German “TAFE” College in Phonsavan
John Salter introduced me to this College – the “Integrated Vocational Education and Training School of Xieng Khouang” which is funded by a German NGO and it is headed by a lady called Ingrid.
The College teaches the following trades: Cooking, Carpentry, Electrical, Mechanical, Animal Husbandry, Agriculture, Sound Engineering, Flower Arranging and Sewing (there may be more). What is surprising is that these courses, which run from one month to 4 years, are very affordable and reasonably priced. For instance, Yang (our Lao Manager in Ban Xai) paid for his sister to attend a 4 months Cooking Course. At the end of this course she will be able to cook both Lao and Western food and will be able to earn about $200 per month in restaurants and hotels.
Here is an example of the cost of a 4 month Sewing Course:
Tuition for 4 months – 50,000 Kip (approx. US$6.33)
Accommodation for 4 months – 110,000 Kip (approx. US$13.92)
Material – 1 million Kip (approx. US$126.58)
Food expenses – 25,000 Kip per day; 13 weeks = 1,625,000 Kip (approx. US$205.69)
Total = 2.785 m kip = US$352
Once a person has completed a course, there is potential of creating a job for themselves within the village because a Chinese treadle sewing machine costs about US$100 (which is good, because we priced them in the markets at US$180). All they would need in addition is material and thread.
MiVAC is considering this area as a micro-loan, because we do have that in the budget. However, if there are any Clubs – Rotary, Lions, etc… who feel that they would like to contribute to the education of people in the village, at this German College, then please contact us.