Case Story – Pheune Pheng s’ Story
“My name is Pheune Pheng; I was born December 15, 1986, in Naphieng Village, Huaphan province.
“My name is Pheune Pheng; I was born December 15, 1986, in Naphieng Village, Huaphan province. My family was poor. I began school when I was 6 years old in Grade 2. When I was 7 years old, I was sick and my mom took me to the village medical clinic as there was no hospital then. Two days after I received an injection, my left leg was swollen. My parents used the traditional herbs to treat me, but it did not help. After that I could not walk normally. I did not want to go to school anymore. But, thanks to my parents who encouraged me a lot I was able to finish primary school in 1997.
Then I went to school in another village. I had to walk 3km daily to reach the school. In 2000 I finished junior high school. I continued senior high school at another school that was 15km away from home. I had to live in the school dormitory and every month my father came to take me to visit at home. I graduated high school in 2003.
Then I went to take a test and ranked 3rd among 300 students and I attended Xieng khoang teacher college. After Teacher College I taught at Sui District for one year.
In 2006, I went back to Samnuea as I wished to be a teacher there, but I was told that I was not accepted because I am a disabled person and I could not be a teacher. I felt so disappointed that I almost wanted to commit suicide. I was unemployed for one year.
I told my parents that I wished to go to medical school to be a doctor. My parents agreed but I did not pass the entrance exams.
In 2008, my sister introduced me to the Lao Disabled Women Development Center – LDWDC – whose director accepted me. I was trained and now I work as a sale person in the Marketing department in LDWDC.”
What lessons we learned from this case story?
This is probably a story of a polio case in Laos in or around 1990 the polio vaccine was still not available (?) or this is a case due to Vaccine ?
A child has potential and she is lucky her parents supported her fully. She is so determined. Her perseverance made her dream come true: finished high school and Teacher College.
But, she was discriminated against due to her disability just three years ago.
Pheune Pheng thinks that in her village there are many more CEDC children who need help and there is no one there to help them. She likes to learn as much as possible so she can become a good social worker and go back to help her village
She said working with LDWDC she also has a chance to travel to other villages in Laos and there are even more CEDC children, and also adult disabled who needed help. LDWDC has helped some of them and continue to work for the benefit for the disabled people.
That is the reason I think it is so important to have more social workers in Laos.
Xuyen Dangers is a social worker in Laos/Vietnam. She serves as a Social work supervisor of Donkoi child center and 5 other centers, Social work advisor, Faculty of Social Sciences, and the National University of Laos.