Press Release 2012
Young Alumni Promote Clean Schools
Volunteers of different ages, genders, and educational backgrounds came together to promote hygiene education and environmental awareness among schoolchildren during the “Cleaning Classroom Campaign, Part 2” event held in Vangvieng District, Vientiane Province on September 15, 2012.
The campaign was organized by a volunteer group known as the Seeds of Hope, which is comprised of enthusiastic young alumni of U.S. exchange programs. These young people, who have received scholarships from the U.S. Embassy such as the Global Undergraduate (UGRAD), Study in the U.S. Institute (SUSI), and Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (YLP), are committed to applying knowledge and experiences gained from time spent studying abroad to make a positive difference back home in the Lao community.
Since forming in 2011 the Seeds of Hope group has organized several successful community service activities, including an environmentalism awareness-raising project and the first Cleaning Classroom Campaign to promote personal hygiene and clean learning environment, said Ms. Manoly Sisavanh, the Team Leader of the campaign. The group’s first campaign was funded by a grant from the World Learning Alumni Initiative.
The Cleaning Classroom Campaign Part 2 is a continuation of the Part 1 Campaign, but with an added focus on nutrition and Phak Ee Houm – a local vegetable the widely known as the miraculous Moringa Oleifera tree.
The activities of the Cleaning Classroom Campaign Part 2 took place at Huay Sangao Primary School in Vangvieng District. More than 50 volunteers involved in the event, so they had to split up into two groups and took turns so everyone could join.
“Also, the activity would not have run as smoothly without the support from donors, of course. The public gave us a huge support; a company like Unilever supported us with goods relating to our campaign theme. Besides, we received an impressive amount of both financial and in-kind donation from students of Lao-American College, Vientiane people and local community in Vangvieng district,” said Ms. Manoly.
Another volunteer, Mr. Ananh Singsavang, said the group is focusing on nutrition education now because young people’s eating habits are changing.
“They have access to more organic food than we do” said Mr. Ananh, “but the picky eating and the junk food trend is spreading everywhere, even here there’s no exception”
The organizers all hoped that the campaign would encourage the community especially youths to participate actively in the society, especially in volunteer activities. The group is always open for new faces to join their cause in the future. Visit http://www.facebook.com/seedsofhopelaos for more information.