Child sponsorship background from Luang Prabang, Laos

Child at Luang Prabang, LaosSOS Children's Village Luang Prabang

The foundation stone of the fourth SOS Children's Village in the country was laid in February 2000. By June 2001, construction of SOS Children's Village Luang Prabang and its SOS Nursery School had been completed and the first families could move in.

The people of Luang Prabang live mainly on tourism and cloth trade. On the outskirts of the town, there are farms and paddy fields. Many orphaned children from the hill tribes living in the area come to Luang Prabang in search of a better life. These children usually only speak their tribal dialects and have not learned the Laotian language.

SOS Children's Village Luang Prabang is situated about four kilometres outside the town, near the village of Ban Pong, on the main road to Muang Khai.

It consists of family homes, the Village director's house, staff accommodation and the necessary administrative buildings. The site, which was provided to SOS Children's Villages by the local authorities, includes a paddy field and a pond.

Other SOS Projects in Luang Prabang

There is an SOS Nursery School with group rooms and a playground, where children both from the SOS Children's Village and the neighbourhood can be taught.

Next to the SOS Children's Village, an SOS School has been constructed. The school consists of classrooms, laboratories, a service and administration area and a canteen. It provides primary and secondary education to pupils.

Older children from the SOS Children's Village normally move to the SOS Youth Home when they start a vocational training course or go on to higher education. With the support of qualified youth workers, they develop realistic perspectives for their future, learn to shoulder responsibility and increasingly make their own decisions. They are encouraged to develop team spirit and build up contacts with relatives and friends, as well as with the relevant authorities and potential employers.

In 2002, SOS Children Laos launched its family strengthening programmes. These programmes are intended to support families at risk of abandoning their children and to encourage families to stay together. SOS Children's Villages therefore works with local authorities and other service providers to support families and enable them to take good care of their children.

In Luang Prabang, the family strengthening programme focuses on primary health care and sanitation for people of all ages from the neighbourhood of the SOS Children's Village. A room of the SOS Nursery building has been set apart for the family strengthening programme.

Background to Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang or Louangphrabang, is a city located in north central Laos, on the Mekong River about 425 km north of Vientiane, where SOS Children also works. The current population of the city is around 100,000.  Until the communist takeover in 1975, it was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos. Today, the city is also notable as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.