Namgor Village is located about 20 minutes west of Phonsavan, the modern capital city of Xieng Khouang Province. The village is home to both Lao Loum, who are lowland Lao and make up the majority of the Lao population, and Khmu ethnic minority.
We wanted to build a preschool in Namgor Village, when we learned about the villagers “challenges” to advance their own prosperity. The village leader gave us a short tour of their village, which was surrounded by tree-covered hills. The flatter lands, where most of the homes were built, were littered with bomb craters between homes. One family chose to build their home in a bomb crater because it was noted to be vegetation-free. Just beyond the school grounds were open fields, littered with grass-filled bomb craters. Natural land to farm is scarce.
Despite the challenges, the villagers are optimistic. Education is one of their key objectives for the children to plan a better future. They unanimously feel that education will lead them to alternative life styles beyond farming with limited land available to them. They believed that starting school at an earlier preschool age is very important.
We built a one-room preschool will the support from Give Children A Choice Foundation and the Coleman Fung Foundation.