Nine volunteers from the Republic of Korea are getting accustomed to the customs, culture, cuisine and vernacular of Laos ahead of formal duty commencement after the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) dispatched them to the country this month.The variously qualified volunteers are set to contribute to the socio- economic development of Laos through provision of technical assistance via the Korea Overseas Volunteers (KOVs) programme.
The newly arrived volunteers were warmly welcomed by the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Laos, Mr. Yun Kang-hyeon yesterday at the nation’s Embassy to Laos in the capital.
During the meeting, Mr. Yun expressed the great expectations held for volunteers as they take up important roles in support of development in Laos.
“I am impressed by the active participation of Korean young people in the KOV programme and am proud of you,” he said.
The volunteers will be allocated to institutions and organisations such as Lao-Korea Children’s Hospital in Vientiane, the Luang Prabang Technical and Vocational institute, National University of Laos and more.
Three Global Saemaul Youth Specialist volunteers are among the nine volunteers and have been allocated to work with the Department ofAgriculture with which KOICA is implementing an integrated rural development project using Sae Maul Undong (SMU)’s participatory approach.
The initiative is made possible by a grant of US$14.55million (over 117 billion kip) allocated for community- based rural development in Laos through until 2019.
Before heading off to their various stations the volunteers are spending two months engaged in a local adjustment training programme, focusing on the understanding of Lao language and multiethnic cultures of the country in depth.
They made a courtesy visit to the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Planning and Investment on August 30.
The KOVs programme is designed by KOICA to promote inclusive growth, technical manpower development and transfer of advanced technology for the development of countries like Laos and utilises the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
More than 400 KOVs have accomplished humanitarian missions in fields of healthcare, education, tourism and policy advising over dispatch periods of two years since Laos and the Republic of Korea agreed upon the KOV programme in 2000, according the KOICA Laos office.
Source: Vientiane Times