While education for children is CLI’s primary focus, because we believe that ultimately is the strongest foundation for ending poverty, CLI has developed two family income projects that have a more immediate impact on family circumstances; they are weaving and coffee growing.
Both projects have been successful in producing products that had a significant impact on family income/welfare. But both are currently suspended while we sort out how best to reorganize them to include many more families.
Combining information from both our visits to villages and talks with our staff from the relevant district we get a clear understanding of what goes on at the local level.
During one of our monitoring trips we noticed in some villages there were particularly skilled weavers, however they were borrowing money for materials from local money lenders at very high interest rates making it almost impossible to pay back.
CLI chose a village which we felt had the most potential for success with the view to using them as a model to offer training and to replicate in the other villages.
We have shown that the traditional weaving skills of women in remote villages, if organized to match Western tastes, can be successfully marketed abroad – and provide a very good income boost for the weavers’ families.
In addition, near one village it was found that thousands of coffee plants had been planted by the EU 6 years previously however they had since never returned and the ripened coffee was falling on the ground and wasting as the villagers didn’t know what to do with it.
CLI undertook a modest trial at a different location and successfully showed that coffee of good quality could be grown at such remote mountain villages at higher elevation than has been the norm in Laos, and sold for a significant price return for the villagers’ labor.
We hope to restart expanded versions of both the weaving and coffee projects in the near future.
Furthermore, CLI does a variety of short-term projects, when needs and resource opportunities present themselves, and we are always open to suggestions.
On a small scale, though important to the individuals concerned and where repurchase is not an option, we have supplied tools and equipment that have been damaged or lost through natural causes such as large scale flooding, and land slides, which of course place immediate and direct pressure on the households involved, who in some instances may have lost everything. To note we don’t hand out this aid due to common wear and tear.
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Thursday 8 May 2014
CLI has just completed another dormitory for girls from remote villages, so they can continue their education beyond village primary school. This dorm is at the Lower Secondary School at Keng Khene village. We hope to find funds to build two more dorms in the next 12 months. To find out more about our dormitories [...]
Thursday 1 May 2014
This month CLI is launching our third Lao Children’s Library Boat. Bigger and faster, it will carry more books and reach villages further upstream on the Mekong River. It will be big enough to also contain tables, and will include solar panels to allow children to read and learn into the evening. We are urgently [...]