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Making a difference for children in Nonghet, Laos

On the 18th of February my husband James and I met up with Raul and Marieke from ChildFund Laos in Phonsavanh and travelled up to Nonghet district in northern Laos together.

It was a three hour drive along a windy, narrow road. Along the way we stopped for lunch and then visited the first Global Community sponsored village, where we visited the Primary school.

The school had a very creative school bell! Being the most bombed country in the world per capita there is still plenty of unexploded ordnance lying around.

We then continued on to Nonghet town. We visited the ChildFund office and were introduced to all the lovely staff and given some information about ChildFund Laos and Global Community.

After checking into our guesthouse we met up with Marieke, who took us for a visit to the local markets. There were so many interesting things for sale; fresh vegetables from local farms, live fish, traditional clothing, they even sold delicious hot donuts!

The next morning we had a meeting with the ChildFund Staff where they presented us with the many projects that are currently being undertaken with the support of Global Community. Some of these projects include medical facilities, sports programs, schools, daycare centres, water storage and sanitation. They discussed the importance of working in partnership with the community and training locals to be in charge of projects so these projects can be self-sufficient and to promote long-term change.

Raul, ChildFund Australia’s digital program manager explained a program called ChildFund Connect, which is a global education program that connects children around the world. By using different forms of media the children can learn about the lives of their peers in different parts of the world.

After the meeting we went for a drive to another ChildFund sponsored village. This village was at the highest altitude of the supported villages so it was quite cold and misty.

The children were outside playing with a ball so James joined in. They all had a great time kicking it to each other. The absolute delight on the children’s faces when James kicked the ball really high was priceless!

We then drove back to Nonghet town to the local daycare centre. The educators at the centre were very friendly and showed us around the classrooms. It was lunch time so the children were all eating their lunches; boiled rice and water, which they seemed quite happy with (I won’t be complaining about my sandwiches at work anymore!).

After the visit we had lunch with the ChildFund staff at a small local restaurant.

Then it was time to head back to Phonsavanh. We said goodbye to Marieke, Raul and the rest of the ChildFund staff before we caught the local transport back to Phonsavanh, which was an experience in itself!

It was wonderful to see firsthand the projects that ChildFund run in Nonghet and the difference it makes to the lives of the people in the local communities that live there.

It is really good to know that our somewhat small monthly contribution can help make such a difference to these people’s lives.

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