We are happy to share what is going on at SAE LAO, what we have been doing and what our plans are.
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September 5th marked the start of the 2016/2017 academic school year, with a record 370 students registering in the first week. We have 18 classes spread out over four hours, which has been challenging to accommodate, however we are committed to providing all these dedicated children with the opportunity to learn.
This year we have new and updated curriculum, as well as upcoming awareness programs to supplement our courses.
Last year, we had great success with our IT computer, drama, public speaking, and slam poetry units, which we will continue and improve this year. We are so grateful for all the volunteers that participated in helping us get the school year off to a great start. This includes four local volunteer staff and five visiting Lao university students, the largest group of Lao volunteer teachers to date!
With over three hundred children and young adults participating in the courses at our English school this year, SAE LAO has put great effort into supporting these motivated students and proudly celebrated the graduation of those who passed the five levels within the school.
Some of these students have come just about everyday since September, and we couldn’t be more impressed.
After all the hard work put in by all, we preceded final exams with a big party and ceremony for all the students.
Special thanks to the team captains who organized their peers, sometimes all of which who were very new to engaging in the sport formally. They did this all without coaches and in the end, no matter the outcome, experienced a great sense of achievement.
All the more, it was a TON of fun and we cannot wait for next year!
Congratulations to the winning teams of the two tournaments, Sportswomen and Sportsmen (both from Nasom).
In December 2015, SAE LAO started it's first annual football tournament:
The women's tournament comprises of four and the men's tournament of five teams, all coming from surrounding villages. These teams were produced with the support of the SAE LAO team and led by students of SAE LAO's English school, ranging in age from 14 to 21.
As of March 2016, the tournament games officially began and will continue until June this year, when we will announce the two winning teams. We will keep you up-to-date!
Check out our gallery for more pictures!
In February Sengkeo and Claire (founder and education coordinator of SAE LAO Project) travelled to Jakarta, Indonesia to participate in YCAB Foundation's 1st Partners' Gathering.
YCAB Foundation is the first Indonesian NGO turned social enterprise, focusing on development and economic empowerment. The purpose of the gathering was to come together with all of YCAB's program partners in the country and throughout ASEAN, for three days of events, workshops, and networking. This was a time for different organisations to share their experiences, thoughts, and ideas on how to maximize impact in the youth development area.
YCAB partnered with SAE LAO in September 2015 with a focus on SAE LAO's education programs, which primarily support the local youth. YCAB shares the vision of SAE LAO in empowering the people to progress and achieve in sustainable ways. As a new member of the YCAB family, SAE LAO Project took the opportunity to engage in the different activities and come to understand the missions and methods of YCAB as well as the fellow organisations participating. What was taken away from the weekend was an invaluable and knowledgable experience amongst new, inspiring friends!
Read more about the 1st Partners' Gathering on the YCAB website.
On the 11th and 12th of February the drama night took place at SAE LAO and it was a huge success!
The level 3 students performed plays that were well received by all. Level 5 assisted with introductions and Yee Lee from Level 5 performed two songs, one in Chinese and one in English.
The Pied Piper and Stone Soup, two traditional stories adapted by the students for Lao.
Drug Bust and Soupsala Social, two plays written by the students and translated and adapted by Zoe Michal, our former Education Coordinator.
All thirty eight students were spectacular. We are incredibly proud and hope to do further productions in the future.
YCAB Chief Operating Officer, Firza Imam Putra, met Sengkeo Frichitthavong, founder of SAE LAO Project and Victoria Wood, chief program coordinator, when visiting Laos in 2015. Read more about YCAB Foundation's partnership with SAE LAO Project here.
The past 3 months have seen huge leaps and bounds in environmental work at SAE LAO.
Robin Zuber has helped us to set up the start of a mushroom farm, a herb spiral and improved compost systems.
Howard Storey from Permaculture Research Institute, taught a two week Permaculture Design Certificate Course at SAE LAO in January that was a fantastic and informative learning experience for the staff and course participants. We are very much looking forward to implementing some of the things that we learned over the coming year.
Our gardens have been expanding, our first biosand filters are in for grey water cleansing and we are expecting our first crop of mushrooms in the next week.
Finally we have also been working on more natural building, with workshops and the start of our new kitchen for the restaurant, starting with cob and recycled glass bottles.
The activity days have been a huge success and are providing young adult with activities on the weekends to ensure that they do not turn to substance misuse. Awareness talks will be built into these activity days as we go.
So far we have had gardening, art, sculpture making and the start of our football tournament, with 9 participating teams!
The soap project is going well and now has a name and a logo. Building of the workshop is planned for next month and our first training for the women in making soap has gone very well.
In the last couple of months the women designed their own logo and name, drew up the plans for the workshop and have been making new recipes for the soap.