LAOS – Lone Buffalo English Development Centre
Located in Phonsavan, in the Xieng Khouang Province of Laos, the Lone Buffalo English Development Centre is named in honour of a remarkable man. Manophet Lone Buffalo spent his days clearing unexploded mines and his evenings teaching English to as many people as he could fit into his house. When he died suddenly in 2010 the Lone Buffalo Centre was set up the following year by Englishman Mark Steadman and his friend ‘Teacher Nick’, in his memory, to offer English tuition and creative development programmes to local children.
Today the centre benefits more than 250 young people in this area of rural Laos. Teaching is done by well-trained enthusiastic local teachers under the guidance of a professional Western Teacher/Trainer. The ability to speak English makes a big difference to a young person’s future in Laos. As one student said, “English is my future”.
The Centre offers other benefits too, with sport coaching and creative programmes such as film-making and students recently started their own coffee company! But at the heart of the project is the teaching of English.
Class 1B, whose teacher costs we are funding, have this month been studying various adjectives, verbs and pronouns. Attendance has been 67 per cent this last month.
Our funding will support a class of some 25 students for a year, ensuring that they receive free tuition in English as well as covering the provision of textbooks and the salary of a local teacher.
We would like to thank EXPLORE for introducing this project to us.
We have an update on progress in Class 1B. The class had a Progress test in December, with most students doing well. After the Progress Test the class started with their new textbooks. Attendance during the month was 87%, with three students dropping out.
Most students from class 1B attended a computer course and a safeguarding presentation.
For January work will continue with the Think starter textbooks.
Class 1B progressed strongly through 2020 They have completed units 1 – 8 of the Think Beginners text book, which was funded by the Foundation. Students are now able to hold simple conversations and have the confidence to make one-minute presentations about family life, free time, school etc. This development provides the students with a great platform to move to advanced beginner level and Elementary over the coming years.
With the completion of this one-year Project with class 1B, the Foundation is now focusing on creating new IT facilities from which all Lone Buffalo students will benefit.