UNICEF Supports the Government “Back to School” Efforts with the Distribution of Education Emergency Supplies

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 1 October 2018

01 October 2018
A young girl reads with other flood-affected children in a UNICEF-supported Child Friendly Space
UNICEF Laos/2018/Simon
A young girl reads with other flood-affected children in a UNICEF-supported Child Friendly Space in Ban Bok camp, Attapeu, Lao PDR.

Vientiane, Lao PDR, 1 October 2018 – UNICEF, with support from the Australian Government, has provided 25 large size tents, 5 medium size tents and 1,500 school bags to the Ministry of Education and Sports of Lao PDR in an effort to contribute to the ongoing emergency response and recovery efforts in Sanamxay district – Attapeu Province.

“For the Government of Lao PDR ensuring that every child goes back to school is a top priority. It is critical that all children, including those affected by the disaster as well as children in host communities are fully registered and continuously attend classes throughout the school year. We highly appreciate this contribution from UNICEF and the Australian Government that will help vulnerable children in Attapeu to continue learning,” said Mme. Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun, Ministry of Education and Sports.  

The large size tents will be used to establish temporary learning spaces in Sanamxay district which will help restore formal schooling, accommodating displaced children. Thanks to them a minimum of 900 pre-primary and primary students will be able to learn in a safe environment.

The medium size tents will help expand access to Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) for children under 5. Each tent can provide services for about 150 children per day. In emergency situations, CFS’s play a very important role in giving a child a sense of normalcy amid chaos as they offer a safe space to run, sing, play and learn together. Child Friendly Spaces are also instrumental in ensuring young children’s smooth transition to primary school.

In addition, 1,500 affected pre-primary and primary-aged children will benefit from having a school bag, assisting them to go back to school and enjoy continuous learning.

“Quality education for all is imperative to help children reach their full potential. When an emergency strikes, ensuring access to education for every child, either formally or informally, is even more important. Enabling children to go back to school as part of their daily routine is an effective way to help them overcome the stress and trauma caused by the disaster. Going back to school is a life-saving intervention and, thus, no children should be left behind,” stated Dr. Octavian Bivol, UNICEF Representative, Lao PDR.

In addition, with the support from the Australian Government, UNICEF has also collected data to better understand the situation of vulnerable children in the camps, set up other Child Friendly Spaces and provided training for teachers on psychosocial support and child protection.

“We are working hand-in-hand with national and local authorities as well as with development partners, including UNICEF, to ensure the needs of those affected by the disaster are met. It is our hope that these education emergency items will help children to continue learning and building a better future for them and their families,” said Mr. Jean-Bernard Carrasco, Australian Ambassador to Lao PDR 

UNICEF, along with the Australian Government, remains committed to providing continuous support to the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Government of Lao PDR for the emergency response throughout the immediate response, early recovery and long-term rehabilitation periods. 

Media Contacts

Maria Fernandez

Chief of Advocacy, Communication and Partnership

UNICEF Lao PDR

Tel: +856 21 487500 ext. 7508

Tel: +856 20 55519681

Tabongphet Phouthavong

Communication Specialist

UNICEF Lao PDR

Tel: +856 21 315200 Ext. 123

Tel: +856 20 96888890

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