Survivors' Economic & Technical Assistance
After being injured
by a cluster bomb left on the ground
near his home, Xaydone and his family
received money to purchase a water buffalo
in order to increase their earning ability.
Xaydone hopes to attend medical school
in the future.
For the survivors of a traumatic UXO incident, the medical care often costs more than the average family’s annual income, and survivors who have serious injuries to the face, torso, and arms frequently cannot return to the jobs in which they were formerly employed. The Survivors’ Economic and Technical Assistance (SETA) project works to improve the economic situation for 160 UXO survivors and their families in Salavan and Xieng Khouang provinces, two areas of Laos impacted the most by unexploded remnants of war.
After Khamsouk lost part of his arm in a UXO accident, he attended an animal raising/ veterinary workshop, which has given him new confidence and the ability to improve his family income.
SETA provides vocational and economic assistance to UXO and landmine survivors through medical care, training courses, small business startup support, and follow-up technical assistance. Through funding for the War Victims Medical Fund, the project supports emergency and follow-up medical care for survivors after they are injured. World Education provides training in trades that the survivors are capable of performing, such as animal husbandry, fish farming, weaving, and tailoring. It also provides small grants to UXO survivors so that they can invest in initial purchase of animals or in vaccines, food, and materials needed to establish a tenable trade. Throughout the course of training and during follow-up, SETA staff discuss economic planning principles with recipients to help them make business decisions about spending their funds. UXO survivors who have completed this course of technical training average a 30% profit and consistently reinvest their profits back into their businesses.
Through working with local government counterparts, the project helps to develop the capacity of Lao national staff and develop a model for effective survivor assistance which can be replicated throughout Laos.
The SETA project is funded by the US Department of State, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement.