On the early days of international program development, what we witnessed in Laos and Northern Thailand far exceeded what we had expected. In some provinces, natural disaster, historic causes and local conflicts have ravaged many communities destroying and displacing countless families, homelessness is common. Those who survived lost their land and livelihood, some migrate or live under the roofs of relatives who themselves are also poor; others build shelters using scrap metals, bricks or thatch and canvas or bamboo as walls to weather the elements; some move to refugee camps relying on relief aids to survive. Their future look grim and hopeless. Under such circumstances, even if we were to improve children’s education opportunities and conditions, no child can properly learn without sufficient food or a roof over his head.
As a result, Sowers Action launch a “comprehensive assistance” program that includes infrastructure building, education and child welfare, and other projects that benefit the community (without limitations on age group or program type). However, in balancing our efforts, we aim to give priority on projects that focus on education and child welfare, this emphasis falls in line with our founding vision to “transform baggage attributed to human population into human capital and resources” through education. This does not, however, preclude Sowers Action in participating in poverty alleviation projects, especially when such program will simultaneously and ultimately help to improve education, our most concerned causes.