Stepping into Society
Following her 2017 arrest for using drugs in her home, Phimpha* has spent the last five years living in the Vientiane Capital Social Welfare Center. This center is where the government sends the homeless, street beggars and other youth with minor offenses. Her family knows she is there, but has not made any effort to get her out because they honestly do not know what to do with her once she is out.
However, one day in June 2022, Futures Laos Team came to the social welfare center to launch a mobile program for its vocational training courses. Peuan Mit staff and trainers make sure that children and youth referred, who live inside the social welfare center, can create their futures plans, have their basic needs attended to, have access to counseling, medical care and other needs.
The Futures team talked to Phimpha and she told them that she did not have the confidence to get back into society because she feared that she would get back to using drugs again outside. The future felt very uncertain for Phimpha, so the team helped her to find what vocational training she was most interested in.
Out of all the vocational training courses Phimpha chose agriculture and hospitality skills to pursue. Phimpa’s training is ongoing and she is practicing how to grow vegetables. She will eventually learn how to raise frogs and fish with other trainees. She is currently receiving soft skills training and will complete her course in September.
To hopefully start her reintegration back to society, Phimpha has been offered on-the-job training at Mini Makphet, one of Peuan Mit’s training restaurants. She has also been offered lodging in Peuan Mit’s dormitory, where she can continue her regular follow-ups and have easy access to Peuan Mit’s services. The team is working with Phimpha on the opportunities which are available to her after her training. Phimpha is starting to look into her future, taking things one step at a time with the support of the #everydayheroes at Peuan Mit.
*Name changed for privacy