SAE LAO Project team

Our Team

If you are having a conference or panel discussion in Lao PDR, or would just like to find out more information about the work we do at the project, please contact us at to ask for a member of our team to come and talk to your University or organisation.


Topics we can cover:

  • Education – English teaching in Lao
  • Natural building
  • Permaculture
  • Organic farming
  • Closed loop system design
  • Employment
  • The SAE LAO project

Coordinator Team

Memai Phenbanyaa

Head of our kitchen, Memai is a wonderful cook as well as helping with the garden. Working with the team she is our staff representative, assists with communicating with local authorities and is to become manager of the soap project as well. Extremely dedicated and hardworking she is an invaluable member of team.


English: Minimal

Lao: Native

Other staff and members of the SAE LAO team

Thai Bawjan

Thai is working as a kitchen assistant for the restaurant. She is learning restaurant skills with Memai as well as learning English as part of our weekly English/ Lao classes with volunteers and staff.


English: None

Lao: Native

Khantee Kunphone

Khantee, known as Mephai, is our local gardener. The oldest member of our team, she is an expert in local plants and vegetables, she works with volunteers on our organic gardens and manages the rice field and peanut field planting.


English: None

Lao: Native

Yee Lee

Yee asked to volunteer at SAE LAO to improve his language skills. Yee is still attending high school, but stays at the project and assists at weekends with the restaurant, translation and working with volunteers. It is also his job to make the sticky rice! He likes to talk to volunteers in English, French, Spanish and Chinese. 


English: Excellent (Level 5 student)

Other languages: Hmong, Lao, Thai, Chinese


Previously an enthusiastic student, who was unable to enrol in the English classes, but took every opportunity to talk and learn English from volunteers (as well as Chinese from Yee Lee). He has now joined SAE LAO to assist Claire with the education programme.


English: Excellent

Lao: Native

Damdee (Dam) Sikaison

Dam returns to SAE LAO after a years maternity leave to be with her little girl. She is receiving training in accounting and English, with a view to becoming SAE LAO's accountant and member of the coordinator team. As previously, Dam is also assisting Memai in the kitchen and restaurant.


English: Basic

Lao: Native

Uschi Roittner

Having extended (and re-extended) her stay in order to give SAE LAO a whole new look, Uschi is another volunteer who could not leave SAE LAO entirely behind. Back home in Austria, she coordinates, updates and generally manages SAE LAO's website.


English: Excellent

German: Native


We have three boys who live on site who still currently attend school. SAE LAO pays for all their living costs and education fees. They have some chores to do but their main task is to complete their education!

Khae Sikaison

At 21 Khae is the oldest of the three boys. He is very shy but an incredibly hard worker and always willing to lend a hand. He helps in the evening cooking for the volunteers.


English: Conversational (He is very shy so getting him to talk is the challenge)

Lao: Native

Home Sikaison

At 16, Home is our resident teenager. He is always ready to laugh and makes the sticky rice in the mornings for staff, volunteers and restaurant customers.


English: Conversational

Lao: Native

Siang Noy

The youngest of the boys, is cheeky and outgoing. He helps to clean the kitchen in the evening, after the volunteer’s meal has been cooked.


English: Conversational

Lao: Native 

Cafe Nom Yen 

Cafe is responsible for ensuring the chickens and ducks stay off the restaurant and that the cows stay out of the garden. This is a job he does with zeal!


Dog: Fluent

English: Minimal

Lao: Minimal







Mor Lor

+856 20 52 464 991




+60 18 270 59 07





The SAE LAO Project is located in the quiet Nathong Village, 7km outside of Vang Vieng in Lao PDR,

near the tourist attractions of Poukham Cave and the Blue Lagoon 1.

Short term volunteering