Cambodia and Laos Trip

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Cambodia and Laos: June 23 – June 30, 2019

Nestled in the heart of Southeast Asia, Cambodia and Laos have rich histories including diverse religious and cultural traditions. Both countries are emerging from challenging periods and are striving to build stronger and more inclusive political systems and economies.

Cambodia shares a border with Vietnam, Thailand and Laos, and is about half the size of Japan. Following more than two decades of strong economic growth, Cambodia has reached lower middle-income status as of 2015. Poverty continues to fall, albeit very slowly. About 4.5 million people remain near-poor, vulnerable to poverty when exposed to economic and other external shocks. Health and education remain important challenges and development priorities for Cambodia. As of 2015, 70 percent of Cambodia’s population of 12.3 million people do not have access to piped water supply, and 58 percent (9.3 million people) do not have access to improved sanitation.

CRS began working in Cambodia more than 25 years ago. During this time, CRS has provided humanitarian assistance for refugees, famine relief, health systems strengthening, childhood education systems support and rehabilitation assistance.

While the itinerary may change, possible destinations include:

  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s fast-developing capital, where you’ll learn more about the challenges of the country’s growth through a visit to CRS partner Maryknoll and its counter-trafficking and HIV and AIDS youth program.
  • Takeo province, where CRS helps educate children with disabilities.

Lao People's Democratic Republic is a small, landlocked country of almost 7 million people. The country is one of the poorest in Southeast Asia, without adequate education, health services or infrastructure to support the development of its people. Thirty-four percent of the Laotian people live on less than $1.25 per day, 75 percent of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture and fewer than 70 percent of children graduate from grade 5. Catholic Relief Services began supporting Lao partners in 1997 and opened its first office in 2007. Since then, CRS has worked primarily in the education sector. CRS’ main office is located in Vientiane, Laos’ capital, and has field offices in three provinces.

While the itinerary may change, possible destinations include:

  • Vientiane, Laos’ capital and largest city, where you’ll learn about the country’s challenges and opportunities from CRS and our partners.
  • Savannakhet Province, where you’ll visit the Learning and Engaging All in Primary School project, or LEAPS, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food for Education program. The project’s strategic objective is improving literacy for school-age children by providing a nutritious, healthy meal that allows students to focus on their studies and not their hunger. The project serves over 35,000 preschool and primary school students in 318 schools.

If you have any questions related to travel with CRS or are interested in taking care of this opportunity, please contact [email protected].

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