Laos – Hum Noy

Life changed dramatically for Hum Noy (8) and his mother Duangmala when they were introduced to the Intellectual Disabilities Unit (IDU) based in Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

Born with Down Syndrome, Hum Noy found it difficult to communicate, was very isolated and becoming increasingly frustrated.

Now in his third year at the specialised school, currently the only program of its kind in Laos, he has made dramatic improvements. He has learnt many new skills and is now able to communicate with his family and friends and live a more active life.

“Hum Noy is learning how to follow instructions and say the names of his teachers and friends,” says Duangmala proudly. “He likes to draw, play instruments, and when they do aerobics he joins in!”

The school also opened up new opportunities for Duangmala, who has a daughter and recently lost her husband. She received training to become a teacher at the unit teaching daily life skills, cleanliness and some craft activities. She now earns a livelihood to support her family, and is able to use her skills to nurture the development of her son and the other students.

Duangmala said, “I’m proud that my child has a chance to learn and that I am able to help other children through my work.“

The Intellectual Disabilities Unit based in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is supported by Caritas Australia and was set up by the Lao Disabled People’s Association (LDPA). This specialised school provides learning support and nurturing care to 50 intellectually disabled children.

Pictures and Video shot on assignment for Caritas Australia – Project Compassion 2015.