In a small, rural village in Meun district, Vientiane province, 10-year-old Ardisack enjoys studying English and learning about the world in school. Ardisak lives with his grandmother who encourages him to go to school, hoping that he’ll attain the education she never had the opportunity to get herself. However, earning only $1-5 per day selling vegetables means that the annual cost $70 for school is a strain on the family.
Since 2020, Action Education (formerly Aide et Action) has been working with Ardisak’s family, providing them with an annual stipend that covers the cost of school for the young student. Currently, Action Education is supporting 62 children like Ardisak from 30 villages across Vientiane and Oudomxay provinces with stipends. Without this support, parents and caregivers would likely be unable to afford the expenses related to schooling.
Building quality education
In addition to the stipends, we are working with schools and educators to support education for all in Lao PDR through improving classroom infrastructure, improving teaching quality, and developing flexible learning strategies to provide a safe, child-friendly learning environment for students.
Nutrition is also a focus whereby we support the development of school gardens as well as teach and employ local parents to prepare nutritious school meals. This holistic approach is one we hope will keep students like Artisak in school and enable them to develop to their full potential.
A bright future
Like many ethnic minority households in Meun district, Ardisack’s family rely on agriculture to survive. His mother and his grandmother sell seasonal vegetables and bamboo and his other family members cut grass and plant cassava – jobs Ardisaks also helps out with when he’s not in school. But low paid agriculture work is not the future Ardisack’s grandmother wishes for him.
“It’s important children go to school because they need to be literate and progress higher in education so that they are able to take care of themselves and their family, she says. “I wish that my grandson can become a businessman so that he can have a big income and help other vulnerable people like Action Education does.
Ardisack also dreams of helping people in the future but has his sights set on becoming a police officer so he can protect his community and family. For now, though, he’s happy going to school with his friends.