The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and RADION International officially agreed on Friday to support capacity building for child protection and development in target communities in the central provinces.

The “Child Protection and Development Programme” supported by RADION International is focusing on improving living conditions and protecting the rights of underprivileged children in communities in the capital and Vientiane province.

The total cost of the five-year project (2018-2023), which began last year, is over US$600,000, with activities being carried out in Xaythany district,

Vientiane, and in Phonhong and Thoulakham districts of Vientiane province.

A cooperation agreement for the programme was signed by Acting Director General of the ministry’s Social Welfare Department, Mr Vilayphong Sysomvang, and RADION International representative, Mr Alvin Ong.

The signing ceremony was attended by Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Mrs Baykham Khattiya, Singapore Ambassador to Laos, Mr Dominic Goh Kian Swee, and Executive Director of RADION International, Mr Eugene Wee, along with ministry officials.

Under the agreement, the two parties will carry out community-based child protection activities such as expanding social security networks, supporting education assistance and development for child victims, assisting children at risk or in situations of harm including violence, and stopping the exploitation of children by their families and community.

“All children must be given the chance to find their identity and realise their worth in a safe and supportive environment, through families and other caregivers committed to their welfare,” Mr Vilayphong said.

“They must be prepared for responsible life in society. They should, from their early years, be encouraged to participate in the cultural life of their societies,” he added.

Mr Wee said the project was being implemented in the target districts because these were near the capital and identified as high risk or vulnerable to situations of harm including violence and the exploitation of children.

“Our vision is to reach oppressed and needy communities through practical actions, allowing our actions to stand as witness to God’s love for people,” he said.

RADION International is a Christian humanitarian relief and development organisation that provides both short-term and long-term assistance to underprivileged and marginalised communities in Asia.

RADION International, headquartered in Chiang Mai, Thailand, also serves critically needy communities across northern Thailand and has a field office in Phetchabun province that serves the largest concentration of hill tribes in Thailand.

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