Vientiane College completes their DO stage

Dongnasok School in Vientiane and Nahin School in Khammouane were buzzing with excitement last week as the students from Vientiane College Access program paid them a visit to donate school supplies and materials. The ACCESS students had bought the materials from money raised at their Design for Change project event – ‘Fair Share’, held in July.

At Vientiane College, the ACCESS Program started the DFC process in March. ACCESS is a two year program funded by the American Embassy to benefit underprivileged children from rural provinces. There are three classes and a total of 60 students who have been involved in DFC this year. In the FEEL stage they chose the problem of many schools in Laos being under-resourced. In the IMAGINE stage, they brainstormed many ideas about how they could help or improve this problem.

They decided to hold a fundraising event to raise money for Dongnasok School in Vientiane and the Nahin school in Khammouane province, and the ‘Fair Share’ event was born. After this successful event, they had to calculate how much money they raised at the Fair Share. The students then purchased school supplies and sports equipment for the students and staff at Dongnasok and Nahin schools.

The ACCESS students made a daytime trip to Dongnasok where they engaged the students in activities planned by ACCESS students and presented the purchased school materials to the school.

The ACCESS students had another amazing opportunity to take an overnight field trip to Khammouane province, to visit Nahin school and present their donation of school supplies. The ACCESS students and teachers were greeted by Nahin staff and students with handmade flower necklaces, a delicious lunch made with local foods, and a formal presentation by all students. This was followed by a field day of sports, using the new sports equipment that was a part of the donation.  

The students would like to thank their supporters – Vientiane College, Love Life Ice Cream, Talat Lao, Patoo Industries, and Design for Change Laos.  

DFC Update October/November 2012

  • DFC Laos documentary finished and uploaded to youtube (
  • 7 schools finished participating in Schools challenge - stories of change shared on DFC website and with DFC world (
  • One story from Sompanya School on bullying was selected for inclusion in the latest DFC book of stories from around the world
  • First experience of implementing DFC outside of the capital Vientiane. One school in Xieng Kuang province implemented DFC in Late September with the support of PADETC’s team and the Ministry of Education
  • Working on a DVD chapter on teacher training and implementation of DFC in Vientiane and Xieng Kouang as part of a DVD series on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and building an ESD community in Laos (Project with PADETC / MOE / University of the Sacred Heart Japan)
  • Working with 3 schools in Vientiane on their DFC implementation plans for above mentioned project
  • Sompanya School (PADETC’s holistic model school) implementing DFC again on an improve our school grounds project. Small grant received through AusAID for supporting this project

The final DFC Laos 2012 Documentary has been released! Wow what an incredible year it has been! Thank you to everybody involved - schools, students, teachers, supporters, and DFC team - in making this an amazing experience for all. A big thank you to Patoo Industries for producing this video, to our DFC Ambassador Aluna Thavonsouk for her music and support, and to PADETC for helping turn a dream for Laos into reality. All your acts of change have been inspiring! 

Design for Change at Sompanya - Improve our school project

The students at Sompanya school are once again undertaking the DFC process. Last school year, the Sompanya youth volunteers completed two projects - Inclusion and Cleanliness in the Bathrooms. The Education Development team facilitated the DFC process last time, so for this project, the ED team is mentoring 4 Lao teachers to lead the process themselves  This time the students are tackling the issue of a lack of outdoor areas and activities to do at lunchtime or after school. They want more spaces to play and activities to do outside. 
In the feel stage they said what specifically bothered them about their school playground and what kinds of things they’d like to see. They were super excited at the idea of improving their environment and having places to play and learn that were outside the classroom. They voted on their ideas and selected smaller projects to move forward with, such as, painting a mural on the new wall coming into the school, creating a maze, and improving the football field.
Last week they continued thinking about these issues, examining who is involved, where and why the problem occurs. Each group walked around the school to examine the space available and see what they had to work with. They continued IMAGINING also and getting more specific about how they were going to make their dreams come to fruition. At this stage they are voting which ideas from their IMAGINE brainstorm they are going to implement.

DFC Documentary

The trailer was shown at the Design for Change ‘Be the Change’ conference in India last week. The documentary is in the final stages of production by Patoo Industries and editing in preparation for the launch at the Asia Europe People’s Forum in Vientiane on October 16-19th, 2012.

Aluna Thavonsouk, a Lao pop star, has written a Lao version of the DFC World song I CAN, written by Raffi. Proudly presenting the DFC Laos song “Koy Het Dai” (I can) in Lao language. Written and performed by Aluna and generously recorded for free by Sam at SamSonic studios.

DFC Laos Ambassador and Lao pop sensation Aluna has finished penning the lyrics for the Lao version of the I CAN song. “Koy Het Dai” will be sung using the same melody as the original DFC I can song, but the recording will have a few surprise Lao twists!

This morning Aluna recorded the song at Samsonic studios, with the help of Lao producer and artist Sam Intharaphithak. Thanks must go to both Aluna and Sam who have donated their time for free because they believe in the DFC message and its importance in Laos. Thanks also to Hans from Patoo Industries for also donating his time to come and film some footage for the DFC Laos documentary.

The song will be mixed by Sam and released here in the next few weeks! Stay tuned!

Raising money for Dongnasok School

The students of the VC ACCESS program all got together last Saturday before the end of term, and have started the process of producing advertising and gathering donations of items to sell.

Their initial problem in the FEEL stage was that the children were upset by a lack of resources at many Lao schools. The DO stage will include an event called “Fair Share” at Vientiane College to raise money for the materials to donate to Dongnasok School. The event is scheduled for July 22nd. The students are making progress and it looks like the event in July will be well attended. The flyer is also in this month’s Talatlao! More information to come soon, or join their event on Facebook for updates!

1 2 3 4