68% of the Laos population live in rural areas, where subsistence farming remains the dominant livelihood for many families. The poverty rate in rural areas of Laos is 2.9 times that of urban areas, and one-third of the population in rural upland areas is still below the poverty line. World Education, in partnership with World Education Australia and Village Focus International, implements the Resilient Livelihoods for the Poor (RLP) Project in Saravane Province, where there is a higher poverty rate (48.2%) than any other province in the country.
After conducting a comprehensive survey of target villages, RLP selected its first cohort of 198 households. Criteria for household selection include: selling their labor, having a health equity or health care card, inadequate housing, little or no productive land and/or assets, and persons with disability living in the household. An additional 202 households will be added to the project in September 2014.
Each household in the project cohort receives a productive asset (i.e. livestock) and comprehensive support throughout the first year through bi-weekly household visits, training sessions, and asset support grants. Through the development of these sustainable micro-enterprises, RLP enables the poorest households in the community to have a sustainable livelihood that lasts beyond the program, access savings to expand enterprises, and plan towards their future.
More information can be found at the Resilient Livelihoods for the Poor website.
Posters created through the Resilient Livelihoods for the Poor Project ((English and Lao versions):