Target Donation ＄6,000
Until closure of this cloud funding
We have started Crowdfunding😃
Multi-Cultural Harmony in Laos
Laos is a landlocked country surrounded by China, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thai, and Vietnam. Laos has a population of only seven million, though made up of over 50 ethnic minority groups. The country’s rich nature and peaceful atmosphere was introduced in the New York Times as “The most popular destination” once. It can be said that Laos is an ideal country of people living in peace and harmony with diverse ethnic groups and foreigners live among each other surrounded by beautiful nature. We would like to praise Lao PDF as “the best idealization of multi-cultural harmony in the world”.
Stop by and listen to things occurring in current Laos
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, over 500,000 people remain unemployed and many of the young generations are suffering from poverty to this day. According to UNICEF, 385,000 people lost their jobs in the tourism industry, reaching 18 % of the productive population. The situation forced Laotian people to sell off real estate, resulting in numerous losses of assets. The rapid increase of unemployment rate is destroying households and causing many youths to give up schooling and find jobs to support their families. It is especially concerning in the case of Laos, because more than 50 % of the national population are under the age of 25 which is a crucial period in terms of self-discovery and self-growth. Unfortunately, domestic violence and isolation pushes young people towards drug abuse and exposure to human trafficking. It is a crisis influencing the future of Laos.
・ UNICEF, Centre for Development Policy Research Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) Vientiane, Lao PDR, 2021
・Laos Unemployment Rate, Trading Economics, 2020
It has been proven that girls are 25% more at risk risk than boys. If, however, children are not able to be taken care of, Buddhist temples may supply them with food and clothing. Though, this social security system is not available to all children. Young girls who are unable to become nuns, and young adults must survive on their own. Single-parent children and those who are brought up by their relatives (skip generations) are especially at high risk of poverty.
・ UN Lao PDR Socio-Econom ic Response Framework to COVID-19, the UN Country Team in Lao PDR, 2020
Among these ethnic minorities, many of them do not posiste letters. It is truly unfortunate that it is these children that are often forced to give up their education and go into labor to help support their familes. The jobs they obtain are usually harsh physical labor or illegal child labor. Once involved in these illegal labors such as human or drug trafficking, they are exposed to dangerous relationships with endless risks. These adolescents are also mentally damaged as they become afraid of society and shameful of their forced actions. The traumatizing experience haunts them for the rest of their lives, contributing again to a vicious cycle of crime and poverty.
According to the French NGO, Sengsavang, about 450,000 people are trafficked each year among the countries of the Mekong region, and more than 90% of them are said to be from the Laotian youth. In recent years, trafficking has been occurring to secure the dangerous labor force for railway construction and land development in China. Besides the fact that many girls and children are being sexually abused, forced marriages are also being carried out at the casino center built in Bokeo province. The Corona pandemic has led the young people of Laos into not only poverty, but also into deep mental and physical pain.
・Impact of Covid-19, Household financial Security, UNFPA, UNICEF, 2021
・French NGO、Sengsavang, homepage(https://sengsavang.org/en/human-trafficking-in-laos/)
・”COVID-19 Drives New Surge in Trafficking of Women From Laos to China”, Radio Free Asia, 2021.07.03
・”2021 Trafficking in Persons Report: Laos”、U.S. department of state
FaY Project Creation by Laotian Youth
Wisa has been supporting hikikomori youth, who have withdrawn from society. Since 2009, Wisa has been providing various opportunities, such as website design and video creation for these people to develop their computer programming skills and entrepreneurship. The 10,000 dollars profit made from these projects was donated to a “Co-working space” where young Laotians can freely use computer technology. The creation of the Laos Folklore Publication & Job Creation for Youth (Folklore & Youth (FaY)) project was started here, where a small group of young people gathered to make a change.
When the project was started, members first attempted to teach English and computer skills to people who were involved in dangerous work. However, after two or three months into the project, they gradually stopped coming to learn. Despite the efforts of the members, they would say “I don’t like studying” and look the other way. After this unsuccessful start, the members decided to take surveys and talk to the children in order to find a better way to launch this project. Through these interviews, four points became clear.
1. Most of the poor young people who come to the capital city from the countryside are there to earn money for their families.
2. The children are pressured to quit school in order to support their family.
3. The toxic situation mentally detaches the idea of school education from children.
4. Simply funding and building schools will not improve the current situation, and that money, jobs, and education must be provided concurrently.
The members of FaY further discussed these issues while seeking solutions. Then one day, the members came across children talking about their folklore. They were telling the story about Pi which is described as a ghost or spirit in English. These children were not in school, though the members noticed that they knew many folklore tales. When they talked about these stories, it was hard to imagine that they were the same children, for in their eyes there was confidence and excitement like never before. The children even started to draw pictures and illustrations to explain the stories to the members, and it was clear that they were very happy to finally have their voices heard.
This striking experience led the team to reassess their concept of helping. Instead of us providing them with something new (English education/ computer skills), the idea shifted to having the Laotain people teach us.
Folklore is passed down from generation to generation and has played an important role in building and protecting the history and culture of Laos.
The FaY team realized that the stories orally taught to ethnic minorities have passed on their culture and history by mouth over generation to generation, and contributed to the construction of an identity in Laos culture. Each story tells “humanity to live in harmony with nature, different animals, and different cultures”. These folklore are in danger of extinction, since the ethnicities have no written language.
The project Concept Movie
Education × Job Creation × Cultural Conservation
In this project, during the process of digital publication on the folklore, the ethnic minorities will receive vocational training on Lao language, computing in text making, also English in translation as a form of work. The donations we collect will be used for an initial salary. The profit came from selling digital publications, will be utilized for the sustainable financing of the project.
Visualization of the project scheme
My name is Nah, 16 years old.
I was working in a restaurant before the lockdown due to COVID-19, receiving 600,000 kips (about 60 USD) per month. But, the restaurant was closed after lock down.
I drafted and illustrated the story I heard it from my grandfather. I learned English and wrote the text on a computer. I hope many people read it.
How to Support the FaY project
We, Japanese NGO Wisa tied with Research Center Lao Culture & Folklore in Luang Prabang province, are now recruiting donations from people who understand the impact of this FaY project. You can donate money from this web-page below via credit card, VISA, Master card and JCB. This crowd funding has very a unique feature in that the donators will participate in this project through directly joining dialogue and exchanging with the project members and the children who receive your donation.
Wisa original Digital Participatory Grant System (DPG)
In order to secure the transparency of the use of donations to the children, the donator will participate in a report conference and reading workshop, receiving video letters and live chat from the children who participate in this project. We will promise that your donation will ONLY be used in the three expenses below.
Salary for the children and youth
The donation covers salary for the children and youth who contribute to the publication process as job-creation.
*The cost does not include expenses of office management, and salary for staff in the office. These expenses are covered by Wisa donations.
Salary for Youth Trainers
Senior youthes who are over 20 years old, will work for teachers of the Lao language, English and ICT skills. We expect 100 USD per month for one teacher. We need at least two teachers for the project.
Expenses for PC devices
The project requires Microsoft Word for typing, and the PC needs enough specifications for illustration software for publication work. The project needs PCs for the youth learners and workers.
Returns for Donators in DPG system
If you donate 10 USD
・Your name will be noted in the donators list of the story publication. (Only for those who wish)
・You will receive a direct digital video letter (around 15 seconds to 60 seconds) from the Laotian youth who received your donation.
If you donate 30 USD
・You will receive the completed folklore story in PDF which was made by your donation
・The story will have an explanation and commentary.
If you donate 50 USD
・Invitation to the “Online Project Report Workshop” where you can know the project results and future, in addition to the current status of Lao youth and their culture. In the workshop, the children and youth from the FaY project will join in and work for the reporting. The workshop is planned to be held with limited membership by online ZOOM.
・Invitation to the online workshop of translation from English to Japanese [in Japanese], also “online reading folklore workshop” [in English] via ZOOM.
If you donate 70 USD
*The photo book will be completed in April 2022 according to the project schedule.
If you donate 100 USD
・You will receive the compilation of 6 folklores with commentaries in a PDF digital format.
・Invitation to the “online thanks live memorial event”, which will show appreciation to donators and exchange comments among donators and the youth involved in publication.
If you donate 180 USD/ 360 USD
Establish your named special scholarship for youth schooling
The special scholarship which can have your original namedscholarship (For instance, XYZ wakamono international scholarship) is to be established for project member, who are having financial problems, by providing 30 USD per month. The scholarship will be utilized to pay a tuition for public and private schooling and rent fee for a room where a student needs to pay for schooling in the city.
The student is assigned to submit an essay for her or his motivation for studying, and also make an online report during the period of schooling, as well as also submit receipts which clarifies the fees for schooling which your donation covers.
Notices for Donators
・This crowd funding project is managed in responsibility of Wisa (Japanese NGO, Wakamono International Support Association, located in Osaka City, Japan), will promise to use your donation accordingly to support the FaY project. However, regarding the returns which are noted above, would be partially or wholly changed or modified according to the social and personal situation of youth in projects. For example, when your donation is supposed to support a youth, and that youth may drop out of the project in the middle due to unexpected changes in his or her condition. Then, Wisa will coordinate for your donation to assist part of another youth, with an explanation. In another example case, one youth who received your donation and is supposed to attend the online report workshop, but he or she can not make it because of an urgent accident, may change the planned agenda of the online report workshop. Then, Wisa may coordinate a special thanks video letter as much as the youth can to send to the donator as his or her report. Please understand if these flexible coordination would be required in return for your donation. This is a donation, you are not purchasing a particular service in return. These returning actions are designed for securing transparency in the use of your donation.
・If a serious accident which may make the project wholly itself impossible to execute and to implement, Wisa promises to refund your donation to you. In this case, please understand we will refund the donation excluding costs of transmission which occurs during donations and refunds.