Each year AAVIL sponsors a host of students both secondary and university levels, where they have no hope of going to school without our support. Each student has there own needs. For our secondary school students, most villages do not have a secondary school, so they attend a school generally located closest to the village where they live. This means they require dormitory support, or a bicycle to get there. For those requiring dormitory support, they travel home on weekends to get rice and other food necessities for the week. Each student travels to a central location (usually Nong Khiaw) and is taken shopping for new clothes, a school uniform, school supplies, a backpack, funds for tuition etc., to help them through the year. The cost per student averages a base of $550 CAD per year. If a bicycle is required, this is on top of the base cost. It is not that unusual, under special circumstances to assist with further necessities such as blankets and coats for an unusually cool winter season. Under covid lockdown conditions, additional funding for food etc. is provided if their village is locked down and they are not permitted to enter.
Each year we aim to support one university/college student. However it rarely works out that way. As our students graduate from Secondary School, they want to continue their education of course. Subject to available funding, we offer full scholarship for one student and a partial scholarship for a second student. These students have to move to Luang Prabang. Our scholarship covers expensive dormitory fees, tuition, uniform and clothes, backpack, school supplies and a monthly allowance. Throughout the year there are additional costs. Every photocopy that is distributed in class, has to be purchased. There are at least two school trips, often three throughout the 3 or 4 year course, with the last one including a 3 month training period in a rural village, all of which are sponsored. In years 2 or 3 (depending on the course), a laptop is provided. The average annual cost for a university/college student is $6,000 CAD. It takes quite a few donors to sponsor a student in this capacity.
This is not all we support. Some students ask for extra money for english courses and we try to comply as funds allow. From time-to-time was also distribute school supplies to primary schools…averaging about $5 per student x the number of students in the school. The school sizes range from about 60 students to 150. Here we hand out writing books, pencils, pencil sharpeners, pencil crayons, erasers, rulers, pens and a small can of fish. This small can will be shared with the entire family. If available we will also provide toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Donors for Secondary School students will receive emailed pictures of the student they are supporting. For the university students, a video is prepared and a link is emailed to our donors, as thanks.