Laos, the most heavily bombed country in history, with tons of unexploded ordnance (UXOs) scattered across the country – that has resulted in widespread poverty across most provinces. One Singapore not-for-profit agency is bringing help to strengthen social safety nets for rural communities, by building the capacity of civil servants and community leaders in the country.
Vientiane, Laos – In a landlocked country of 7 million people, a large percentage of the rural population continue to struggle against extreme poverty, and are plagued by a lack of education and livelihoods options.
RADION International, a Christian relief & development organisation is writing a new chapter of hope by partnering the Ministry of Labour & Social Development in Laos, to strengthen social safety nets for children, support education, and empower local community leaders to serve as first responders in crisis situations.
“The Child Protection & Development Programme (CPDP) is the first of its kind – bringing together subject matter experts from 3 ASEAN Countries – Singapore, Thailand and Laos to support development for children and vulnerable communities in Laos.”Mr Eugene Wee, Founder & Executive Director of RADION International.
Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Mrs Baykham Khattiya and His Excellency, Mr Dominic Goh, Singapore’s Ambassador to the Lao PDR witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry Of Labour & Social Welfare (MLSW) and RADION International in March 2019.
Since then, the CPDP has provided weekend education, meals, and equipped community caregivers across 4 needy areas in Laos. This programme supports more than 100 children every weekend, and there are high hopes that it would replicate itself across more communities in the years ahead.
Beyond providing direct assistance to children in need, RADION is actively building partnerships through capacity-training of government officials and community leaders, creating dialogue platforms in order to facilitate collaborations and outreach to the families of the children receiving help.
RADION International kicked off its first training session on 23 July 2019 with 16 government officials, community leaders and stakeholders at the Lao-Singapore Cooperation Centre (LSCC). Gracing the inaugural training event was His Excellency Mr Dominic Goh, Singapore’s Ambassador to Lao PDR.
“We are very moved by the actions of RADION and Mr Ng Choon Jin, our Singaporean trainer who travelled all the way to impart not just key concepts in communication, but also skills that will make us better leaders in the communities we serve.”Ms Yong Yang, participant.
About RADION International
RADION International is an award-winning relief & development agency that is dedicated to serving critically needy communities and helping them break out of poverty. The key programmes are child rescue and recovery, community development and humanitarian relief. Since 2007, RADION International has responded to different humanitarian crisis in Asia and has permanent projects in Singapore, Thailand and Laos.
About Lao-Singapore Cooperation Centre
Under the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) launched by then Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in 2001, Singapore established the Lao-Singapore Training Centre (LSTC) in Vientiane to increase training opportunities for Lao officials to create sustainable economic growth and alleviate poverty. In January 2019, Singapore has upgraded the LSTC to Laos-Singapore Cooperation Centre to promote partnership and bring added expertise to development challenges.
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