Give each child a chance
The slogan ‘ Give each child a chance’ is very true for Nang Ven, a disabled child of Donkoi.
Six years ago I met Nang Ven when her mother was a weaver in Samkhet mother’s weaver group in Donkoi Children Development Center DCDC. Ven’s mother is one of the 10 mothers who volunteered at DCDC once a week to teach little weavers in the after-school program of Donkoi School.
Ven was 7 years old. I asked Ven’s mother if she had begun school. Her mother said, “No she cannot hear or talk”. I asked her if she knew of the deaf school here in Vientiane. She said “no”. I asked her if she would like to take her to visit the school. She hesitated, but because we offered to help her she agreed. The next day, Bounmy, a young potential social worker and a DCDC’s volunteer, took Ven and her father to the school for the deaf and mute in the National Rehabilitation Training Center, NRTC.
Ven was too young to be in the dormitory and there was no one to take her back and forth from her house to the deaf school which is about a 30 minute bicycling trip. We offered to have one volunteer of DCDC take her until another solution was found since the school year had already begun. DCDC volunteer (Souny) took her a few days and her father said he can take Ven on his way to work as a construction worker. That was the beginning of Nang Ven’s educational life
She is now 13 years old, has been in school for 6 years and is attending grade 6. She stays in the dormitory some of the time and stays at home some of the time. She has many friends and is very much liked by teachers and friends. She can now read and write. She speaks sign language and weaves very well. She learned weaving at DCDC and with her mother at home. She is now teaching weaving at the after-school activity program at the deaf school. On weekends she weaves at home with her mother and in the summer time she goes to DCDC to teach sign language to children in DCDC.
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.