every 3 weeks to 9 GVI sponsored children and their host family reaches one of many GVI Laos goals: “To provide economic assistance for food support, medical aid and small infrastructure projects to vulnerable groups within the Luang Prabang community.
This has only been possible with your help and support so thank you.
We are excited to bring news in this report of how some recent funds have been spent!
$400 has been spent on school fees for 9 children which included school uniforms and supplies. The clothes included trousers or the traditional Lao skirt, collared shirts, new shoes and one new bag for each of the 9 children.
This time, $220 of donations were spent on medical care, in that we paid the medical bills for 1 student who spent time in the hospital and 1 Novice Monk who could not visit the doctor because of the costs but was properly diagnosed thanks to GVI Charitable Trust covering all of his doctors visits.
$925 was given to English Tuition and sponsorships for 5 Novice Monks at Xayadeth College
$400 Donation to Library – Classes are held in the public library for Novices. This donation builds on a respectful, mutually beneficial arrangement for the library and GVI.
As you can see, a little money goes a long way in Laos and thanks to your donations here, $1947 has changed the lives of 16 students as well as benefiting many more through the library. Thank you for continuing to support us.
This year’s program at the Luang Prabang Children’s Library has seen an exciting new addition to GVI’s our regular English classes. At the request of the library’s Director GVI Laos Luang Prabang has initiated a children’s activities class to cater for the kids who are participating in the library’s summer holiday care program. To maintain a fun holiday atmosphere the classes are run as English language based activities.
The children come from different backgrounds and villages in and around the town of Luang Prabang. Some of them have never had the opportunity to learn English from native speakers before. Others have formerly attended GVI run classes at other locations. All of the students are eager to learn and develop their English language skills. Word quickly spread around and we had so many students interested that we’ve added an additional class to accommodate more children. Their ages range from as young as five years old up to around 13 years old.
The students have been learning traditional English nursery rhymes such as Row Your Boat, Baa Baa Black Sheep and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. They have also been taught some modern children’s songs such as Wheels on the Bus and The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Music, song and dance is a large part of the culture in Laos, so by including them in our classes we keep it relative and interesting for the students. Children’s songs are very repetitive which helps commit them to long term memory, whoever doesn’t get Wheels on the Bus stuck in their head is superhuman! and for many students singing a word or phrase is better practice for accurate pronunciation than saying it. Every song has a dance to accompany it to help the students remember the words.
To go with the songs the students make crafts that are related to the lyrics. Over just four short weeks they have made sailboats, rivers, teapots, lion masks, sheep and even decorated their own class parachute to use in games. Everyday the children leave smiling and singing, showing their friends and family the fun thing they made and dance they learned.
A big thank you to all those who have been involved in starting, teaching and supporting this program! Khop Jai Lai Lai!
It's that time of year! Our third annual 5am for 5days challenge will run from May 12th-16th 2014. The annual challenge gets to the heart and sou of Buddhist Lao culture and Luang Prabang ritual practice. For 5 days (teaching days Monday – Friday), in-country volunteers and staff will give alms to monks and novices. Although this is something many volunteers elect to observe or take part in at least once during their project, our commitment to a 5 day alms-giving stint is in line with local habits; most locals, especially women, give food to the procession of passing Buddhist temple inhabitants every single day, with starts at early as 5am!
It is the biggest fundraising event of the year for the team and is vital for being able to continue supporting our students for the full year. GVI Laos raises money to provide sponsorships for English tuition, scholarships for Secondary and Tertiary education and general support for medical issues for disadvantaged students. In addition, the annual CT Challenge provides an injection of much-needed funds in support of the Lao community and temples with which we are connected.
In January, the students at Xayadeth College were given a month of holiday time between the 2 semesters. The GVI staff came up with the idea of offering holiday classes so the students would not lose an entire month of studying English. We encouraged the students who needed more practice and assistance to attend these classes so they could receive extra help from a trained GVI teaching volunteer.
Our holiday classes were small in size but this benefited the students by having more individual support from the volunteers. We are proud of the students who took this opportunity to continue learning over their holiday break. The second semester of the school year started in February and we are already looking forward to holding further holiday classes in the future.
Recent donations have also been used to sponsor 8 students to attend MEC (Mekong English Centre) for 12 months, 1 Novice for Maths classes and classroom rental for 2 Novice Classes. All this has helped to assist further tertiary education opportunities for these students who would otherwise not have the chance.
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