The Dongsavath Children and Youth Development Association has provided scholarships for poor children in three primary schools in Vientiane, as well as to students of higher education.
Speaking at the handover of the scholarships, Deputy Director of the Vientiane Department of Education and Sports, Mr Southany Xaysane, announced that the target schools for the scholarship programme are Dongsavath, Nahay and Udomphone primary schools.
The handover ceremony also saw scholarships given to 21 students at the Teacher Training College, Art School and the Department of Social Welfare.
Head of the Dongsavath Children and Youth Development Association, Mr Phonexay Inthaleuxay, told Vientiane Times that scholarship students will be placed in each target school by the association.
He said this support mechanism is implemented according to the association’s policy. The association was founded to help children develop their full potential and to protect them from harm.
“We run child development centres at four primary schools in the Vientiane area where students can gain life skills, seek advice from counsellors or obtain any assistance they need,” he said.
The use of corporal punishment in schools is still common in Laos as it is not prohibited by law. Factors contributing to this practice include cultural attitudes, which condone hitting children as an effective way of disciplining them. Changing new teachers’ attitudes is one way the association hopes to make an impact on the future teachers of Lao children.
“We provide life-skills training in after-school activities and an annual summer camp. It is our aim to give children a feeling of security and being cared for. Knowledge is the first step towards this goal – to help poor children and young people to solve their problems and avoid dangerous activities like drug abuse.”
According to the Association, the rural areas of Vientiane have suffered a great deal from both internal and external socio-economic antagonisms. These antagonisms lead to a number of social problems including high rates of school dropouts, drug abuse and neglect of children.
Source: Vientiane Times