Each year up to 30 new students enroll in the LDWDC training program. All of the students we take have been affected by disability in some way. The majority of students are themselves women with disabilities; however some are able-bodied but have family members with a disability and act as caregivers or breadwinners for the family member.
Most of our students come from poor, rural areas of Laos, and many are also members of minority ethnic groups. Over 80% of women with disabilities who come to the Centre have lost one or both of their parents.
Our training program is 6 months long and the students reside in the LDWDC dormitories (on site) for the duration of their training. The LDWDC covers the costs of medical expenses and meals. The students receive an additional 50,000 Kip (US$6) each month for any personal expenses.
The core component of the training is sewing and needlework training, as this is a valuable skill in Laos. The students also receive training in a number of other areas, including social development and awareness, women’s civil rights, healthcare and hygiene, small business, IT and Lao / English Language skills. Students also learn the basics of weaving, paper making and recycled paper products and some elect to study these skills in greater depth.
Our training programs are always flexible, in light of the abilities of the student and their job opportunities outside of the Centre Students may also partake in social development projects, as they arise in the Centre.
The training is designed to not only teach women with disabilities valuable income generating skills, but also to build their confidence and help them to become independent.
Training at LDWDC is supported by agreement number TEAM-1-006 issued by World Education, agreement number APC-GM-0063, through Advancing Partners &Communities (APC), a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development under Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-12-00047, beginning October 1, 2015.