From our Friends Laos team
This week, Buavone, case management supervisor and Peuan Mit trainer updated the teams about a young graduate from Makphet, who, after completing her training in 2011, is enjoying a new career allowing her to support herself and take full advantage of the skills she has gained.
Growing up in a village near Km52 in Vientiane Capital, Ms. M had very little choice but to leave secondary school when she was 15 years old due to her family’s financial situation. Both her parents and two old brothers worked long hours in their rice field, a distance away from home in order to provide for the family. With two younger siblings, one boy and one girl, Ms. M’s family asked her to take care of the children while they traveled back and forth from the field.
On several occasions the Peuan Mit Reintegration team were in Ms. M’s village, working with a family nearby when they noticed Ms. M who was almost always washing clothes, lifting heavy water buckets and never seeming to take rest. Choosing not to ignore this pattern, they spoke with her and eventually she decided to go with the Outreach and Prevention teams for a visit to the Makphet training restaurant in Vientiane city.
It was during this visit that Ms. M began to think about a different kind of future. Coming from the Hmong ethnic minority community, she felt uncomfortable speaking in training, even in Lao, since her native language was Hmong. During her training she readily participated in non-formal education so she could continue learning both Lao and English plus some of the topics she had missed after leaving school. Although she worried about her siblings, she visited regularly and Peuan Mit teams ensured her children received proper care in their community.
Ms. M proved to be an exemplary student and peer, steadily finding her voice during training, concentrating hard on studying and appreciating each opportunity.
Today, at 20 years of age, she is earning a good wage in a fine dining restaurant close to her home, has married a fellow Makphet graduate from Vientiane and enjoys visiting her former training peers frequently, a real success story and role model for others to follow!