I tell young people to prepare themselves as best they can for a world that grows more challenging every day-get the best education they can, and couple that education with real-life experience in social justice work. Julian Bond
Social enterprise is a business model that puts people and community first, ahead of private or personal gain, while operating in a commercially viable and sustainable manner. Social enterprise is committed to social justice, social inclusion, enhancing quality of life, building community spirit and providing affordable and accessible services.
By working with InfoAge you are providing an education to students in Laos who otherwise would not have access to such education due to the level of poverty in the land-locked dev eloping country. 1 in 4 people in Laos are illiterate and many cannot access a good standard of education.
In 2013, David initially started working at 2 schools in Laos, one in the north and one in the south. Students are from poor countryside villages. In 2015 he returned to help setup a permanent computer teaching facility and establish a teaching curriculum in Luang Prabang, Laos. See Photos 2015 | Photos 2013. To this day David continues to support these programs, teachers and students.
Education fits strongly with our values. InfoAge has a long history of working with NGO’s and disadvantaged youth. We do a lot of work with NZ charities, and spend time each year in Laos where the same opportunities do not exist.
Education makes a difference and works towards reducing many other issues as well – especially youth education who can make a difference.
The criteria for selecting a charity to support was:
- The work has to have a strong sense of purpose, achieve real results, be transparent and be on-going (until there is no longer a need).
- Local people are involved so local people can learn to solve their own problems independently of external assistance. (an organisation that transfers skills to locals and is sustainable). This school only employs Lao people, no foreigners are paid.
About the English and Computing Learning Centre
Based in Luang Prabang (ຫລວງພະບາງ), the charity raises funds to send youth to college and in 2012 built their own school where they provide education to 16-22 year olds so they can continue their education and get meaningful employment.
It is the only school in Luang Prabang that does not charge fees in order to give the disadvantaged opportunity. Often the only option on leaving school is working on the family farm. A good job means they can not only support themselves but their family and help improve the general standard of living.