New school

This school in Dong Ma Kheng hosts seventy-four children from 6 different villages. As you can see on the picture, the school is definitely not an inspiring learning environment for the pupils. That’s why the school director and village head have contacted our local committee to request support.

Construction of a new school in Dong Ma Kheng
 
This school in Dong Ma Kheng hosts seventy-four children from 6 different villages. As you can see on the picture, the school is definitely not an inspiring learning environment for the pupils. That’s why the school director and village head have contacted our local committee to request support.
They were, of course, not the only school to have a request for support, but our committee and the local authorities in the Khong District have decided that the work needed for this school has priority.
All our schools are built according to the national directives, which for example determine the dimensions of the classrooms, define the specifications of the building materials and contain a detailed construction drawing.
 
We expect the locals to undertake some action themselves as well. They are for example supposed to provide the sand and gravel needed, which means they take sand and gravel from the river and bring it to the construction site. Usually they also get the permission from the district administration to fell trees and use them to make beams and boards.
By the way, everything is sawn by hand! Can you imagine sawing a tree lengthwise to make a few boards, all by hand?
Moreover the locals also help in the construction, wherever possible.
 
We are currently negociating with the school construction committee, which consists of the village head, the school director, one or more senior villagers, a member of the district department of education and a member of our local committee. They have requested an amount of about € 7000.- for the construction of three classrooms and three toilets.
They will examine how much they can contribute themselves. That amount will be compared to propositions of other village communities. If the own contribution is in proportion to the ‘wealth’ of the villages concerned, our local committee will advise the board in the Netherlands to support the construction works.
 
The board in the Netherlands will pay in four terms and will only pay in arrear, which is unique in Laos. The KDC assesses if the regulations and agreements have been observed during construction. If that is the case, the committee will notify the board in the Netherlands to pay the amount to the responsible contractor.
 
The local construction committee discusses the plans with all villagers and sets up a clear schedule based on mutual agreement. The schedule contains all responsibilities and assignments of the people concerned. The construction committee makes sure that the agreements are kept and regularly sends progress reports to the Netherlands.
 
As soon as the construction works have been finished, the building will officially be handed over to the village. The construction committee will be abolished and from then on the maintenance of the school is the school director’s responsibility, who is supervised by the village head. Our local committee stays in contact with the village community and follows the situation up.
That kind of control is just a formality though. As all inhabitants are closely involved during the construction of the school, there exists a lot of social control.
 
We give more than just a school. People experience that by working together they can reach a lot. They also learn new skills such as constructing, negociating, setting up and implementing plans. That improves their self-confidence and inspires them to take more initiatives themselves.

 

We will keep you informed about the progress!