Donation Request in Support of Vientiane Athletes Draws Public Ire

A shooting event held in Vientiane Capital on Monday to kickstart the National Games | Lao National Radio
A shooting event held in Vientiane Capital on Monday to kickstart the National Games (Photo: Lao National Radio).

Residents in Vientiane Capital have expressed their dissatisfaction with a request for donations from members of society in support of athletes representing the city at the National Games next month. 

A notice issued by the Vientiane Capital Department of Education and Sports went viral on social media recently due to its expectation that ordinary people should donate directly to the Vientiane sporting teams, despite a budget already in place.

According to the notice, teachers and parents of students from both government and private schools are expected to donate LAK 10,000 each to support the Vientiane Capital sports teams.

Those who run private schools and sports businesses were also encouraged to contribute.

People took to social media after viewing the notice, with most saying that they are already reeling from high inflation and the rising prices of essential goods. Many questioned why the government would ask them to spend on something that doesn’t affect them or help in improving their quality of life.

“The government spent an enormous amount of money on games that won’t even last a month,” one social media user commented. “It would’ve been so much better if [you] had spent all that good money on repairing the roads, providing some convenience for us,” he added.

“Is this for real? I would rather use the money to hire someone to help me harvest my crops,” a rural netizen commented.

“I barely have enough money to take care of my kids,” another social media user mentioned, receiving a lot of support from others.

Despite all the backlash from residents on social media, the government or its relevant departments have yet to respond to the issue.

Laos has been suffering from an ever-rising rate of inflation for many months, and in October it reached 36.75 percent, marking the highest figure this year.

The increased cost of living has caused hardship for many, particularly low-income earners, including teachers and civil servants.