New Year News (And More) From Laos
It’s been a busy few weeks for our program in Lao PDR, Peuan Mit. New Year celebrations have been in full swing, but before they got underway there was some important work to complete – an election!
Active participation and representation from the young people we work with is a cornerstone of the Friends way of doing things – we listen to their needs and build our programs and responses around those. Student representation plays a key role in shaping our activities, and New Year in Laos coincided with the holding of an election of student representatives for the transitional home in Vientiane. When the democratic processes were done and dusted, it was then time to celebrate, with a traditional Baci ceremony and temple visit leading the young people into their New Year Party…
Another very important participatory event happened after the New Year celebrations had died down. This was the Advisory Committee (AdCom) Annual Meeting, the opportunity for Peuan Mit and its partner, the Laos PDR Ministry of Labour and Social Work, to sit down together and reflect upon the successes and challenges of the previous year. Government representatives, including the Deputy Director of Social Work, Mr. Khamreng, donor representatives and Friends-International Executive Director Mr. Sebastien Marot were in attendance for the meeting, held in the Laotian capital of Vientiane.