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Programs and Events 2012

U.S. Embassy Supports UXO Survivor Association in Xieng Khouang

Mar. 15, 2012

Quality of Life Association (QLA) Director Mr. Thoummy shows the new QLA Center to Xieng Khouang Governor Professor Dr. Somkot Mangnomek, U.S. Public Affairs Officer Pam DeVolder, and other guests on opening day.

U.S. Public Affairs Officer Pam DeVolder joined the Governor of Xieng Khouang, Professor Dr. Somkot Mangnomek, the Director of the Xieng Khouang Provincial Health Department, Dr. Bouasone Sinouanthong, World Education Country Director Mark Gorman and German Consul Fred Blank to open the new Quality of Life Association (QLA) UXO Survivor Center in  Phonsavahn, Xieng Khouang Province on March 15, 2012.    

The U.S. Embassy, along with World Education, the McKnight Foundation, MAG, the Schmitz Foundation, the German Embassy and the German Development Services (DED), provided funding and expertise that supported the transformation of the Center to a Lao nonprofit association, or NPA – the very first NPA in the province. This is an important step that will enable UXO victims and people with disabilities to assume greater roles of leadership and to be more self-sufficient.  The Center is open to the public and provides educational materials to increase awareness of UXO and the challenges faced by people with disabilities.

In her remarks, Ms. DeVolder stressed the important role of organizations like the Quality of Life Association in strengthening civil society and helping the Lao PDR eradicate poverty and achieve its Millennium Development Goals. The Center includes a handicraft shop with items made by UXO survivors and their families, a reading/video room, and a massage service (offered by a UXO survivor).

Support for the Quality of Life Association is one of many U.S. Embassy programs to address the serious problem of unexploded ordnance in the Lao PDR. The United States Government is committed to the continuation of vital UXO clearance work and activities that will allow Lao children to attend school in a safe environment, return land to communities for agriculture and other economic development, and allow for construction of infrastructure such as better road access to healthcare facilities.