Vientiane is Laos's capital and biggest city, with around 800,000 residents. Located on the River Mekong, which forms the border with neighbouring Thailand, it faces the Thai town of Nongkhai, to which it is connected by the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge.
Thanks to its location on the border, Vientiane flourished as the economy of neighbouring Thailand boomed during the 1990s. However, Asia's 1997-98 financial crisis devastated the Thai economy, and Vientiane suffered as a result. Today, more than a quarter of Vientiane's people live in poverty.
Children left alone as parents leave the country to find work
The economy has recovered in recent years, and many people have benefited as NGOs have pushed time and resources into improving the lives of impoverished people. However, life remains hard for a great many people, and some parents have migrated to other countries to earn money to send home.
Although these people leave because they can see no other solution for their families, many children are left without any support. Some resort to a life on the streets; begging, scavenging, or selling merchandise to scrape a living.
What are we doing for these children?
We started work in Laos in 1993, to help families living in terrible post-war conditions. Today, we provide a range of services to help desperate families cope with day-to-day hardship.
Providing essential services
We offer families everything they need to provide the best environment for children. Simple steps, such as the provision of daycare, relieve the burden on parents who desperately want to work. Help with education fees and school equipment enables children to get the start in life they need.
Our nursery school is a fantastic place for children from the neighbourhood to begin their education alongside those from the Children's Village. When nursery ends, the children go on to the SOS school, where their educational journey continues right through to secondary level. Vocational training provides a route to a skilled career in the trades, while those with more academic interests undertake higher education courses.
Our Children's Village is also home to a training centre for SOS mothers from all over Laos.
Our work has given numerous children a better life and a promising future. Help us continue the vital work we do in Vientiane. Sponsor a child today.