Project Laos 2009
When: Aug. 21st – Sept. 3rd
Location: Xieng Khoung, Laos

Executive Summary

Our stake is “Ton Ka – Growing the Future.” “Ton ka” is Laotian for “a young sapling,” but “ton” means “root,” while “ka” means “courage.” We want to plant the courage for entrepreneurship in the hearts of the students in Manophet’s English school, where it will take root and grow into a full-fledged microfinance project. Like a mature tree that provides shade for people, the students’ microfinance project will benefit their community, as well as supplement the money needed to run the English school. We also want to improve the way English is being taught at the school so that each student has a better command of English, which will help them achieve their higher education goals.


  • In Laos, education is not getting the attention it deserves. Not many students have access to education, especially in a rural province such as Xieng Khoung.
  • In the area, English has founded its stance as a gateway to better opportunities for the students.
  • However, the subject is not well-taught in school and most students with financial circumstances cannot afford expensive tutorial schools’ lessons.
  • There is a free English schoolhouse run by a teacher named Manophet, but the schoolhouse is running short of funds and materials. There are not enough spaces for students and those who get a chance to sit in the lesson have to share books and pencils.


  • To strengthen the English learning program and introduce tutoring system that would be run by students from Manophet’s advanced-level English class.
  • To introduce social entrepreneurship through experimental learning so they will be equip to find sustainable means of generating income for the school’s necessities. (i.e. books, pencils etc.)
  • Establish a self sustaining income generating project for the school.

Local Partners

  • Mr. Manophet— Mr. Manophet is a self-taught English teacher/tour guide who see the importance of education, especially English for young people. Hestablished an English school for students in Xieng Khouang and offers free English teaching for them. His school has 125 students from 12 to 18 years old.
  • PADETC (Participatory Development Training Centre)— PADETC is the biggest local non-profit organization in Laos that is also run by the Lao people. They address many issues such as health care, education, marginalized people, social enterprises, sustainable technology, microfinance, environment.


  • Work with PADETC to teach students from Manophet’s schoolhouse about social entrepreneurship through experimental learning. Instill entrepreneurial spirits in the students and help guide them to create their own project, which will serve as a source of income to the school.
  • Introduce an English learning program that the students can use to study independently to improve the students’ English and to teach them the skills and discipline necessary for self-study, which will be crucial for their higher education.
  • Introduce a tutoring system run by students from Manophet’s advanced-level English class. The tutoring will introduce students with high potential to services and decrease the burden of an already overcrowded classroom.
  • Set up leadership training sessions for the students of ages 12-16 from Manophet’s school. These sessions are aimed to advise them on the leadership skills necessary for their project and for their life-long personal development.

Team Member Responsibilities

  • Prepare for and Facilitate leadership workshops.
  • Provide support and assist students in their income generating project.
  • Inspire and motivate students to give back to their community by providing their knowledge of the English language.
  • Strengthening the students English language through conversations.

Skills needed

  • Background in English teaching is a plus
  • Willingness to learn and develop
  • Openness to new ideas and experiences

Project Leaders

  • Pao Siangliulue: pao ‘at’
  • Khammany Saengdara: ksaengdara ‘at’