Repatriation Assistance (1992-2000)

repatriot assistance 1Many people repatriating to Laos had lived in refugee camps during decades of conflict. Because they had lived in camps for so long, World Education (then the Consortium) implemented a comprehensive, integrated development program to allow people to live independently again. The program, beginning in 1992 in Luang Prabang, Xayabouly, and Vientiane Provinces, included health, education, and livelihood components. The Consortium built health centers, trained village health workers, and developed health education programs to strengthen the health sector. To develop improved education, the Consortium built primary schools and facilitated teacher trainings. To facilitate robust livelihoods among repatriates, the Consortium conducted veterinary and animal raising trainings in which they provided animals and veterinary follow-up for participants. The Consortium also worked with UNHCR to obtain land for rice fields, prepare the land for cultivation, and deal with any disputes. They trained villagers in paddy rice farming and developed an irrigation scheme for rice fields.

repatriot assistance 2During their time in refugee camps in Thailand, many repatriates had developed an addiction to opium. This affected their family life and incomes and hindered their ability to actively participate in living independently upon return to Laos. To mitigate this problem, beginning in 1999, the Consortium implemented an opium detox program in Luang Prabang Province in coordination with the Department of Health and the Department of Labor and Social Welfare.

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