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Mr mana chanthalanonh email chanthalanonh@dvv international la

To find a significant change story of dvv international in Laos is not easy, because the organisation just started work in my country since end of 2009. Project implementation started mid 2010. In addition, I just started work for dvv international in June 2010. To sum up, dvv international is a newcomer in Laos.

So all I can do is describe the project we implement now and indicate what ‘changes’ we would like to see in future.

We plan a pilot for the project in remote villages in eastern Laos. The overall aim is to support two local NGOs for providing non-formal education to adults, especially women, of different ethnic minorities. The NGOs are also newcomers and not experienced in adult education, so we help build their capacities. Final aim is to offer adult literacy classes (Reflect approach) and basic vocational trainings to villagers. The participants will learn vocational skills; reading, writing; life skills and learn about rights and policies. After the project we hope they can increase their agricultural productivity or find another source of income. Furthermore, especially the female participants should gain power and knowledge to improve their position in society.

Long term aim is to build capacities of NGO to do similar projects in future.

The situation in the target areas is very bad (it’s one of the poorest districts in Laos): most of target villages have no electricity or road access and all lack sufficient food. Functional illiteracy rates are not known, but we expect very high numbers. The people there are from ethnic minorities; they can speak only a little bit Lao language. That makes it difficult to participate in our society. Women suffer most: high workload and ethnic and gender discrimination.

dvv international has experience with similar projects, especially in Africa. dvv international learned that often poor, rural communities are more interested in vocational skills and directly improving livelihoods not reading and writing (but this can be offered later and improve vocational skills). According to this, the steps for this project are:

Check priorities of participants: literacy or vocational skills.

Find what vocational skills participants want (PRA).

Training Needs Assessment and Market Analysis.

Reflect Training of Facilitators with volunteer teachers in villages.

According to wishes of participants, offer either Reflect first or vocational training first (literacy second approach) and link literacy and vocational skills training.

In Reflect Circles, participants should learn about relevant policies and rights (gender, education, land issues).

Provide grants to start income-generating activities.

The project involves two local NGOs, local government, dvv international and German Agro Action (Welthungerhilfe). In the village level we work with village authorities and Lao Women Union (a Lao mass organization). dvv international will not work directly in villages, only support and train NGO and government staff and help with management. My task so far is training NGO staff for Baseline-Survey (including PRA) and later project management, especially of M&E (including participatory M&E).

My name is ManaChanthalanonh, you can call me Nah. I was born in the mountainous country of Laos and live in the Lao capital Vientiane. My working background is very diverse. After I graduated from the University of Laos in 1997, I first worked with an Integrated Rural Development project in the northern of Laos. Then I moved back to Vientiane to work for the central bank of Lao PDR. After that I had a very interesting job with UXO Laos, an organization which clears Unexploded Ordnance (UXO). After graduation in Thailand I worked for ‘Save the Children’ for a disaster preparedness mitigation program.

Currently, I am a program coordinator at dvv international South- and Southeast Asia Regional Office based in Laos. I just joined dvv international in June 2010. dvv international is the Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association and supports and conducts adult education to combat poverty on three different levels:

The micro level (educational measures and projects),

The meso level (assistance to develop stronger organizational structures of adult education providers) and,

The macro level (advisory services on sector policy and public advocacy work).

Priority areas for intervention in Laos are as follows:

promoting literacy and basic education in rural areas

providing support on the national, provincial, and district level to strengthen the non-formal educational system 

promoting the development of non-formal vocational training for adults

providing in-service staff training and further training for students at the national university and other centers 

promoting the networking of Laotian education experts with regional and international adult education networks.

I am very happy that I have the opportunity to join the ASBAE BLDC. As I know, this is the first time for Lao citizen to join this exciting workshop. I am looking forward to learn more about adult education in the region and share experiences with people from different countries. I hope to gain skills and be able contribute to improve adult education in Laos.

Mr. Mana CHANTHALANONHEmail: [email protected]