Our Work

GAPE’s overall program in the Southern Lao PDR is entitled the Remote Village Education Project. As such, most work is with communities relatively distant from district and provincial centers, and involves formal as well as non-formal and adult education.

Below are brief descriptions of some GAPE’s major activities. Other sections on Where We Work, Projects or Strategic Issues provide further details.

  • Formal Education  GAPE provides on-going training and support to teachers and administrators. It has helped communities build new schools, and schools to add libraries and other facilities. It provides much needed materials to schools, teachers and students to make education richer, and in some cases, possible.
  • Non-Formal Education  Emphasis is on learning rather than teaching, and local conditions rather than textbook lessons. This learner-centered, action-oriented approach provides the framework for most community level work. GAPE also works closely with an innovative non-formal education facility, the Sai Nyai Eco-School, part of the Sustainable Laos Education Initiatives.
  • Environmental Preservation  GAPE assists communities in registering common areas such as community forests or wetlands, and to formalize mechanisms for protecting these natural resources. It works with other communities in co-managing areas of the Sepian National Biodiversty Area, and is beginning efforts to safegaurd indigenous people’s rights and concerns in relation to REDD and similar programs.
  • Culture  Another of GAPE’s primary focuses is to assist local ethnic groups in protecting and preserving their rich cultural traditions, practices and diversity. These groups include Brao (Lave), Ta-oy, Lavi, Heuny (Nyaheun), and Jrou (Laven), to name a few. Work ranges from recording local music, to producing books of local folklore, to helping youth in more actively engaging with their cultural heritage.
  • Agriculture  All the communities GAPE works with depend on agriculture as a primary means of livelihood. Emphasis is on locally and time-proven varieties and breeds, sustainable farming practices, and identifying products and markets that enhance rather than threaten food security.
  • Health and Nutrition  With its main focus on primary or preventative health care, GAPE supports local health clinics backed by local medical staff.  With training from the World Food Program, GAPE is also initiating community-based nutrition activities involving mothers and children, with emphasis on locally available foods.