Mercy Relief’s (MR) International Programmes team has recently returned from Laos, following the handover ceremony of a Health Community Project on March 5 in Naxone Secondary School, located 70km from Vientiane Capital’s City Centre.

The ceremony was graced by Vice Director for Vientiane Capital Department for Education and Sports Services (VESS), Mr. Viely Horn, Director of Naxone Secondary School, Mr. Khamnon Chantha Langsy, and President of Life Skills Development Association (LSDA), Mr. Phoxay Chanthavongsa. Also present were MR staff Ishizeki Masahiro and Khairulnizam Massuan, other local guests, school staff and over 100 students.

The SingaporeanMR, in collaboration with local NGO LSDA, implemented the Health Community Project in Naxone village to improve the health and living conditions of the rural community by providing Naxone School with water and sanitation infrastructure services. The S$46,000 project, that benefits over 700 students and staff, was made possible thanks to funding from a Singaporean grant-making organisation and the family of Mr Wang Boo Sow, a Singaporean philanthropist supporting MR’s education activities.

Commenced in May 2012, the project included the construction of a library building,  toilet block, learning garden, refurbishment of old toilet block, and installation of water filtration systems and water storage tanks.

The construction of the toilet block was largely made possible thanks to a group of students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) who volunteered with MR’s Mercy Overseas Volunteer Expeditions (MOVE) programme. They visited the school while the project was at its infant stage and also conducted hygiene education sessions for the students.

  

Sweat and smiles all around as MOVE volunteers from NUS help with the construction of a new toilet block.

Besides improved health and living conditions, the school’s students now have better access to education. The learning garden produces fresh vegetable which can be sold at the local market, allowing school management to generate income for a social fund which supports poor students’ educational needs.

“Everything in the school has changed for the better. The teachers and school children now have access to clean water, fresh vegetables and improved sanitation facilities, and we will also be able to help needy students,” shared Director of Naxone Secondary School Mr. Khamnon Chantha Langsy.

The Health Community Project also highlights the importance of partnership and cooperation for development, with theinvolvement of several actors – the local community, NGOs and government agencies.

“Our close partnership with LSDA enabled us to understand the needs of the local population, hence allowing us to maximise the project’s potential. Moreover, strong support rendered by the Vientiane Capital Department for Education and Sport Service, school management team and villagers gave us added confidence in the sustainability of the project,” said MR Assistant Director Khairulnizam.

 MR will return to the school in June 2014 to measure the project’s outcome and impact.

 

Left) MR Assistant Director, International Programme – Khairul Massuan and Director of Naxone Secondary School Viely Horn affirms partnership with a handshake.

(Right) A student filling up a glass of drinking water produced from a water filtration system that MR installed.

Project partners inspecting the school learning garden, which produces fresh vegetables for students’ and staff consumption.

* MR has been implementing relief and post-acute projects in Myanmar since 2004 — more notably during Cyclone Nargis in 2008 — as part of its disaster risk reduction efforts. Click here to read more on “MR in Myanmar”.

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance. 

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email corporateaffairs@mercyrelief.org