France Supports Lao Civil Society Organisations

The French Embassy has supported seven Lao civil society organisations (CSOS) focusing on empowering youth, women and marginalized people.

French Ambassador to Lao PDR Florence Jeanblanc-Risler signed on Apr 9 at the French Residence in Vientiane seven financing agreements with Lao CSOS as part of French small grant programme called PISCCA : Innovative Projects from Civil Societies and Coalitions of Actors.

These seven projects supported by PISCCA fund represent a global envelope of approximately EUR 237,000 (LAK 2.6 billion).

They will be implemented in Huaphan, Phongsaly, Savannakhet, Vientiane and Xieng Khuang provinces from April 2021 to February 2022.

“It is the second phase of a two-year programme. In 2020, PISCCA awarded grants to 5 projects being now implemented. With these 7 new projects, the 12 projects supported by PISCCA account for more than EUR 400,000 (LAK 4.5 billion). All these projects contribute to the development objectives of the Lao PDR, in particular improving living conditions of vulnerable populations,” said the French Ambassador to the Lao PDR in her opening remarks.

Mr Nathan Inthasone, Director of B4Lao Training Centre, came from Savannakhet to join the event. The PISCCA grant of EUR 39,555 (LAK 450 million) will support the project entitled “A chance for all”, which aims to provide vocational training as well as meals and accommodation in B4Lao Training Centre in Savannakhet, for 40 young people (at least 50% girls) from rural minority areas.

Mrs Mayoua Phengkhamhuak, president of The Bamboo and Non-timber forest product

(NTFP) Development Association (BNDA) along with her colleague Mr. Thanva

Keuthayongleu, project coordinator, came all the way from Huaphan. For the second year BDNA will benefit from a EUR 34,984 (LAK 343 million) PISCCA grant for training women and youth to improve their participation in the management of bamboo and NTFP resources.

Strengthening the role of women to improve the nutrition of newborns and the family is at the heart of Community Development Association (CODA)’s work. CODA, represented by its director Mr. Phou Khouphia, who also came from Savannakhet, will receive a grant of EUR 30,176 (LAK 343 million) from PISCCA to support family nutrition development in minority communities in Xonbouly district, Savannakhet Province.

Like BNDA, Namjai community association (NCA), represented by its president

Mr Soukaseum Bodhisane, is receiving a PISCCA grant for the second year for a very original project entitled CHILDREN’S WORDS, Reading, writing and acting with SUJIPULI. This project, led by Mr. Olivier Philaphandeth and funded by PISCCA with EUR 22,097 (LAK 251 million), aims to give Lao children the means to become literate and familiar with Lao culture through creativity and relevant non-formal education, to strengthen their ability to express themselves through reading, writing and theatre.

Working to increase Lao youth employability, Participatory Development Knowledge Agency (PAKA), represented by its founder Mr. Khamphoui Saythalat will also benefit from a PISCCA’s EUR 34,984 (LAK 397 million) grant. The objective of PAKA’s project is to validate a training curriculum by integrating the results of a participatory survey to enable young people to formulate their needs.

Inclusion of people with disabilities and marginalized people is the main objective of Quality of Life Association (QLA). Mr Thoummy Siliamphan, QLA’s director came from Xieng Khuang to sign the PISCCA EUR 38,263 (LAK 435 million) grant agreement.

QLA project aims to integrate disabled and marginalized people into weaving activities, financial literacy and technical training to improve products suitable for domestic markets.

The Comité de Coopération avec le Laos (CCL), represented by Mrs Manivone Vorachack director of CL and Support Local Knowledge Association (SLKA), a non-profit association in the process of being created, will receive a PISCCA grant of EUR 36,892 (LAK 419 million) for the project Women Empowerment in Bounneua (WEB). This project aims to support the initiatives of women’s organizations in Bounneua district (Phongsaly Province) to improve their conditions and livelihoods by strengthening their organizational capacities and living accompanying them in the identification and development of sustainable income generating activities in response to the growth of Boun Neua, the new capital of Phongsaly Province.

The funding of small-scale projects managed by local CSOS and contributing to the Lao PDR’s development objectives is at the heart of the PISCCA programme of the French Embassy.

Source: Lao News Agency