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Youth volunteers’ assistance gives rural poor a better life

A joint project by Phongsavanh Bank and Lao Front for National Development is aiming to give poor people of Longxan district in Xaysomboun province a better life.
The two organisations have come together for the project to reduce poverty in the rural district of the newest province of Laos. And while the province is not very far from Vientiane, many of its residents need assistance.
The two organisations consider the assistance as a pilot development project and plan to extend it to other districts and provinces in future.

The damaged roof of Mr Lilor’s house.

The project, supported with more than 200 million kip from Phongsavanh Bank, is building five homes for the poorest families of the district with two each in Nammoung and Huaynamyen villages, and one in Sanpatong village.
The construction of the five houses will take at least one month and each house will cover an area of 6 x 7 metres with rendered brick walls and a zinc roof.
The first house to be built belonging to Mrs Xuaha of Nammoung village started construction on November 17 with the work witnessed by leaders and delegations of the two organisations.
So far, volunteers have erected the basic structure of the house.
Over the past weekend, more than 30 young volunteers from the central Lao Front for National Development, Phongsavanh Bank and other sectors joined the project and worked on the houses.
Besides building the houses, they also distributed educational materials to schoolchildren and gave clothes and other items of basic need to poor villagers.
 Vice Head of the administration office division at the Headquarters of Phongsavanh Bank, Mr Syphavong Southammavong, said they were very happy to help the rural people.
 “It’s very important to assist people in rural areas, especially the poorest families. Our delegation came here to contribute and assist the project to build houses and to distribute items to people, especially children and poor families,” he said.
“Assisting poor people is an important part of the vision for our bank because it helps to alleviate poverty. It’s also a good way to help each other and help society,” he said.
“It’s necessary to help them because they can’t rebuild their damaged homes.”
He added, “We’re sure when these houses are finished it will make their lives better.”
“This is just the start and when this project is finished we will extend the assistance to other districts and provinces nationwide.” 
Vice President of the Lao Front for National Development, Mrs Khamchan Phomsengsavanh, who took part in the house building, said the project was set to assist the poorest families.
“Our organisation is cooperating with Phongsavanh Bank for this project and working together in the district because we want to implement the recommendations of the 10th congress of the central Lao Front for National Development on transforming focal villages into small towns, contributing to poverty reduction and assisting the rural poor,” she added.
“It is also a direction of the government and the Lao Front for National Development to help in poverty reduction. It’s also an activity to unite youth to help society and people in rural areas.”
“The assistance will make the people in this district happy and the new houses will make their lives better.” she said.
Mrs Xuaha and Mr Lilor of Nammoung village, whose houses will be rebuilt under the project, said they were very happy to receive the assistance and thanked the project for their help.
Longxan is one of five districts in the province’s south with a total area of 1,379 km2. The undeveloped rural district comprises 26 villages, many of which still have poor families including Nammoung, Huaynamyen, and Sanpatong.
The villages need more infrastructure such as schools, healthcare centres, roads, and sanitation schemes.
Most of the population comprises ethnic groups such as the Hmong with many uneducated and unable to speak Lao, particularly children and the elderly. The traditional lifestyle of the villagers needs to be improved.

By Visith Teppalath
(Latest Update November 24, 2017)


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