Friday, December 19, 2014

Reaching the furthest villages to #ENDviolence against children

Avisay, third from left, and her team
(c) UNICEF/LAOS/2014/Nomoto
Avisay Sithiyom, 31 years old, works for the Lao Government’s National Commission for Mothers and Children and she is leading one of 13 UNICEF-trained survey teams in Laos to gather data on violence against children over a five to six week period.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

School textbooks: bringing education to life

Phou, 6, with her new text book
(c) UNICEF/LAOS/2014/S.Nazer
Waiting for class to start, first grader Phou, 6, stands outside holding her new school text book tight. The book, provided by the Lao Government with UNICEF’s support, was clearly something she values.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Invest in the future, invest in teachers!

Teachers are an investment for the future of countries. What today’s children will face in adult life cannot be predicted and so the teachers of today and tomorrow need the skills, knowledge and support that will enable them to meet the diverse learning needs of every girl and boy.

Today in Lao PDR, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of World Teachers’ Day. The day commemorates the adoption of the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the status of teachers in 1966. This recommendation is morally binding for all countries.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

UNICEF: Flying High for Kids

Before heading off on an arduous, four year journey through over 100 countries, I asked New Zealander Andrew Parker why he wanted to put himself through such a tough challenge. Apparently, a trip like this has been on his mind for a very long time: “Since my early teens I wanted to travel the world with a balloon, and to do it for a good cause,” he said.

“I knew what I wanted to do since I was six. I saw a balloon fly over my house during a festival and that was it for me, I decided that was what I wanted to do”.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Breastfeeding: a winning goal for life

It’s now World Breastfeeding Week and UNICEF Laos and the Lao Government continue to promote the life-saving benefits of breastfeeding.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Simple but effective: Water taps in remote areas

Ms Bou and her grandson © UNICEF/Laos/2014/S.Nazer
A simple water tap can bring huge benefits to many people, especially for women and children in rural areas who are often burdened with the responsibility of collecting and carrying water each day. In Yang village, in the northern province of Luang Prabang, villagers spoke of how new water taps have helped change their everyday lives for the better.

Ms Bou, a grandmother of one who thinks she is around 50, sat with us in a dusty wooden village meeting hall to talk about how things have changed since she was young. As a young girl and later a mother, she recalls how tiring it was collecting water with children.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Creating Lao 'Superkids'

A mother feeds her child food with Superkid
 (c) UNICEF/Fitzgerald
A mining company, UNICEF and 4 million sachets of powder called Super Kid – see the link there? No, perhaps not the most obvious. But today marks a very special day with a new product launch in the southern city of Savannakhet, Laos that will keep Lao children healthier and happier, and that’s all down to a very special partnership.

The initiative aims to dramatically reduce aneamia and other nutrition issues affecting young children in three of Laos’s southern provinces by providing a powder full of vitamins and minerals to sprinkle over food. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Innovating for water in schools

Carlos Vasquez reports on an innovative initiative bringing water to schools:

Providing water in schools for hand washing is as crucial in Lao PDR as many other initiatives to improve the lives of students. There are many far-reaching benefits linked to hand washing: fewer infectious diseases, fruitful results of existing school meal plans and healthier lives. This is why German development organisation GIZ and UNICEF have joined forces to test a new design to get clean water flowing into schools.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Coming together to #END Violence against Children

See what Saykoson Sanoubane, our communication officer, had to say about a recent creative workshop for UNICEF's #END Violence campaign which took place in Vientiane, Lao PDR:

A participant explains some group ideas
Ideas have the power to change, but finding that one idea that can inspire thousands, or even millions, to think differently is a big challenge. We began a process in Lao PDR to find this bright idea for a campaign to help stop violence against children, working with Government and civil society.

Like everywhere else in the world, violence against children is a real problem in Lao PDR where we recently discovered that three out of every four children experience a method of violent discipline. So our challenge was to find the idea that could help make people throughout the country understand that violence against children need not be the social norm and can and should be stopped.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Access for all, no matter what

During Global Action Week on Education, UNICEF’s Carlos Vasquez talks about his experience in Udomxay province, Lao PDR:

Cheet, 9 (c) UNICEF/LAOS/2014/C.Vasquez
9 year old Cheet, from the Kmu ethnic group, was born with a severe skin disease which is affecting her everyday life and ability to have a childhood like her friends. The only medical treatment she received was when she was born but there was little the doctor could do to help and due to a lack of money her family is unable to get any further medical support for her.

With each passing day Cheet finds it more difficult to move her fingers and toes, and I could see the scars left by her medical condition on her delicate face.

Claire's Accessories visit Lao PDR

Popular retail company Claire's Accessories visited us in late March to take a look at some of our education work in Lao PDR. Through UNICEF UK, Claire's are supporting the Schools for Asia programme.

The focus will be particularly on those who, because of their gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic location or poverty are less likely to get a quality education.

Schools for Asia countries include Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. Read more about the launch of this initiative here.

A video and more information will follow shortly, but in the meantime take a look at some photos from their visit. Click the icon in the bottom right to make the slideshow full screen.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Getting healthcare to every child

Mrs Huepa, centre, and her family
When I asked people how far it was to Kiew Kalei village, they said it wasn’t far, only 12 kilometres. But in fact the route is much more complicated and scary: the village sits on a high hill with only one unpaved dusty road zigzagging its way around steep drops. Only one car can fit through the road at a time and if the car stops, as we had to at times to let motorbikes squeeze by, you should put rocks behind the tires to stop the car rolling away.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A day in the life of: Loy's Story

Click the photo to open the story and follow a day in the life of 11 year old Loy. Click on the story to zoom in.
(c) UNICEF/LAOS/2013/K.Lynch
Can't see the story? Click here to download the PDF.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

From ‘Sesame Street’ to ‘My Village’

A shot from one of the final videos © UNICEF/LAOS/2014
"Remarkable” is a word ‘Sesame Street’ director and producer Lisa Simon uses many times during her two weeks in Lao PDR. Lisa and ‘Sesame Street’ writer Luis Santeiro were invited by UNICEF to support and share ideas with local talent to help plan ahead for season two of popular Lao children’s television show ‘My Village’.

“What these people have achieved in only five days is amazing. To think that on Monday 80 people were brought together, many for the first time, and five days later they will have a short film scripted, shot and edited is really, really remarkable,” says Lisa, clearly buzzing from the experience.

Friday, March 7, 2014

UNICEF & Mrs Bik: Working together to promote breastfeeding

UNICEF went to Sekong Province, southern Lao PDR, to take a look at how UNICEF and the Lao Government work with people like the amazing Mrs Bik to promote breastfeeding. Click on the Mrs Bik's photo to follow her story (when Flickr opens, click 'show info' at the top to read the story).
Mrs Bik promoted breastfeeding in her village

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Japanese pop star Ai Kawashima visits UNICEF/AEON supported village

Popular Japanese singer-songwriter visited Longlao village and its primary school to take a look at a community water supply scheme and water and sanitation facilities, supported by Japanese company AEON through UNICEF.

To view the full photo captions, expand the gallery and click 'show info' in the top right corner.