CWS has been operating in Laos for more than 25 years. Our primary focus is on education, having assisted local education departments in establishing over 250 schools and training several hundred teachers. We also provide emergency relief assistance when disaster strikes and occasionally assist with some small initiatives in other sectors.
CWS project activities are located primarily in the northern mountainous part of the country in the provinces of Oudomxay, Phongsaly and Luang Prabang. CWS also supports some small project initiatives in Vientiane Municipality.
In the coming years, CWS will continue to provide assistance in the rural education sector and address humanitarian and urban social issues.
CWS works together with the Ministry of Education and with the local education offices in the provinces of Oudomxay and Phongsaly to improve access and quality of education for children, providing them with the foundation for further higher education and the improvement of their lives. These projects are usually located in remote areas where the people are ethnic minorities.
Whilst our basic education program has historically been focused on primary education, the current focus is on secondary education in the same program areas as the previous years’ primary school program activities. The students attending the secondary schools which we now assist often obtained their primary education at schools that CWS assisted in establishing.
The objective is to assist establish secondary education in locations which previously had little or no access to secondary education and to develop boarding schools that serve several villages. Activities include establishment of boarding school facilities – including classrooms, dormitories, toilets and water systems, kitchens, etc – and training teachers who are assigned to the newly established secondary schools.
Teacher training is provided as required and includes both training at established teacher training institutions and in-service upgrading for teachers. Scholarships are provided for ethnic minority teachers in the project areas to attend formal teacher training schools on the basis that they are expected to return to teach at scholls in their own villages, many of which CWS assisted in establishing.
CWS’s non-formal education projects are in cooperation with the Ministry of Education in Vientiane and with three training centers located in northern Laos at Buen Nuea (Phongsaly), Nambac (Luang Prabang), and Namo (Oudomxay).
At the centers, ethnic minority teenagers who have not been able to finish their primary education are given literacy and mathematics training as well as accelerated primary school equivalency programs are also provided training in skills that may be useful for them to improve their lives in their villages, such as; carpentry, weaving, tailoring, animal husbandry, fish farming, fruit tree cultivation, vegetable gardening, mushroom raising, welding, black-smithing and handicrafts.
Additionally, CWS supports the Luang Prabang Orphanage and it’s non-formal educational activities for the more than 200 orphan children living at the orphanage.
CWS assists small project activities in both urban and rural locations. The activities in the rural areas are usually complimentary to our basic education and non-formal education activities, whilst the urban-based small project activities are usually directed towards child rights.
Some examples of these small projects include: blankets, warm clothes, and mosquito nets for boarding school students in remote mountainous locations to encourage them to stay in school during the colder months, sports and fine arts activities, book fairs, school libraries, after-school activities, assistance to children in especially difficult circumstances, and the promotion of child rights.
CWS responds to emergencies and disasters in our established geographical program areas where we already have experience and knowledge of the local areas and people affected and where we have capacity and local partners through which to respond.
Previous activities include relief for villages affected by floods and fires. We have also supported individuals – usually children and students – who require humanitarian assistance in order to continue their education.
For more information on our Laos program please contact:
Church World Service -Laos
Vientiane, Lao P.D.R.
Tel: + 856-21 (0) 21 313837 (Laos)