SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Laos).

Xiengkhouang province is a province located in the north-east of Laos, 1,000m above sea level. It has a population of 260,000 inhabitants. There are five different ethnic groups living in the province, each with their own traditional houses, dresses, beliefs and rituals. The province still struggles with widespread poverty. Furthermore, during the Vietnam War, the province became one of the most bombed regions in the world. Many of those bombs did not detonate, meaning they still cause injuries and damage nowadays. Children are the most unprotected from the risks of poverty, and those unexploded ordnances.

Since 1998, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Xiengkhouang.

Of children suffer from stunting

Children are affected by poverty

The province of Xiengkhouang is one of the poorest provinces in Laos; with a 26% poverty rate. There has been a decrease in poverty in the last five years, however it still means one out of four people in the region is poor. Children are most affected by poverty. Indeed, they do not get the same education opportunities. To illustrate, only 67% of children aged 11 to 14 go to school in Xiengkhouang. They are also most affected by food scarcity, with 46% of children in the province suffering from stunting, which is a measurement of low height for age, caused by undernutrition.

Laotians killed and injured since the war

Risk of unexploded ordnances

Laos is the most bombed country in the world. Between 1964 and 1973, the United States launched more than 270 million cluster bombs on Laos, during the Vietnam War. Around 30% of these bombs did not detonate, and those unexploded ordnances (UXO) have killed and injured 50,000 Laotians since the war, 40% of them being children. UXOs are extremely dangerous, and they also harm the economic development of the country, making it impossible for farmers to use their lands. Children are more vulnerable to UXOs as they often don’t recognize the bombs and are injured as they play with them.

Your support makes a difference for children in Xiengkhouang

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children playing together in the garden (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Laos).

How your support helps in Xiengkhouang

Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.