It was an early start to the school year for students in Laos with classes starting in July this year, to fit in with the schedule for the South East Asian Games which are being held in Vientiane in December.
For some of these children from the Peuan Mit Center it was the first time they had ever had the opportunity to go to public school, so it was a very special first day.
Many children who come to the Peuan Mit Center have had little or no education, so Peuan Mit supports these children by providing remedial classes to bring them up to a level where they can return to public school. This year a total of 504 children, of which 240 were girls, were reintegrated into 58 different public schools in Vientiane and in the provinces. The students were aged between 6 and 17 and went into classes from grade 1 of elementary school to grade 2 of secondary school.
Peuan Mit provides students going to school with notebooks, books, pens and pencils, crayons, school bag and other school materials and covers the cost of any school fees. Students are provided with two complete sets of uniforms which include shirts, trousers or skirts, socks and shoes.
Peuan Mit also provides in kind support to the schools an equivalent to $6 US per each child placed in each school, so for example if 10 children are placed in a school, Peuan Mit provides that school with $60 worth of books or sporting equipment or other such materials which are available to all students at that school.
Read what some of the students said about going to school here.