The Story of Mr. Khamvanh Phengmany
A farmer, carpenter, and a good heart villager turns into a community leader of Donkoi Village. The Manager of Donkoi Children Development Center for ten years and Vice Chief of Donkoi village for three years now is in charge of education, youth, social, and women matters. I met him twelve years ago when he worked as a handy man. He is a trained carpenter. He had three years in technical school. A farmer originally, he is from Nahay Village. He said he walked to high school 30 km every day!
A farmer, carpenter, and a good heart villager turns into a community leader of Donkoi Village. The Manager of Donkoi Children Development Center for ten years and Vice Chief of Donkoi village for three years now is in charge of education, youth, social, and women matters.
I met him twelve years ago when he worked as a handy man. He is a trained carpenter. He had three years in technical school. A farmer originally, he is from Nahay Village. He said he walked to high school 30 km every day!
The STORY of Mr. Khamvanh Phengmany
We started DONKOI Children’s Development Center (DCDC) because of him in March of 1998. He took broken tables and chairs from Donkoi School to his house across from the school to teach grade 5 students how to repair them. I was so impressed with his compassion for school and for children.
The five hammers and a lot of nails were donated as a present for the young carpenter club and that is how the Donkoi center started and stayed in his house for two years. CIDSE staff came for a study tour and the staff was so impressed with the children activities and the methods we were using that they suggested we build a center and that is how the current center inside the school compound went about in the year 2000.
Now Khamvanh is still a carpenter. He also became a member of the Party seven years ago and became Vice Chief of the village three years ago. He nurtures Donkoi center through the After School Programs funded by Global Ministries. Now Donkoi center / primary school has so many activities: textile weaving, carpentry, mushroom-raising, recycling center, reading, story-telling, creative writing, theatre, dream garden, dream toilet, and more… Donkoi has become a learning center and provides many services from Drug Use Prevention to Social services, Rehabilitation, and Development. Visitors from many organizations visit Donkoi frequently.
Khamvanh is a natural poet. He edited all the poems that children and youth created with any activity (kon soung).Together with the youth, he has written monthly newsletters of DCDC for the past five years. He can also speak and write reports in English, uses programs on the computer; i.e., email, Power Point, writes monthly reports and monthly news, and does accounting. He drives the children and youth for study tours, picnics, or to collect wood in his own car.
He supervises five staff and many volunteers, works with drug abusers, teaches carpentry, teaches how to raise mushrooms, and does fund-raising for the school. He improves the village office, works with elderly people in Donkoi, drives the pick up, organizes to build new roads, repairs old roads, builds houses, works with parents, and organizes meetings on education and garbage management. He networks with other organizations. He has received many certificates of appreciation for his contribution to the society. He works tirelessly.
Khamvanh is always humble, calm and caring. He continues wanting to learn. He attended workshops on gender, drug abuse, HIVAIDS, child rights, social work, and new methods of teaching, after school activities and management. He receives respect from Donkoi villagers, children and youth. The Donkoi village office is very happy to have him as the most active member. We are happy to work with him. A true story of how a person with potential can become so useful for the community if he is given a chance to learn and to work. Global Ministries and Church World Service have given Mr. Khamvanh that chance from 1998 until now.
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.
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