Helping the students follow their dream at better educational environment

Xepon Ethnic Secondary School is located in a rural area, about 600 km [370 miles] away from Vientiane the capital of Laos; there are a total of 1,150 registered students, of whom 420 are boarding students. The school is a place where the students spend most of their time, but the school environment was not good. The greatest inconvenience at the school was malfunctioning toilets and shower rooms due to problems in the water supply system.

After hearing from Lao Front for National Development about the situation of Xepon Ethnic Secondary School, Intl. WeLoveU made a plan to help the school after having a discussion with the school principal, Sangwan Khamkethmani. For smooth circulation of water, WeLoveU installed water tanks, and repaired old toilets and shower rooms.

The repair work began in earnest with a drilling operation on January 9. Immediately after the drilling operation was over, about thirty members of WeLoveU set up support fixtures and installed water pumps; they also connected toilets and shower rooms through water pipes, widened space, and neatly remodeled the inside facilities. Bouwaliane Thongbandith, the school principal, said with appreciation, “Other organizations have already tried digging for water many times, but they failed to find it. I was concerned about the old toilets because the students couldn’t comfortably make use of them, but now I’m so glad that water there is running well.”

Afterward, the members started working to remodel the space where the students study. They repaired and enlarged the classrooms for the students to focus on their studies in wider and cleaner space. The old and rugged ceiling and the walls stained with dirt turned into clean ones. The members also coated the outer walls of the school with paint, and painted a variety of flowers to make them look lively and beautiful.

For the seventeen-day-long repair work, the members pitched tents nearby, and worked with sweat running down in beads. Operating a meal service camp, they also provided meals even to the students. Some of them voluntarily gave a helping hand for the repair work. Having watched the whole process of the repair work, Sangwan Khamkethmani, the school principal, said, “It is my first time to see volunteers work so hard, even staying nearby the school. I’m so impressed. They worked very hard from morning till night as if the school was their own.”

The completion ceremony for the improved education environment was held on the remodeled assembly hall of the school on February 12; it was attended by 1,230 people, including the school students and staff, thirty members of Intl. WeLoveU, as well as VIPS such as Somock Kingsada who is Vice President of Lao Front for National Development, and Thavone Insixiengmai from Office of Education Superintendent of Savannakhet Province. The students gave a wonderful congratulatory performance. On the day, WeLoveU presented school supplies, school bags, and sporting goods such as soccer balls. Particularly, the boarding students were very happy with the shoes that they had needed.

After the completion ceremony, the WeLoveU members had a good time with the students through diverse recreational activities. After the schedule was over, the students saw the WeLoveU members off, shouting, “We love you!” Some of the students burst into tears, and the members warmly hugged them.

Government officials who attended the completion ceremony said, “Thanks to the volunteer services by Intl. WeLoveU, the school came to have beautiful and modern appearance within a short period of time. I really hope that all the schools in Laos will hear about this amazing work and follow your example. I look forward to your constant volunteer services.”

WeLoveU’s volunteer service did not only modernize the appearance of Xepon Ethnic Secondary School, but also brightened up the face of the students who had to previously put up with discomforts. The WeLoveU members hoped that the students would be able to freely follow their dream in the modern and comfortable school environment. With the heart of a mother who is concerned about the future of her child, Intl. WeLoveU will continue to strive to improve the educational environment of various places in Laos.