Having dreamt of a new school for quite some time, the community in Phoa village, Salavan province, Laos, was eager to partner with Room to Read so that their dream would become a reality. When Room to Read visited the community, the villagers articulated some of the potential problems of building a new school, but committed to doing everything they could to help with the construction of a new, high quality school.
Unfortunately, a major roadblock stood in the way. It was determined that the only site appropriate for the new school was occupied by the old school. Since the community wanted the children to continue to attend school while the new school was being built, the old school had to be moved to a new site (and would eventually be torn down). The Room to Read staff asked an elder man in the village how they might move the school but keep it intact. The older man replied, "It's not difficult to do, but more than 100 people are needed and it will take about two to three hours."
On the day when the old school had to be moved, more than 100 villagers gathered at the site. Together they lifted the three old school buildings to clear space for the new school to be built. This is an amazing example of the spirit, passion, and commitment of the local people with whom we work and their desire to provide a better education for their children.
This year, the efforts of the village paid off, as their new school was completed in January. As you can see in the photo below, the students are quite excited about the new school.