With Cord’s help, Viengsam is pioneering life-changing work for children with autism in Laos. Hundreds of children can now look forward to a future full of hope, peace and prosperity.
Cord support has enabled Viengsam to overcome huge logistical and financial obstacles to ensure that children, like her son, can achieve their potential. The investment in Viengsam, a single mother, has led to lasting transformation for entire families and communities.
In Laos the government had largely ignored autistic children, failing to provide education, and leaving them extremely vulnerable. This meant that Viengsam’s son was initially unable to attend school. However, she wasn’t willing to accept this. Like any parent, she wanted her son to access education where he could be included and valued. She wanted her son to enjoy the same opportunities as other children and fulfil his potential.
In 2012, together with other parents, she established the Association for Autism (AFA). It campaigns for access to education and a better life for all children with autism in Laos.
As AFA grew, Viengsam began to encounter problems. It was difficult to gain funding, and AFA struggled to adapt and carry out its work. At this critical time, Cord was able to step in with a small grant and some coaching. This helped in the short-term, but something more sustainable was to follow.
Cord enabled Viengsam to access training in areas such as project development and planning. She used this knowledge to successfully apply for funding which moved the association forward, beyond anything that Viengsam had ever imagined would be possible! AFA has become more competent and self-reliant.
It isn’t only the organisation that has benefited, Viengsam has developed personally and professionally. She explained:
“This opportunity has given me greater self-confidence and courage to lead and create bigger impact. It has widened my perspective to invest in organisational development for future sustainability.”
The success of AFA has impacted the wider society with the Laos government having a greater recognition of the work of AFA. An increasing number of children with autism can successfully access education. More parents are seeing the positive impact in the lives of their children.
Thanks to your generous support, Viengsam has fulfilled her vision for her son and other children with autism to be educated. They now have a safe space to express themselves and can pursue their dreams.
Please donate today so that more people like Viengsam’s son can reach their potential and live life to the full. Your gift will change the lives of individuals and transform whole communities.