Switzerland Launches Fund for Cultural Expressions in Laos | Lao Tribune

Switzerland Launches Fund for Cultural Expressions in Laos

The Lao Culture Challenge Fund (LCCF) cycle 3 was opened to the public in partnership between the government of Switzerland and Sisanchai Sole Co. Ltd.

The LCCF will provide funding opportunities and training for organizations, businesses or civil society to promote cultural expressions in the Lao PDR under the theme “Lao, for Lao”. Application deadline is April 17, 2017.

Civil society and organizations interested can contact: 030 9414248, 020 22228800. Email: lccf.laos@gmail.com.

“Switzerland has a policy that 1% of its overall budget must be spent on the promotion of culture. This policy applies to the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s (SDC) programme budget in Laos, currently US$18 million per annual for 2017-2021,” said Mr Touravanh Hook, Communication and Culture Officer of SDC.

“The Lao Culture Challenge Fund is a re-occurring fund open to organizations, businesses or groups related to the creation, production and dissemination of cultural goods that enable large populations to take part in cultural life in Laos,” said Mr Touravanh.

The LCCF will support civil organizations promoting cultural activities through two main approaches, financial grants, and training. This fund encourages cultural expression and strengthens cultural identity at local and national levels and it enables citizens to increase their roles in society. Support for culture also develops social cohesion within civil society and it contributes to the richness and diversity of an already vibrant local life in Laos.

“Application writing workshops will be provided in the provinces throughout the Lao PDR for interested organizations that seek advice and guidance on the application writing requirements. Sisanchai will facilitate these events from March through April 2017,” said Ms Chanmaly Panyaphone, Director of the Sisanchai Sole Co. Ltd.

Through two cycles of the LCCF, Switzerland could support 20 different organizations to develop their culture activities and strengthen their institutional capacities.

The third cycle of the LCC is planned for 18 months (2017-2018) with a total budget of US$250,000 available and accessible to all provinces throughout the country.

Sisanchai Sole Co. Ltd. takes on the role of an information/communication hub, guides the application and proposal process, training organizers and monitoring activities, and funding implementers of small project proposals.

The Lao Culture Challenge Fund cycle 1 funded 10 organizations including: Action for Lao Children, Click, the Creative Writer’s Group, Dokked, Fang Lao, the Khao Niew Theater Group, Lao Art Media, Lao Bang Fai, the Lao Handicraft Association, and Pha Tad Ke Botanical Gardens.

While, the LCCF cycle 2 funded eight organizations namely: Action for Lao Children, the Fang Lao Khao Niew Theater Group, Lao Bang Fai, Maison de la, My Library, Pha Tad Ke Botanical Gardens and the Promotion and Preservation of Art and Literature.

Switzerland’s development cooperation focus countries in the Mekong Region are Cambodia and Laos. Active in the Lao PDR since 2006, the Swiss Cooperation Office manages marginalized rural poor and contributes to the country’s efforts to graduate from the group of Least Developed Countries.

Source: Lao News Agency