What's New

  • Promote the disability inclusive internship program!

    The USAID Okard team had a great opportunity to promote the disability inclusive internship program during the American-Lao Business Association Special Networking Event on May 14, 2024! Many interesting connections were made with business leaders, and the team had the honor of meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to Lao PDR, Heather Variava, to present the innovative approach for persons with disabilities to gain skills through a six-month internship program and eventually increase their employability in the job market in Laos. Stay tuned for more details about this exciting internship opportunity! #networkingevent #okardproject #USAID #Opportunity #Inclusion

  • Another significant advancement for persons with disabilities in disability law in Laos!

    Did you know that persons with disabilities in Laos have the same rights and duties as others? This includes access to healthcare, economic opportunities, and information. However, ensuring they are fully aware of their rights is crucial. On May 10, 2024, with support from the Okard project, funded by USAID, the Department of Policy for Devotees, Persons with Disabilities and Older Persons, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, organized a Dissemination Workshop on Disabilities Law with line ministries, and related sectors. The workshop did not just aim to present the disability law and related regulations and share results on access to vocational training for ...

  • Strengthening Gender and Social Inclusion Data and Analysis in Lao PDR’ Statistics System

    USAID Okard joined forces with Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Lao Statistics Bureau (LSB) for conducting Training of Trainers for the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare with the topic on “Strengthening Gender and Social Inclusion Data and Analysis in Lao PDR’ Statistics System”. During the intensive training course from 29 April – 3 May 2024, the government of Laos participants and Organizations for Persons with Disabilities representatives learn about the core concepts of gender equality, disability, social inclusion (GEDSI), equity, identities, and intersectionality which are timely and relevant to their day to day work implementation. What’s more? The participants had a chance ...

  • Working side-by-side with the private sector and OPDs to increase employability for people with disabilities in Lao PDR

    A recent survey conducted in Vientiane by USAID Okard revealed that on-the-job skills development is the preferred model by people with disabilities rather than formal vocational training centers. Based on this conclusion, and to better understand and meet the needs and capability of both employers and job seekers with disabilities, the Okard team interviewed 16 employers from Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and representatives of OPDs. This consultation confirmed that some employers already have a pre-employment training program for newly recruited staff but still need guidance to hire and train people with disabilities. For these employers, Okard is developing a package of inclusive employment ...

  • 3rd Annual Disability Policy Dialogue Sheds Light on Disability Inclusive Social Protection in Lao PDR

    The 3rd Annual Disability Policy Dialogue (ADPD) in Lao PDR was a momentous event, bringing together key stakeholders to address the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in the country. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Country Representative, Mr. Michael Ronning, and the Deputy General Director of the Department of Policy for Devotees, Persons with Disabilities and Older Persons, and Deputy Head of Secretariat of the National Committee for Persons with disabilities (NCPD), Mr. Sengaloun Luangraj, opened the event. The event aimed to address the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in Lao PDR and explore opportunities for promoting their inclusion in ...

  • GROWE-ing the Rehabilitation Workforce

    From February 27-29, 2024 the Health Senior Technical Advisor (STA) of USAID Okard with two technical staff from the WHO Lao Country Office attended the first Guide for Rehabilitation Workforce Evaluation (GROWE) training workshop. Hosted by The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre, partnered with the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WPRO) and the Headquarters Rehabilitation Team, this workshop brought together 20 instructors and trainees from around the world, who were guided through theoretical and practical implementation of the GROWE tool. GROWE will be conducted in Laos in 2024, and ...

  • USAID Implementing Partners Meeting 2024

    World Education, represented by USAID Okard, attended an Implementing Partners (IP) meeting hosted by USAID Laos. USAID Okard’s Souliya Ounavong (Communications Coordinator) and Sathaphon Phoumarino (SBCC/Comms Manager) had a booth to showcase their work over the last year and engage with visitors who stopped by to network and learn more about the projects and initiative. Bernard Franck, the Chief of Party of USAID Okard participated in a panel discussion on the implementation of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) framework in USAID program of assistance and highlighted the challenges and opportunities to foster disability inclusive employment in INGO and ...

  • Community Based Inclusive Development Redesign Workshop

    #CommunityBasedInclusiveDevelopment #Redesign #Workshop We are thrilled to share the incredible progress being made in promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities through the collaborative efforts of the National Committee for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare and World Education under the Okard project Phase I. Partnership Power: Together, NCPD and World Education have pioneered the implementation of the Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID) demonstration model in Xiengkhouang and Savannakhet provinces, marking a significant leap towards fostering inclusivity and empowerment within our communities.  What is CBID?  CBID is an approach that aims to build and promote ...

  • Laos Unites in Celebrating and Honoring Persons with Disabilities on National and International Day 2023

    VIENTIANE, LAO PDR — The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MOLSW), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nation (UN) in Lao PDR celebrated the National and International Day for Persons with Disabilities on December 16. The event was organized by the Lao Disabled People’s Association (LDPA), co-funded by USAID and UNDP, in partnership with the Disability Service Center, Lao Association of the Blind, Hands of Hope, Association for Autism, Disabilities Mainstreaming Advisory Service Center, Women with Disabilities Association, Center for Medical Rehabilitation (CMR), Naga Management & Service Sole Co., Ltd, Humanity & Inclusion Laos, World Education, and other organizations ...

  • Laos Unites in Celebrating and Honoring Persons with Disabilities on National and International Day 2023

    Laos Unites in Celebrating and Honoring Persons with Disabilities on National and International Day 2023 VIENTIANE, LAO PDR — The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MOLSW), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nation (UN) in Lao PDR celebrated the National and International Day for Persons with Disabilities on December 16. The event was organized by the Lao Disabled People’s Association (LDPA), co-funded by USAID and UNDP, in partnership with the Disability Service Center, Lao Association of the Blind, Hands of Hope, Association for Autism, Disabilities Mainstreaming Advisory Service Center, Women with Disabilities Association, Center for Medical Rehabilitation (CMR), Naga Management ...