“With climate change, we lack rainwater during rainy seasons and droughts become more frequent. We have a poor rice production harvest, and we do not have enough food for family consumption. This is very challenging to keep on supporting our children’s education” says YaXiong, 53 years old, from PakOu district, Luang Prabang province.
In rural areas of Lao PDR, communities rely essentially on agricultural production and forest products when it comes to food and livelihoods. What the Lee family endures is a reflection of the additional economic pressure put on the most vulnerable households, not allowing children to access the growth opportunities they deserve.
As a result, the two elder daughters of the family, Pana, 15 years old, and Kang, 14 years old, dropped out of school after completing the 3rd grade of secondary school. This is a common reality among the ethnic communities of Pak Ou District, Luang Prabang province, where fewer than 70% of children transition from primary to lower-secondary school.*
The reality is even worse for girls, with only 65.8% of them being able to keep studying.