"My name is Mrs Kaenkham Yang. I am 29 years old. I live in Kiewpha village, Houn district, Oudomxay province. Many people in my village speak only their ethnic language and can't understand Lao. This could become really challenging when they need to communicate with people outside our community. When they are sick for example, they need to find someone speaking Lao to go to the hospital and help with translation. They will have to pay for transportation and food for the translator. This is one of the many examples why we should encourage and support our children to study Lao language and learn to become independent.
I strongly want to support the education of all children in my community. This is why I volunteered to be a facilitator for the BEQUAL Reading Promotion activities.
I received training and plenty of support from the BEQUAL staff and the District Education and Sports Bureau. In the programme, I run after-school reading activities with primary school children, coordinate parents' awareness workshops and help the Village Education Development Committee to identify disadvantaged children from my community eligible for the small grants support for education access and reading promotion. I even supported a Lao language and readiness activity for grade 1 students.
I often teach the women in the village about the importance of education and of Lao language acquisition. I motivate parents to send their children to school by explaining to them that learning and studying helps their children develop important life skills for the future.
With the BEQUAL programme, I also promote hygiene activities in school and village. I hang posters on the seven stages of handwashing in school reading corner and displays hygiene books in my house and at school.
I'm really pleased and proud that I had the opportunity to join this project and to support my community. Through the BEQUAL activities, I've learned many things. I think I will be able to better support the children from my community in their Lao language acquisition and help them to better connect with native Lao speaker classmates. Moreover, I help the children with handwashing techniques, and in that way, help them stay healthy in the future."