Planting the “Seeds of Hope” in Laos
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<Groundbreaking Ceremony for Building a Kindergarten>
The Korean Buddhist Foundation for Social Welfare (President, Ven. Jaseung) visited Laos, a Buddhist country in Southeast Asia, from September 2~7, 2011 to initiate building of training centers to help the local people.
The Foundation was accompanied by over 30 workers that work in Community Centers, Childcare Centers, Disability Facilities, and other Social Welfare Facilities. The purpose of the visit was to participate in groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a kindergarten and to make affiliation to provide free eye sight recovery operation for visually handicapped with low income. Through this participation, the Foundation was able to take the first steps in international outreach relief work. Moreover, through these outreach programs, the importance of compassion emphasized in Buddhism is demonstrated.
This vision surgery support began when a sponsor, who received surgery in Korea last May, made donations for the purpose of “Helping children to gain eye sight in the Third World countries.”
Together with The National Eye Center, the Foundation will proceed with the eye surgeries for over 300 children to gain eye sight by the end of this year. Through the joint campaigns from Korea, the Foundation hopes to attain more sponsorship to help the local children receive eye surgery on a regular basis.
Currently, there are only about 10 specialists who can perform eye surgeries. Moreover, hospitals are concentrated only around Vientiane, Laos’ capital city. However, there are over 12,000 people that suffer from cataracts, with most unable to receive surgeries due to economic difficulties. The Director of National Eye Center states, “We are very grateful for people’s care and support for Korean Buddhist Community” and added “Our medical team will continue our best to offer services for those who can not afford proper health care.”
Followed by the affiliation ceremony for the Eye Surgery Center in Laos, the overseas training team also signed an agreement to build Kindergarten in Laos. The first kindergarten to be built abroad by the Foundation is located in the heart of Vientiane. The current kindergarten structure, which is in serious deterioration, will be remodeled in 1650 m² land which will include one story building sized 160 m². There are currently 7 teachers, including the principal to teach more than 50 kids from 1-5 years old. The foundation hopes to enhance the current structure with modern facility and provide appropriate labor cost to teacher in order to offer quality education to local children.
<Korean Buddhist Foundation for Social Welfare:
Laos free eye sight recovery operation for visually handicapped>