Sae Lao Project
At SAE LAO people from around the world come together to discover and share experiences and knowledge with the Lao community to make a more sustainable way of life. SAE LAO is a sustainable development project located in Nathong Village, near the city of Vang Vieng. The project consists of a small organic farm, a non-profit farm-to-table restaurant, a community centre that provides daily English classes, and personalized volunteer projects for international visitors.
Our project has been operating since 2008, hosting over 1000 volunteers during that time. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have unfortunately experienced many issues including most of all a decrease in volunteers.
With the amount that our project does, each volunteer has the opportunity to help out in whichever way they want. Although teaching English is the primary role for volunteers, this only takes up a couple of hours each evening. For the rest of the day, there are many opportunities to help out with gardening, animal care, photography, videography, office work, social media and general maintenance. We are super flexible with the program of each volunteer and are always keen to learn and share new skills.
There is also plenty of time for volunteers to enjoy the local environment, with the Blue Lagoon 1 being only a 2 minute walk away as well as having multiple hikes very nearby. As well as this, our village is only a 15-minute drive from the centre of Vang Vieng, making it very accessible.
My name is Mor Lor. I am a past student turned coordinator of the Sae Lao project. I learned English here when I was a kid. Then, due to my academic performance, the project sponsored my university costs by means of a scholarship. After graduating I felt a debt with this project so I came back and started teaching children from all around the region. I want to give everyone the same opportunities that were given to me through the project.
One of the aims of Sae Lao is to create high quality employment opportunities, including job training and capacity building. At our height we had 10 full time local staff working alongside volunteers to make the project happen. However, due to lack of support as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has since been reduced to 3 local full time volunteer workers (myself, Peter and former student Juli). However, with everything reopening and life getting back to normal again, we are excited to welcome back volunteers and begin to rebuild.
We have the capacity to host 20 volunteers at any one time. Volunteers are provided with a dorm bed, shower and bathroom facilities, 3 meals prepared in our restaurant each day and free access to drinking water. We have a customizable volunteer schedule for each day. Most days will start with breakfast followed by a bit of grounds work. The days are then free for you to help out as you wish until teaching begins in the early evenings. After around 2 hours of teaching we have dinner together and you are free to do as you wish. We also have one day off per week, perfect for a day trip into Vang Vieng.
Feel free to message us if you would like any more information about the project or how you can help :)