The 10th Anniversary of DCDC

The 10th Anniversary of DCDC

History of DONKOI CHILDREN DEVELOPMENT CENTER; 5 little hammers and lots of nails

History of


5 little hammers and lots of nails

One day in March 1998, I came to Mr.Khamvanh’s house in Donkoi village and found little boys of grades 4 and 5 of Donkoi primary school fixing the school’s tables and benches excitingly with one big hammer and some big nails.

I thought, wow!  How wonderful this farmer carpenter villager is! He took initiative to do this job without anyone’s suggestion.  I thought again, “wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a carpenter club in the school so the boys could play with wood?”

I spontaneously asked the children, “would you like more hammers?” They all said “Yes”, so that was it!  The young carpenter group was born.  We began with five little hammers and a lot of little nails.  

I told Mr.Khamvanh if he could bring some bigger youths to help him fix the tables and benches while the little boys just played with the hammers, nails, and wood.

Mr.Khamvanh bought a  ‘tuktuk’ (small vehicle that carries passengers short distances) full of scrap wood and that summer of 1998 children of Donkoi primary school had a wonderful time creating anything they wanted to, no need to fix tables and benches.

That was how Donkoi school’s after-school program began: five little hammers, lots of nails and a skilled carpenter with a very good heart.

Xuyen Dangers

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.