Neighouring villages greatly benefit from Pakou's learning center and its various facilities.
It first serves as a day nursery for infants and toddlers, thus saving the mothers from carrying them on their back while working in the rice fields. Children are looked after by two staff members, who ensure the daily care such as meals, diapering, nap times and development games.
In addition, the center hosts a library and a games library where children come after school, over the weekend and during school holidays. For most of the children, this represents a unique opportunity to have access to books, games, as well as to daily evening English classes.
Finally, an outdoor playground has been specifically created so as to offer a wide range of activities run by two full-time animators.
The learning center has been founded in 2008 by a small association that has been active in Laos for more than ten years. Its contribution includes the creation of five learning centers as well as the construction of various schools, health services and dormitaries.
Once the construction of the buildings is finished, there is no extra cost for the association, as villagers undertake repair and renovation work themselves. However, this is not the case for learning centers, which cover salaries and new school supplies (books, games, etc.) each year.
The ASAS was informed that the five learning centers were due to shut down because the founder, critically ill, could no longer carry out fundraising for each associative structure, and therefore bear the costs of running the five centers.
After being informed about it, we felt it was inconceivable that such structures, which have been part of hundreds of children's daily life and which have fulfilled an essential need on a cultural, educational and social level, should be closed.
A gesture of solidarity has been created in collaboration with small associations such as ours. After several discussions, each of the five centers has found a respective association commited to ensuring its smooth running, the follow-up of activities as well as the financial support.
Thus ASAS can now rely on its first two professional workers since its foundation : Mrs. Boun Hom, in charge of the day nursery and the activities, and Mr. Hom, animator and English instructor.
This is how the learning center of Pakou's district has been able to continue to offer its precious help to mothers and children of nearby villages.