USAID Okard Project in Laos Welcomes VIPs

January 21st, 2020 | News


This month, World Education Laos hosted USAID Assistant Administrator for Legislative and Public Affairs Richard Parker and Congressional liaison Dorothy Rayburn in the Xieng Khouang Province. In Xieng Khouang, World Education’s USAID Okard project is partnering with the Lao government to enhance the well-being of persons with disabilities. The project improves access to quality healthcare and economic opportunities for persons with disabilities, while also engaging them in policy design and implementation.

Richard Parker and Dorothy Rayburn spent time in a village supported by the project, meeting with some of the people living with disabilities in the community and helping to make their homes more accessible.

In an interview with the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane, Mr. Parker reflected on his visit with a 67-year-old woman in the village who was born blind and unable to walk: “We were able to go in to make some modifications so she could get around the house better. The villagers built a new house for her, so she was able to get around much easier and to be more a part of the community. It was a beautiful thing to be able to see.”

In Laos, persons with disabilities are among society’s most marginalized populations. Some of the major causes of disabilities in the country include unexploded ordnances, road accidents, and, increasingly, non-communicable diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and stunting. Equal access to health and social services will foster inclusivity of persons with disabilities in their communities and allow for barrier-free contributions to society.

For more information, visit the USAID Okard project page.

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