“My name is Khaen. I am 64 years old and belong to the Khmu ethnic group. I’ve been living in Pakchanh village for quite a long time – I can’t even remember how many years I’ve been living here! I have six children. The youngest one is in lower secondary school. All my children have attended Pakchanh primary school. My husband and I farm rice, corn/maize and Job’s tears [a tropical grain plant] to make a living, but it’s not a stable source of income. Our income from farming goes up and down over the years depending upon the weather, the presence of insects, demand for our products, and market prices.
We both work hard on the farm while our children are at school. They help us after school hours and during school breaks. Our family expenses are high because there’ are eight of us and we have to make sure each of our six children can go to school. I did not have the opportunity to go to school because my parents didn’t let me. Our family was poor, and we had to work in the field to make a living. I felt bad about my own situation, so I put all my children in school to give them a better future.
I am glad to contribute to making the community where I live a better place for all. Today, I am – together with 10 other community members – digging a toilet pit and using soil to level what will be the ground floor of the kindergarten classroom that will be constructed. Other community members are constructing a school fence and working on a walkway around the school compound. The activities are led by the village authorities. I feel happy when I see that the children of our village will have a good school. I am grateful to the AEA team for supporting our school here in Pakchanh village.”
Khaem is involved in our project: “Inclusive and Child-Friendly Pre and Primary School Environments (ICPSE) for Ethnic and Marginalized Children in Lao PDR”. For more information, please visit the project profile on the website of AEAI Southeast Asia.
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