In many places around the world, young people struggle to find their place in society. Nowhere is this more apparent than in low-income communities, where opportunities for higher education are rare and stable employment is tough to find—and to keep.
One of the ways ChildFund works to improve the lives of youth living in low-income countries is through the establishment of extra-curricular groups—like youth clubs—where young people can get together to socialise, learn from one another and gain a strong sense of community. Another benefit of these clubs is the ability for ChildFund, and our local partners, to offer training so young people can gain skills in basic income-generating activities and trades. And, these trainings are making a big difference.
Here are four stories from young people who have recently completed skills-training through ChildFund's work in Laos.
Soua, 19, was formerly a participant in ChildFund Laos’ children’s clubs, where he enjoyed playing football with his friends. As part of the club, he also took part in English lessons and computers classes, which helped provide a platform for his future. Now that he’s a young adult, he has decided to give back to the community by volunteering as a youth ambassador, sharing the learnings he’s made with other young people. Way to go, Soua!
Nouchee, 18, learned to make hats and scarves as part of a ChildFund programme for youth in Laos. Now, she creates hats and beanies and sells them at the local market and uses her money on educational materials. She has particularly enjoyed the English lessons she’s taken part in. It is providing students like her the foundation needed to succeed in higher education and, in the future, will help to acquire a good job.
Chong Khang, 20, is really into shooting and editing video thanks to taking part in a series of computers lessons at the local ChildFund youth club. “I love taking videos on my mobile phone — funny videos that I can share with my friends and family. Watching them laugh makes me feel proud.” He also advocates for positive change in his village. “The nearest secondary school is 3 or 4 kilometres away, so it’s dangerous for young students to walk each way. It would be nice to have a school bus or other mode of transport in my community.
Yengkeu, 22, was unsure what he wanted to do for a career. However, after joining ChildFund’s youth club, he decided to choose a course in basket weaving. “I chose the 5-day class because there is a lot of bamboo in my village. I first made basic patterns and then now I am doing more advanced patterns.” He is now able to sell his baskets and make money to purchase items for him and his family.
You can help children and youth thrive:
By becoming a child sponsor, you’ll be able to help a child, their family and their community see beyond poverty and dream of a life filled with possibilities. Choose a child to sponsor today: www.childfund.org.nz/sponsor-a-child
Join our Child Essentials monthly-giving programme and help children and youth receive life-changing programmes in education, health, water and child protection. Learn more: www.childfund.org.nz/child-essentials
Choose an item from our gift catalogue and provide a child or youth with much-needed support in the areas of education, health, water, or livelihoods. Take a look at the catalogue today: www.childfund.org.nz/gifts-that-grow
If you'd like to visit our communities, take a look at this opportunity to win a trip to meet your sponsored child!