On a recent trip to Laos, our Regional Director for Asia, Jon Beaulieu, signed a five-year agreement with the government of Laos to extend our programs there. He shares his thoughts on the experience, as well as our work in the country so far in a guest post from the field.
Last February, I went to Laos to meet with our team on the ground there to discuss Room to Read’s Global Strategy and how it can be localized to further our partnership with the government. The goal was to find ways to make a bigger impact in the country, and the government, which is currently encouraging growth through private sector investment, was enthusiastic from the start.
What began as months of strategic planning between our local team and the Ministriy of Education, became an official Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed into effect on July 28, outlining the next five years of our partnership.
It was an incredible experience working closely with the various government entities and teams on the ground to come to a consensus about our goals for the next five years, with the best interest of the children of Laos at the forefront of our discussions.
The new MoU outlines our programs and targets over the next five years, including establishing 500 libraries, building 150 schools, publishing 75 new Lao-language children’s books, and supporting the holistic education of an additional 1,500 girls.
In addition to those very specific targets, Room to read will focus on maximizing the sustainability of our investments in Laos. By partnering with communities and the government, we seek to ensure continued quality and long-term success for our programs in the country, including the 851 libraries and 172 schools we established in Room to Read Laos’ first five years of operation.
Read more about our programs in Laos.