Posts Tagged Lao Autism Association

Struck by desaster

In April we bought a plot of land in Ban Xieng Da, one of the extension areas of Vientiane capital. People were talking about a new road to be build from Vientiane down town to the area which would open new opportunities for fast access to the place. Plans to relocate the Vientiane Autism Center to Xieng Da at a later stage were build on that. Authorities confirmed in April that the plot of land involved would not be affected by any development project.
This was true until recently. After fist rumours we went to all concerned authorities and the road construction implementing the project. The result is devastating: The road passes exactly through our plot of land! The company proposed a compensation of 3 EUR per square meter. We had bought it – naively believing in all those assurances – for more than 30 EUR per square meter.
In cooperation with different involved parties and authorities we are trying to solve the problem for the benefit of our children.
Map of new road

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Major changes at Vientiane Autism Center

Joy and sorrow are often very close to each other. The sad news are that Mrs. Phaeowadee Pukkelapo, better known as Khu Mone, and Mr. Pumrapee Supan, also known as Khu Ae, left VAC after two and a half years of very intensive, very hard and very successful work. We are very grateful for all the support the two real founders of VAC provided in this challanging time. Many thanks and best wishes for the future! We are sure that we will stay in touch.
The good news are that at the end we welcome Mrs. Tanaporn Srikoomkao (Khu Chip) and Mr. Wuttikrai Kesaeng (Khu Noum) at VAC. We are sure that they will use their konwledge as teacher in special education for the best of VAC and we hope that they fit well in the now younger team.
We are also preparing to send our most advanced kids to a public primary school under the inclusive education project.

Khu Mone

Khu Mone teaching at VAC

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Scholarship fund is active now

On 11. January the LAA board was reviewing 7 requests for support form the LAA Scholarship Fund. Five were ranked with highest priority. The board agreed to support one family by taking over 90% of the fee at Vientaine Autism Center, one family will get 50% support and three families 25% support each. The fee at VAC is 2,2 million Kip per months (approx. 200 EUR). As the fund has currently a deposit of totally 2.700 EUR and the decided support needs about 500 EUR per months the currently available amount of money covers the support until the end of June. The support becomes active starting from February 2012. The next review of appications will be held in March.

Sensory development in combination with writing skills development

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Thank you for support in 2011 – Happy New Year 2012

A big “Thank You!” to all our supporters for the tremendous help in 2011. We begin 2012 with new energy and the will to achieve new results for all persons with autism in Lao PDR. We know that the new year will not be easy. First of all we will have to find replacements for our leaving expert-teachers from Thailand. Khuu Ae and Khuu Mone, we will miss you and all your dedication and experiences a lot! Thank you for all your efforts to bring the Vientiane Autism Center to a very high standard. We will do everything to keep level and to further improve.
In 2012 we target to increase the number of children at VAC to 25. This needs qualified teachers and financial support, because we will continue to offer scholarships to families who can not afford the current fees at VAC. The fees are a quite tricky thing: we have 8 teachers for 18 kids and are going to maintain this ratio. Currently we spend about 72% of all expenses for our staff. As in Laos and Thailand schemes are under way to increases teacher salaries the problem will no be easy to solve. But we are not going to compromise on quality.
We are planning to send teachers for qualification to Thailand and to start our inclusinve education project with primary schools. We keep you posted.

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Support increases

For the first time Lao Autism Association (LAA) and Vientiane Autism Center (VAC) jointly participated at the WIG Bazzar Vientiane. Just in time we got our new brochures in English and Lao printed could provide information to a wider public. Thanks to Lukas Wahl for the impressive pictures and thanks to VAC teachers and LAA board members for spending their Saturday on our booth. Revenues from sales added to almost 3 million Kip, which will be used for both LAA and VAC.
In the meantime we got also good news from Germany and would like to thank our donors Norbert Höink, Mr. and Mrs. Wieprecht, Klaus Maret and Carmen Junk for their support.
WIG BazaarWIG Bazaar

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LAA held First General Assembly

24. September 2011 is a historic date for the Lao Autism Association: LAA held its First General Assembly! About 40 people, members as well as invided guest, gathered at the training center of the Lao Womens Union in Vientiane. As prescribed by the respective regulations, Mr. Noy Indavong, advisor to LAA, proclamed the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs about the temporary prermission for LAA. The participants of the assembly discussed the draft by-laws of LAA and elected the governing bodies of LAA: the board of 5 members and a 3 members strong control commission. In its first meeting the newly elected board elected Mrs. Viengsam Soinxay as president of LAA for the first term of 3 years.
The General Assembly also discussed the draft regulation for the scholarship fund which will allow easier access to education services for children with autism.
According to the rules LAA submitted the report of the General Assembly, the draft by-laws, the protocol of the election as well as the decisions of the assembly to the Ministry of Home Affairs for further proceedings. Within 60 days we will know whether LAA will get a permanent license to operate. Special thanks to CRS who supported the generously General Assembly.
In the meantime our members do not just sit and wait. We prepare for the next big event, our first participation at the famous WIG Bazaar on 19. November 2011. Hope to see you there.

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LAA office equipped

Since today LAA is official owner of a well equipped office – thanks to support from the German Embassy in Laos supporting a micro project worth 60,7 million Kip (about 5.800 EUR). The donation included 3 computers, office furniture, a copy machine and a photo camera. The equipment will be used for the objectives of LAA: raising awareness about autism in Laos, providing services to persons with autism and supporting the formation of experts in the field of autism. Many thanks to the German Embassy for the valuable support!
However, to achieve full function LAA still needs the official registration with the respective Lao authorities.

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Some figures about VAC

As we were entering our third year of operation we also checked our balances. In the year from 01.06.2010 until 31.05.2011we achieved the following results:
Income: 316.540.440 Kip
Expenses: 322.045.197 Kip
Investment 16.916.600
Usables 34.955.920 (10,8%)
Maint. 6.108.732
Personnel 226.936.000 (70%)
Fees 2.979.000
Food 34.148.945 (10,6%)

Balance -5.504.757

These figures do not include the cost of construction for the 3 new classrooms.
During the year the number of children reached 16. As result the number of teachers was increased to 8.

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Working in the Rain

It seems that rainy season started early this year. I actually thought having at least the roof ready before the rain. Now the guys are working under an umbrella…
The kids find it interesting that they can now walk out of the room were last week still has been a wall.
A door instead of a windowPhysio TherapySecond floor

But building of the center is not the only activity at the moment. Still awaiting official recognition we were quietly passing the second anniversary of VAC. At least financially the second year became better. We closed the books with a loss of 700 USD for the whole year (June 2010 to May 2011). Much better than expected.

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Getting above the ground

The bricklayers are working overtime to get the additional classrooms of VAC growing up fast. They are competing with the rainy season obviously starting early this year. So we will try to span the roof as fast as we can in order to keep the workers dry.

This investment is paid by the owners of the building, the parents of 10-year old Marcel. At a parallel effort we are pushing for the establishment of the scholarship fund. For the beginning we can use the money still in our accounts from this years World Autism Awareness Day fund raising campaign. There are still some 35 Million Kip (approx. 4.500 USD) available. To keep it going we are looking for more permanent sources of income and would welcome any support to this effort.

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