Story of a Lao student and After School Activity Program
Nang Nui is an 11-year-old 5th grade pupil at Donkoi primary school in Donkoi village, in the Sisatanak district of Vientiane, the capital of Laos. She is the youngest of three sisters. The two older sisters are 15 and 13 years old and in grades 9 and 7. Nang Nui lives a 3-minute walk from the DK school. Her father is a construction worker and her mother is a cleaner at a small hotel in Donkoi.
Nang Nui has maintained good grades ever since grade 1. This year she was selected to compete with other students of grade 5 in the whole district of Sisatanak. She is now the head of the class and has certain duties at school. She is given a key of her classroom and comes to school early to open and clean the classroom. She also is in charge of raising the school flag
every Monday morning and lowering it on Friday afternoon. She leads the assembly each afternoon at 3pm to organize the after school activity by distributing the clubs’ flags.
During her 5 years at Donkoi School, she has attended the After School Program very regularly from 3 to 4 pm every afternoon and now leads the ‘Young Leader Group’ of this program.
At after school program Nui is good at all activities, everything from Lao textile weaving to mat weaving, from paper mache to rock painting. She can act and sing. She also can tell stories to young children and she loves writing stories and making ‘books’ with lots of drawings. On special occasion such as Mothers’ Day, Children ‘s Day and Older Persons’ Day, she draws and makes wall hanging posters with drawings and stories. She does all of these with passion.
She can teach every activity assigned to her at the After School Activity Program. At present, she is a regular weaving teacher and attended the dance class as well. When there are visitors she can’t wait to interview them and write their stories for the bulletin board.
The Afterschool Activity Program, with informal and creative methods of teaching, certainly has helped Nui to have confidence and gave her a chance to learn so many more things. She is not only in the top of the class academically but also socially. She has so much potential as a well-rounded person.
Nang Nui’s dream is to become a teacher when she grows up. She is not the materially poorest child but her parents are among the lower income families. Yet Nui always seems happy.
Children with so much potential like Nang Nui can grow to the fullest if adults give them a chance and nurture their abilities.
The social work supervisor, teachers and social work student volunteers at Donkoi Children Development Centers give Nui and many more children and youth this chance. DCDC has been supported by Global Ministries and Church World Service for the past 15 years. There are now 7 other centers in Vientiane and also one in Luang Prabang City, Laos.
Xuyen Dangers, Laos
Xuyen Dangers is a social work supervisor in Laos who trains Social work university students as interns in Donkoi Children Development Center.