A new primary school for the children of Huay Duea - Children of the Mekong

A new primary school for the children of Huay Duea

The village of Huay Duea in Laos is located 70 kilometres north of Vientiane.

To get there from the city, individuals must first travel a fifty kilometres road then continue on to an ocher and dusty dirt road. A slight relief can finally begin; located between the south of the Mekong plains and the beginning of the mountains in the north, the village extends over a long distance, on either side of the track. The inhabitants of Huay Duea cultivate rice, fruits, and vegetables. These harvests are meant to feed families first. The remaining crops are used as revenue.

As the market is 17 kilometres away, the villagers of the remote village cannot make this trip often.

As their income is very low, parents cannot afford to pay for their children’s education. At the beginning of 2019, the village of Huay Duea was blessed to have a kindergarten, built by a Japanese NGO.

Many students, who were old enough to be in the next grade, occupied a small part of the kindergarten premises, as they did not have their own building. Challenged with approximately fifty children who wanted to continue their studies, the villagers requested Laotian authorities to build a primary school, which remained unanswered for five long years. As the need amplified, the residents decided to build the school themselves but had to stop shortly after the foundations.

Children of the Mekong therefore intervened to continue the construction of 2 classrooms, with a capacity of 25 to 30 students per room. The money was funded at the beginning of 2019, and the construction work started once more at the end of February.

The purpose of building this school was not only to welcome new students, but also to allow primary school students to access their library again, since the location served kindergarten students. Parents being free from childcare duties could now go back to work in the fields, which is vital for the household.

Local officials, Joseph Trong Dinh, the principal of the primary school, the village chief, and parents of students, closely followed the progress of the construction, which was completed out by members of the village. By the end of March, the roof and structural work were finished. All that remained to finish were the final touches, such as electricity and painting.

Quality materials were used to guarantee the sustainability of the school. Two classrooms have now been built: soon there will be tables, chairs, a blackboard, and a desk for the teachers. The thickness of the walls was increased compared to the initial plans to keep cool air inside.

On April 27th, all the villagers joyfully celebrated the inauguration of this new school. The district manager made a speech then handed out “diplomas”, which officially acknowledged the donations and participation of the project stakeholders, such as Children of the Mekong, the Jesuit brothers, and the project manager.

At the end of the ceremony students from the school performed Laotian dances.

This wonderful project not only gave children the opportunity to continue their studies, but formed as well a real bond of trust with the Laotian authorities.

This big step led to the opening of a sponsorship program in the village of Huay Duea! Children of the Mekong, the school director and the village chief have drawn up a list of around fifteen children who really need sponsorship.

Do you perhaps know someone willing to support them?

Click here to sponsor a child today!