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Small but Steady: Journey to Realise Noi’s Dream

By the road towards the country’s largest gold mine in Sepon, Savannakhet Province, lie peaceful villages where five girls began their journey to realize their dreams, coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoEs) and UNFPA, in partnership with Crowne Plaza Vientiane, Pakpasak Technical College and partners.

Today, the second batch of Five Nang Noi mentors officially completed a three-month training programme to acquire culinary skills, strengthen their financial literacy and life skills with Crowne Plaza Vientiane Hotel, Pakpasak Technical College, Banque Franco-Lao (BFL) Bank and the Vientiane Youth Centre.

Mr Sisana Boupha, Director-General of Non-Formal Education, Ministry of Education and Sports said, “As a part of the Nang Noi Girls Group Programme, this initiative helps minimise the knowledge gap in Comprehensive Sexuality Education and equality between urban and rural. The programme also efficiently improves the non-formal education in Laos and contributes to the 9th five-year Education and Sports Development Plan (2021-2025) so that everyone can improve their life skills and live their life with joy and stability.”

Keota, Thongmai, Khen, Honey, and Lampheng, five of the Nang Noi mentors, arrived in Vientiane in November 2022 to hone their skills and ignite their potential for entrepreneurship, which will contribute to Laos’ economic growth. This innovative endeavor comes from the “Noi ecosystem” which also promotes partnerships between the public and private sector to support Nang Noi Girls in their path towards empowerment.

Mariam A. Khan said, “These promising young girls represent the hopes and dreams of over 720,000 Lao adolescent girls. With this unique learning opportunity, the sky is the limit for them! UNFPA stands by every single one of them to realise their dreams. ”

Mr Nattawut Wetprasit, Director of Operations and HR, said, “Crowne Plaza Vientiane is very proud of all the five girls, and we are glad to be a part of the second batch of this meaningful programme. Crowne Plaza will continue our support on their income generation and help set up their businesses back in their hometown.”

Mr Saysamone Ngamsy, Director of Pakpasak Technical College, said, “Our college is pleased to contribute to the Nang Noi mentors programme as we are fully equipped with facilities and human resources to provide the necessary training. We are delighted to work with all partners and hope to continue this effort in empowering our young women from the rural area.”

Ms Honey Vixaykoumman, one of the mentors from Alai Yai village, shared her reflection on the three-month programme “I am just an ordinary girl from an outskirt part of the town where my house sits right next to the forest. Back in Sepon, I learned so much from my four years under the Nang Noi mentor programme. And now, with this opportunity in the big city, I am even more confident, I have many new skills, know how to plan my future and am more knowledgeable on my sexual and reproductive health.”

Source: Lao News Agency