Lives you’ve changed in Laos

Food & climate change, In the field, Success stories, Water, sanitation & hygiene article written on the 26 May 2014

Photo: Dustin Barter/OxfamAUS

With your support, our six year program in Phoupieng Village, Laos, helped the community lift itself out of poverty. As we celebrate 25 years of work in Laos, we trace Phoupieng’s journey of lasting change.

2006

“Before Oxfam Australia came … we did not have clean water, there was not enough rice for each family, there was not enough land for every family to grow their rice; we depended on rain for our rice crops, we had no road to access the markets or the hospital. 

“Now … we have a canal for the irrigation system for our rice fields, we have set up a rice bank so that families have enough rice to eat, we have a gravity fed water system which gives us clean water from the mountains … We have a drug fund now and can buy medicine from our village. Every household now has close access to a latrine. The health of the village is good and disease has decreased.”

2009

“Oxfam Australia has not been here in our village for two years, however we continue to maintain those activities, the assets and that support by ourselves, to extend the benefits derived from Oxfam Australia.
“We have seen big changes … Due to the support from Oxfam Australia the road has been upgraded so we can travel year round. In the past during the rainy season we could not go out from the village. In the past many villagers had very primitive houses … now many have stable houses made of wood.”

“The support given by Oxfam Australia has helped us overcome many problems and difficulties … Since Oxfam left, we have been able to use the knowledge and skills we learned to get electricity [and] phone coverage and to become a destination on a cultural tour.”

2013

“Once Oxfam [left] … there was good awareness and motivation in the community to maintain [the] activities.

“All villagers now have lowland rice production, so there is no need for upland slash and burn … Now there are no rice shortages, there’s no need to borrow off neighbouring communities.

“Now children can go to secondary school. Some have even gone to university for a bachelor degree … education is improving and we are mobilising children to have a better future.

“I want to give big thanks to Oxfam … We no longer have any poor families in the village. Now, our village is a ‘cultural model village’ for other villages to learn from … We have good farming, a planning system … no violence … even though Oxfam stopped, activities continue. We want to maintain the results.”