Laos is a Southeast Asian country of 7 million people, 60% of whom are under 25 years old. It is classified by the United Nations on the list of least socio-economically advanced countries. Laos is rich in cultural diversity of around fifty ethnic groups. The literacy rate remains low among the younger generation, as does academic performance, leaving students without the knowledge and skills essential to build their future plans.
The SALA SUJIPULI center project was born from the observation of a lack of places of education and learning for strengthening the potentials of the young generation, and of the urbanization of cities, with the consequence of distancing between generations and the perdition of cultural transmissions.
The project is developed in partnership with the local non-profit Namjai Community Association in Vientiane.
Our vision is to promote Lao functional literacy, by ways of oral traditions and also to promote widely Lao culture among the urban society and specially among the children.
We believe that literary is an indispensable foundation for lifelong learning, essential for people being able to live healthy and happy life. We believe that literacy comprises of diverse practices in and outside of schools.
We recognize literacy as part of the continuum of learning enabling an individual to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potentials in order to participate in the communities and in the wider society.
In Laos, the percentage of the functional literary (which means the ability to read a newspaper and write a document) is very low among adult and not to mention among children. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), only 82 percent of enrolled children complete their primary education. The students’ learning outcomes are also very low, leaving children without essential knowledge and skills.
We believe that education is a leverage for change.
Adding the fact that the city of Vientiane has been largely urbanized and the expanded family settings where elderly people were taking care of children tends to disappear, brings the challenge of the transmission of tradition and culture from one generation to the next generation.
We aspire for a society where children and young people are brought up for success enriched of their culture, where children have sufficient ability and enough information to make an informed decision for their own future and where they could work in appropriate jobs according to their qualifications, hopes and aspirations.
Our mission is to promote Lao literacy and culture among children to achieve a culture of peace. SALA SUJIPULI will be a space for the local community, free of charge that will act as an incubator for interactions and developments aiming to:
• create awareness and understanding of the importance of the Lao culture and traditions
• promote culture of reading and storytelling and more extensively arts as a means for universal communication
• create a space for dialogue, which seeks to increase communication among all segments of society
• empower and promote young writers, artists and talents by building their capacities and offering them a venue to produce themselves and interact with the public
• familiarize the public with new technologies by providing training and access to Internet, social media and basic and open source software
Namjai Community Association
Namjai Community Association’s aim is to develop optimal education for children, promote gender equity, and ensure protection from violence against children and women. Namjai works in Lao PDR, continuing to carry out projects established under the respected Norwegian Church Aid organization. The establishment of the organization, as a Non-Profit Association, was approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Lao PDR on 4 April 2019.