Hearing their Voices
Voices from Somvang SEANTHAVISOUK (Laos)

“To do better life”
Story of: Somvang SEANTHAVISOUK, 13 years
EDF-Lao Scholarship Student
LAMAM High School, LAMAM District, SEKONG Province. 

Somvang SEANTHAVISOUK, was sent to live with his grandmother as his parents made new lives for themselves. His parents are divorced and both are now remarried with their own new families. It is just the two of them and they take care of each other. Life has been hard on Mr. Seanthavisouk but despite not having his parents, living in poverty and not being able to do the things he loves to do, he is still grateful for everything that he does have, especially his grandmother. His grandmother loves him dearly and supports him as much as she could but she is getting old. His grandmother does not work but makes glutinous rice cakes (Khao Tom) for sale, an income that is not enough and they are both living day by day. There is only enough for food however not enough to save for further education for Mr. Sonvang.
Somvang is 13 years old, but his life is not like any typical 13 yr old. Somvang does not have time for playtime. He is unable to take part in playing football with his friends, which is a sport he loves so much, because most of his free time is helping his grandmother. He helps his grandmother make glutinous rice cakes (Khao Tom) at home and both of them together will go to the market and sell their rice cakes. His typical day includes, waking up early to clean the house before going to school and he may or may not have breakfast pending on food availability. He walks 15 minutes in the dirty and bad condition road to school which is unsafe.

After school, Somvang has to rush home to help his grandmother take the glutinous rice cakes (Khao Tom) to sell at the market. Their income depends on the rice cakes being sold. There are good and bad days; if they are sold out of the rice cakes, it would mean that they will have a full nutritious meal on the table, however if unable to sell the glutinous rice cakes, (Khao tom) their meal is instant noodle. An average income is approximately 20,000 Lao Kip – 30,000 Lao Kip per day which is surely not enough for the two of them.
Somvang’s grandmother is 58 years old; her health is in poor condition and she is not strong like she was before. His grandmother is very worried about her grandson’s future as she is afraid that if she dies tomorrow, that nobody will take care of him. Mr. Somvang’s knows that his grandmother is worried about him and knows the importance of school. He wants to continue to go to school for his grandmother, get good grades and better his future. Somvang’s dream is to become a police officer because it is the responsibility of the man that should have a part in defending the sovereignty of the country. With the situation that he is in, his dream seems so far away. He cannot depend on his grandmother forever as he does not know how long his grandmother will be with him. He is barely making enough money for food and the little income is almost not enough for the livelihood of each day. How could he concentrate on school when he worries about money for school and food? Who will support and help Somvang reach his dream?
Well, thanks to donor, he has the support in continuing his education. Somvang and his grandmother do not have to worry as much as before as Mr. Somvang receives a scholarship from EDF-Lao. At this time, this would help alleviate his worries and he will be able to go to school and complete his education through Junior High School level.  Somvang is very grateful in receiving help in his education as he is one step closer in reaching his dream. He will take this opportunity and take advantage of it. Somvang will strive to do well in school to better his life.  Somvang and his grandmother are very appreciative of the kind and generous support. 

Hearing their Voices | Thursday 18th July 2013 | Viewed 3622