About two and a half years ago we got to know Jue (Juelauj), an intelligent and eager student from a poor, underprivileged family. He is working very hard to be able to send money home to his family and to finance his studies in Luang Prabang. Despite having hardly any money he always tries to help other people in need. He is determined to improve his life and help his family and community. Jue is one of the biggest hearted people we have ever known.
Please join us in helping him reaching his potentials … here is his story:
I got it! I received a scholarship from Jiangsu Vocational Institute of Architectural Technology in China!
Hello! My name is Jue Lauj. I am 20 years old and I’m from Houaphan Province, Sopbao District, Nasoun Village in the northeast of Laos 700 km from Luang Prabang. I grew up in a very poor family in the countryside. I did not think it could be possible for me to go to school earlier in my life. When I was young, my siblings and I didn’t even have warm clothes to wear in the winter months. I have two younger sisters and a younger brother.
When I was 8 years old, my mother did not want me to go to school because we did not have any money and nobody else would be there to take care of my siblings. My father did not provide any help at all to my family. My mom cried often because of that. Besides that I had to work with my mom on the farm every day. It was very hard work. I continued begging to be allowed to go to school and finally she agreed. I was so happy that I could go to school every day with my friends. After school I would still follow her to work on the farm. I learnt how to read and write in Lao language. I wanted to show her everything that I learnt in school.
After I finished five years of primary school in my village, I was fortunate enough to be the first person from my village to get a scholarship from the government to study at a secondary boarding school for four years. The school was very far away from my village. I started my secondary school there when I was 13.
During this period, I got to know many friends from different villages and tribes. We lived together in the dormitory and studied many subjects in school together. It was a very good experience for me as I got to learn how to live independently. We had a lot of fun together. I really like sports. We studied English, but it was only at a basic level. We felt that it was not enough for us. We believed that good English is the key to a better future. Therefore we learned more on our own and also taught English to younger students in the school.
After I completed my secondary school, I continued to study at the high school there for a year. Then I decided to leave my friends and family and moved to Luang Prabang, a city 16 hours by bus from my village. I was the first one from my village to move to Luang Prabang for my further education. I found that Luang Prabang is a better place because there are many institutions and places to learn English. There are also many foreigners whom I can practice my English with. I really like it here. The places where I could learn and practice English for free are My Library, Big Brother Mouse and Pousi Mountain.
I attended school from 8:00 am to 4:30pm. In the evening I either went for English, Chinese or IT classes. From 11:00 pm to 7:00 am I worked in a hotel as a security guard. I was also working as a translator for Luang Prabang Backstreet Academy. With the money I earned I was able to pay for my living expenses like housing and food. At the same time, I always managed to send some money back home to help my family. With whatever money I had left after that, I signed up for English class at English 4 Everyone. I also managed to buy books and stationaries to give to the children in my village. I brought one of my sisters to Luang Prabang to live with me and study English. I did quite a lot of volunteering to help others in need.
Now I have successfully graduated from high school with good grades and I really want to further my education. It is a rare opportunity for me to be granted a scholarship by Jiangsu Vocational Institute of Architectural Technology in China. The scholarship covers a large portion of the costs. However I still need some financial help in covering the remaining costs.
The college will cover the $1785 annual tuition fee and the $595 accommodation fee for the first year. As long as I maintain my grades, the college will continue to cover the tuition and accommodation for the full 3 years!
Here are the remaining costs which I must raise to cover my education:
- Medical check-up $60
- Round trip flight $700
- Student visa $100
- Residental permit fee $60
- Insurance fee $89
- Textbooks and materials $45
- Food $1800 ($5 per day)
I estimate I need to raise approximately $2500 per year for a total of $7500 for the full three-year program.
I am asking for your help to fulfill my dream so that I can earn a degree and come back to use my gained knowledge and skills to help my family and my country.
(Because gofundme does not allow campaigns to be administered from Laos, we are running this campaign from Switzerland. All donations will be fully transferred to Jue’s account. He will take all decisions on how to best spend the money for his education and living expenses in China.)
Please share this campaign with your network. And thank you for supporting Jue make his dreams come true!
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