It all starts with an idea. Building a school in a Hmong village. Why this crazy project ? Why choosing to help this village in particular ? Simply because access to education is still very limited for isolate places in Laos. The future of a child usually consists of helping the family in the fields. With the association Enfants du Laos, we wanted, to widen the field of possibilities for its children. And it seems to us that learning computer science and English is a good start. In this article, we look backward and review the progress of this magnificent project, which has finally been completed recently. completed.
How did we manage the financing and building process of the computing school ?
It all starts with the choice of the village. How to decide which village will benefit from this school? In the first place, we decided for logistical reasons that the village should not be too far from our offices, not more than 3 hours drive. Then we did a pre-selection of 3 villages that we knew through the Off Road Laos Adventures agency. Finally, we chose Vieng Hine because local people were extremely motivated ever since our first talks. And motivation, we will need a lot for this project.
Then, everything went quite fast. First visit on site mid-February 2018 and design of the future school. It allowed us to estimate its cost and launch the crowdfunding campaign. And from the early beginning of the project, you have shown us your confidence with your first donations.
Thanks to that, we started the ground work of the building in March 2018, only a month later the first on-site visit. Two weeks will be enough for our motivated local workers to complete that task
After a short break waiting for new donations, the first concrete blocks are set in May 2018. Then, everything accelerates with the arrival of the Batisafe team. These volunteers from a French company made a lot of efforts to finish building the walls just before the rainy season.
Their departure will mark a break in construction during the wet period. But at Children of Laos, we do not rest, and we roll up our sleeves to get new funding.
Beginning of the dry season, November 2019, the roof is mounted. February 2019, windows and doors are set. March 2019, installation of the ceiling. April 2019, floor finishing, interior painting, and construction of chairs and tables.
And finally, in May 2019, just a year after the start of the project, the power grid is installed. This means that the local workers' team has finished its job.
How has been equipped the computing lab ?
Help’n Solidarity is an association of French students. These three young adults come in May 2019 to teach at our school. They have carried out various actions to raise funds, such as gift wrapping, the saling cakes and recycling cans. This allowed, among other things, to finance the making of the tables and chairs of the school. They were hand-made by the villagers with local wood. The computer equipment, meanwhile, comes entirely from donations. We specifically want to thank the Batisafe team who brought laptops during its mission. But also, David Jaussi, who sent us office desktops from Switzerland! And we don’t forget Jean-Marc Raynard and the company Charles River Laboratories which generously donated 15 tablets.
What does the computing school look like ?
So, what is the result of this beautiful project? Well, this is an interior room of 42 square meters, with an outdoor terrace of 14 square meters. It has a capacity of 22 students. For computer courses, students will work in pairs, on 11 workstations. They form 4 rows perpendicular to the teacher's desk. Thus, all students clearly see the indications on the board. Moreover, the room is designed so that teachers can easily move in between students and help them if needed. We also thought about their comfort by installing sufficient lighting and fans 😊 And, if we receive more computers, the room is designed to accommodate twice the equipment, which is 22 workstations.
That's it, the construction of the classroom is over, but it's really now that the project takes shape. Because a school is not just an empty classroom. It will be necessary to make it live thanks to the continuous presence of volunteers. Thus, our next mission is to regularly send teachers on site. When will we know if our project is really working? Well, when the school won’t need us anymore, and when former students will become teachers, then, at that moment only, we will be able to say that it’s a complete success !
All of this would be nothing without you. Thus, we would like to thank each of the donors who allowed us to collect: 11,709 euros.
Claire Sionneau, Alice Sionneau, Marion Barré, Jeremy Lezot, Xavier Aubry-Boissel, Karen Grosbois, Gontran Le Roux, Marlène Beaurin, Marion Toulat, Julien Léaustic, Claudine Ravalet, Christophe Sionneau, Henri Lépine, Françoise Veauvy, Pascale Baladou, Corinne lechevestrier, Bernard Thouny, Baptiste Brethenoux, Rémi Dufait, Julien Chan, Michel Bernard, Laura Bousquet, Martin Durand, Ronan Boivent, Bastien Gaboulaud, Hilaire Sionneau, Laurent Jakobowicz, Christine Valdenaire, Robert Beilleau, Gérard Verdenet, Eric Valy, Tani Ly, Fabien Bouchard, Nathaly Dubois, Antoine Hembert, Antoine Lobry, Jordy Jouan, Aurélien Bataille, Bernard Beaussant, Sylvie Bourgalle, Alain Lezot, Off Road Laos Adventures, Julie Sau, Maxime Leporcq, Jérôme (Batisafe), Ecole de CADEN (Bretagne), Nathan, Céline Guiraud, Camille Kordek, Audrey Mailhe, Louis Papot, Raphael Azzoug, Camille Papot, Dominique Iche, Jules Papot, Lola Blayac, Léa Boutant, Mylène Andre, Audrey Clergue, Nadège Petronio, Stéphane Reggiani, Marine Pascal, David Sayarath, Fabien Bacou, Mireille Fabre, Magali Aussenac, Annie Bacou, Alexandra Gaillac, Victor Dumeige, Virginie Cadorin, Vincent Brizon, Monique Phanvilay, Olivier Longour, Christian Barré, Noëlle Marie-Antoine, Mohammed Mikdad, Sonia Bouaicha, Esla Vigouroux Gaillard, Claudine Ravalet, Julien Bisson, Malivone Phaysouphanh, Geneviève Dollander, Help'n Solidarity, Donateurs anonymes