The Khmu are an ethnic minority of 600 thousand people, 500 thousand of which live in Laos and belong to the Mon/Khmer ethnic group. They are considered the first inhabitants of Laos, who migrated from China in the 14th century. Currently they live in Luang Prabang area, in the North of the country.
Their main livelihood activities are agriculture, hunting and, when possible, fishing. They live as a stigmatized minority and they are unjustly tagged as “slaves” of the ruling class of the Laotians.
The school system in Laos still shows strong gender disparities, between urban and rural areas and between the rich and the poor.
Although the school is free and compulsory for the first five years, many children and adolescents – especially if they belong to marginalized ethic groups such as the Khmu – cannot access education because of limited financial resources and the lack of competent teachers.
Until last year, Khmu children used to attend a small school made of bamboo, which had been built by the only catholic priest who lived in that area. I loro insegnanti spesso non riuscivano ad arrivare alla scuola perché costretti a fare lunghi viaggi ogni giorno.
PRO.SA Foundation, aware of the situation, supported the renovation of the school in order to give the children a healthy environment where they can happily work and also the realization of housing for teachers who will be free from difficult commuting, as well as a sport field for Sepak Takraw game. The presence of the teachers more hours per day will allow them to organize extracurricular activities. Through the improvement of the students’ life, we would like to start, step by step, an integration process of the Khmu minority.