Nim’s Mission: Creating safe spaces and educating families in Laos PDR

Publicerat 2024-07-02

Nim, a 21-year-old Project Officer in Lao PDR, works to transform the challenging environment of Lao PDR community attitudes towards alcohol, through initiatives with IOGT-NTO Movement and People’s Family Health Association (PFHA). Her passion and commitment drive her to address the deep-rooted issues associated with alcohol consumption, ultimately making a positive impact on families and youth clubs.

”I noticed adults drinking and it not only affects them but also their children,” Nim observes, highlighting a pervasive issue in her community. She recognizes that children often mimic their parents’ behaviors, including drinking alcohol. ”Children always want to do what parents do,” she adds, emphasizing the importance of setting a positive example.

When asked what she believes is most crucial to teach children and parents, Nim’s response is  ”Children want to hear the truth from their parents.” In Lao PDR, alcohol is deeply intertwined with cultural ceremonies, such as blessing ceremonies, making it challenging to address. Yet, Nim firmly believes that the key to change lies in open, honest communication and attentive listening.


”The most important thing to teach parents is to listen to their children’s thoughts and feelings,” Nim explains. She underscores that the actions of adults have a significant impact on their children. Through the project’s initiatives, parents have become aware that it is illegal to send children to purchase alcohol—a practice that was previously commonplace.

Nim’s vision for change includes creating safe spaces for children, free from the influence of alcohol. ”Right now, for many of the children in the project, it is not even their home but only the child’s bedroom that might be a safe space without alcohol,” she says. Her dream extends to fostering open dialogues among parents about the harms of alcohol, encouraging them to share experiences and support each other.

”Without the project’s activities, the parents wouldn’t know that it is illegal,” Nim notes, highlighting the project’s role in spreading vital information to help people know and follow the national alcohol legislation. She is optimistic about the change that is beginning to take root in her community, attributing it to the awareness raised through their efforts.

Nim concludes with a powerful message: ”If the change is going to happen, the parents have to do it themselves.” Her words reflect a deep understanding that sustainable change comes from within.