My Story and My Dream
I was born on 9 March 1990 in a small village, about 50-60 KM from the Nga district of Udomxay Province.
I came to the Orphanage school in Luang Prabang (LPB) on 18 September 2002. I attended first grade. I was 12 years old. I had worked hard and was determined to study and I became a good student among 210 students in the orphanage school at that time. After only two months in first grade, the teacher let me go up to grade two and in three years I graduated from primary school.
In the summer of 2003, most of my school friends went home to visit relatives. I have no relatives, I remained in school. With the kindness of the school principal, I was given special responsibility to guard the office of school.
In the middle of June 2003, Madame Xuyen and teacher Somphone visited the LPB orphanage school. After they returned to Vientiane, the capital city, Madame Xuyen invited the director and vice director of the orphanage school and two students to a study tour at the Donkoi Children Development Center (DCDC). I was selected with another girl named Chantha. We traveled by airplane.
I was only in grade two, I knew nothing. I had never thought and never dreamed that I could travel to Vientiane (the capital) with two directors. Their ages were older then 40 years old. I could not express how glad I was.
When I arrived at Donkoi School, Mme Xuyen led me, my friend Chantha, and the two teachers to tour the DCDC and visit each group of children who are working on each activity — like one group working with clay, one with small rocks that are glued together to look like animals. Others created pictures using dried grass. It was very strange; I had never seen anything like that before. Mme Xuyen asked me which group I would like to join. I did not know how to do anything except I thought I might like to try the clay molding.
After a two months internship at DCDC, I went back to LPB School. Chantha and I helped create many activities for the school. We have received many praises from the school. With various after school activity clubs, we produced a lot of things like paintings, grass pictures, clay animals, paper mache things. The after school activity program slowly expanded, which has contributed to the school a bit, I think. When guests visit the school, we tour them around to see activities, and the people in LPB city also know my name, Sengsong.
Besides these activities, I also like to read books, magazines and newspapers. But I like drawing a lot. In 2006, I had a chance to send my drawings to a competition at LBP city’s library. My picture won the first prize among pictures sent from many schools in LPB.
The award giving ceremony was attended by LPB Governor and Mr. Sala, the sponsor.
In 2007 there was another competition on Proverbs, I sent two proverbs : one is ‘Father ‘s merit is compared to a mountain and mother ‘s merit compares to the sky and the earth’ . The second
proverb is, “While living, do good things; when leaving, let others think of you. ” I won the first prize for the first proverb whereas the second proverb, I got the consolation prize. These are published in a book.
The after-school activities did not only help the school become active, but also helped to earn a yearly income for the school, at least about 2 to 3 million kip (about 200 to 300 US$) per year.
Perhaps my drawings are not the high quality yet, but they are sold and the earning helps me to buy school supplies and also I was able to buy some things needed for my family members. I was also asked to do the wall drawings and paintings at LPB city’s library and at some teachers’ homes also.
In 2005, Mr. Somsavat Lengsawat, the Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs visited LPB orphanage school. After touring the school activities, he patted me on my shoulder and said:” Congratulations. Your are doing a very skilled craft. If you continue to obey the rules and listen to teachers, in the future you will become a good person of society and of the country.” Those words encouraged me and helped me continue learning more and more.
In both primary and junior high school my grades have been excellent as I got first places. The foreigners also know me as a young artist of the school.
Every summer after that first summer of 2003, I was given a chance to go back to DCDC for more internships. Two years ago I only went to DCDC to learn, but now I can assist other volunteers and teach younger children in DCDC as well.
This year, summer 2008, while in Vientiane, I went to visit the Vientiane International School four times.
All my experiences and new knowledge were given by the assistance from Mme Xuyen of Global Ministries Therefore I can compare Mme Xuyen to a precious mother. She pulled me out from a dark world to a splendid world.
To repay for this precious assistance, I intend to learn to gain more knowledge and more skills. Then I will graduate and have a job. I will assist the disadvantaged people like Mme Xuyen and I will be very proud. That is my dream.