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Sepon mine improves education in Vilabouly

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MMG Lane Xang Minerals Limited (LXML), which operates the Sepon mine, has invested more than US$50,000 in 2014 to improve basic education in Vilabouly district, Savannakhet province.

In cooperation with local authorities, LXML’s Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF) has supported local communities to build five schools, including two preschools and three primary schools.

Under the PAF program, village representatives join consultations to determine their most urgent needs.  Communities set development priorities and decide together how to address these needs.

Five villages decided to build schools this year. LXML also repaired a school in Nahoy village. In addition to support from LXML, villages contribute materials and labour to build schools.

“We chose to build a school because we want our children to learn skills for their future livelihoods,” said Mr Champhone, village chief from Nam Maeng village.

“We are proud to support education as improved education is essential for long term poverty reduction,” said Rick Watsford, General Manager, MMG LXML Sepon.

In addition to primary education, LXML provides significant training and employment opportunities for high school graduates. Since 2003, LXML has supported trade traineeship, pre-employment, data entry traineeship and other programs for more than 100 high school graduates from Vilabouly.  

According to Savannakhet Education Office and Sports’ report on implementation of its education plan for 2013 to 2015, 98.5% of grade one children in Vilabouly now attend primary school. To meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for education, 98% of children must attend school.

Since the mine commenced production in 2003, LXML has contributed over US$1 million to support communities with education facilities and is exploring new partnerships to improve access.

Improving education

Photo: ©MMG/ Sonepraseuth Niradsay
LXML works closely with district officials and community members to improve basic education in Vilabouly district, Savannakhet province.