Laos Educational Opportunities Trust • Laos
Laos Educational Opportunities Trust (LEOT) was established in 2006 when Laos was still relatively isolated from the rest of the world, with a small civil society sector and a limited number of NGOs compared to the rest of SE Asia. Few people were venturing to this green and beautiful country, and even less knew of the many challenges faced by the youth population. Alan Shiel was one of the few who did, and a chance meeting with a young Novice Monk resulted in the formation of LEOT upon his return home. What began as a simple scholarship for this Monk has since progressed to an entire school run by local Laos teachers, the establishment of capacity-building and community projects, the provision of electricity, and incredible strides in the areas of clean water & sanitation for both their students and the rural communities they support.
LEOT was founded in 2006 and is a UK-registered charity. LEOT holds an operating permit in Laos as a foreign NGO and has a Memorandum of Understanding with the government.
LEOT’s primary focus is to supplement local efforts and ensure students can access quality education and the skills they need to be successful in the future:
- LEOT School:The school provides free educational opportunities including English, computer and important life skills classes to supplement local, government schooling. In addition, students learn highly practical and sought-after skills such as Microsoft Office suite, finance, resume writing and job interview techniques, enabling them to pursue their professional goals.
- Scholarship and Sponsorship Programs: These programs support talented, hard-working students to benefit from the LEOT school, attend university when possible, and be best prepared to achieve their dreams in the future.
- Community Projects: LEOT also works with extremely isolated and marginalized rural villages, conducting and repairing buildings, improving water systems and other projects to improve the health and sanitation of families and communities.
WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP
GoPhilanthropic Foundation and LEOT have been working in partnership since 2011 when GoPhilanthropic was forming its first round of partnerships in SE Asia.
Over the years, our community of supporters have assisted LEOT to achieve the following:
- Repair and build schools and classrooms in rural communities, reducing class sizes and provided more rural children with access to quality education;
- Purchase and maintenance of supplies for the LEOT school, including laptops and software for the computer lab;
- Addition of technical and non-technical books for English classes and the LEOT school’s reference library;
- Funding for ongoing costs of the LEOT school, including salaries and benefits for skilled, local teachers, many of which are graduates of the LEOT program;
- Sponsorships and scholarships for disadvantaged students, including many ethnic minority students.
WHAT MAKES LEOT UNIQUE?
LEOT has developed strong community partnerships over the years by working in close collaboration with village members and leaders. This approach helps guarantee that their work is well-attuned to the needs of the rural communities they support and has resulted in long lasting relationships with their students and their families. This relationship building has led to many graduates of the LEOT program returning to become teachers themselves, contributing to a sustainable cycle of community improvement. LEOT employs only local teachers and is well on it’s way to becoming fully Laotian led and operated.
Furthermore, LEOT is GoPhilanthropic Foundation’s one and only partner program based in Laos.
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