Save the Children gives boost to ethnic adolescents

Vientiane (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Lao Women’s Union and Save the Children International in Laos, with support from Save the Children Hong Kong, yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support a programme for ethnic adolescents, especially girls.

The programme will be launched in Nambak district, Luang Prabang province, and aims to encourage adolescents to delay marriage, plan for healthy parenthood, participate in their communities, and pursue safe and dignified livelihoods.

The agreement was signed by Office Head of the Lao Women’s Union, Ms Soudala Chanthavithong, and Country Director of Save the Children International in Laos, Ms Deborah Leaver.  The project is expected to provide out-of-school girls and young mothers with relevant livelihood skills through community-based friendship circles.  The project will also support health service providers and civil society organisations to deliver quality health services and education, according to Save the Children. Speaking at the meeting, Ms Leaver said the programme consisted of three elements: more out-of-school girls and young women are supported to learn relevant skills, knowledge and behaviours through community-based friendship circles; more health service providers and civil society organisations are equipped to deliver quality health services and/or health education to adolescents; and an enabling environment for adolescents enhanced through policy, awareness-raising and increased government and civil society engagement with adolescents. 

“The project will be implemented in Nambak district until September 30, 2019, with a total budget of more than 1.7 billion kip (US$212,954). We hope this project will benefit about 45,000 people, out of this more than 7,000 in Luang Prabang province, where most of the activities related to the campaign are expected to be implemented, with the goal of reaching 432,000 adolescents across Laos,” she said.

The project targets include ethnic adolescents, in and out of school, especially girls aged 10-19 living in or migrating to urban areas from rural Laos; young ethnic mothers and their families; teachers, village chiefs, local opinion leaders and decision makers, as well as health service providers at district and provincial level, government partners, and international and civil society organisations.

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