Funded by the United States Department of State, the Lawang (“Beware”): Expanding the Scope of Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) in Laos project will help ensure that children, youth, and people living in high-risk communities in Laos have the knowledge and skills to keep themselves and their families safe from unexploded ordnance (UXO). The project builds off of the achievements of World Education’s (WEI) previous risk education programs by piloting new modes of EORE that will bring UXO safety messages to a wider audience across the country.
Although the overall number of casualties caused by unexploded ordnance (UXO) accidents have decreased in recent years, accidents still occur regularly and each year, an average of 48% of all reported accidents victims are children or youth. On many occasions, UXO accidents happen while youths play in a field, scrap metal collectors scavenge for parts, farmers tend to agriculture, and villagers light fires to stay warm during the winter. As a result, there is an ongoing need to implement EORE in Laos to raise awareness of the dangers of UXO and promote safer behaviors among high-risk groups. While previous projects have focused on strengthening EORE in primary schools, the Lawang project will partner with the Ministry of Education and Sport (MOES) to target additional at-risk groups through a variety of channels. WEI is currently working with the MOES to finalize the project design.
- WEI and the Department of General Education will train over 1,300 secondary school teachers on how to use EORE teacher handbooks that were developed under Comprehensive Mine Risk Education project. Following the training, thousands of secondary school students across the country will receive EORE lessons during extracurricular periods. WEI will also work with secondary schools to conduct additional EORE events for their students.
- With the Department of Non-Formal Education, the Lawang project will develop and pilot an EORE curriculum for non-formal education centers to reach young people who have dropped out of the formal education system as well as agricultural workers and other laborers pursuing additional education.
- The Lawang project will partner with village education development committees (VEDCs) to help spread UXO safety messages within at-risk communities. VEDCs will recruit youth volunteers to conduct EORE sessions for other members of their communities.
- WEI, the MOES, and the National Regulatory Authority will work together to develop and disseminate EORE media across a variety of channels, including social media.