Savannakhét is the largest province in Laos and its capital, also called Savannakhét, is the second largest city after the country's capital Vientiane. It has benefited hugely from its location near the border with Thailand,and on a major road that connects both countries to Vietnam.
This has made Savannakhét an important trading post between all three countries and the government already has plans to develop the area around the city so more people benefit from this trade. Additionally, there are plans to improve the agricultural industry in the region, which remains an important source of income and employment.
In line with the plans to develop the region and its agricultural production, most people in and around Savannakhet work in the agricultural or construction industry. However, they are predominantly employed as day labourers in these sectors and struggle to earn a steady living.
This makes it hard for parents to provide even the most basic necessities for their children, let alone other important things, like education. Children who grow up in this unstable environment do not get the opportunities they deserve, even at this early stage in their lives.
Many children are also at risk of losing parental care, or have lost it already, and need to find a home where they get the love and affection they need. An increasing number of children who are living without parental care have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS, so tackling this disease is an especially important challenge for the province.
SOS Children in Savannakhet
We started our work in the area in 2008 and, though it is a relatively new Children's Village, it has already had a massive impact on children in the area. It has helped both those who have lost parental care entirely and families who are struggling to make ends meet.
Savannakhét has a serious problem with child malnutrition and this can severely harm both their physical and psychological development. So our nutritional programme is an essential part of the support we offer children in the region.
The programme cares for malnourished children on a temporary basis. They are monitored by nurses and doctors and given a nutritionally enhanced diet. Once they reach a healthy weight they return to the families and we keep in touch to make sure they continue to grow healthily.
13 SOS Families in Savannakhét give children who have lost parental care a loving and permanent new home where they can grow up happy and healthy. Our trained SOS mothers care for up to 150 children, offering them all the support and affection they deserve.
Young children go to the SOS nursery with up to 100 other local children. Not only does this help them integrate with the community, but it is also gives working parents a safe place to leave their children whilst they are doing their jobs.
Sponsor a child in Savannakhét today, and give them nurturing care, education and healthcare. Vulnerable children in Laos need you help.