SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Laos).

Samneua is the capital of Huaphanh Province, which is located in the east of Laos. This province has a population of 311, 000 inhabitants and is home to 22 different ethnic groups. Huaphanh is one of the poorest provinces in the country. Furthermore, the Golden Triangle is also located in this province. This is the place where the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet, and it is also the area were the second largest amount of illicit opium poppy is cultivated in the world. Children are most vulnerable to poverty, and to the dangers of addiction and cultivation of opium.

Since 2004, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Samneua.

Of people in the province suffer from poverty


Although there has been a decrease in the last five years, Huaphanh, where Samneua is located, remains one of the poorest provinces in Laos, with a 28% poverty rate. Children are most affected by poverty, and only 67% of children aged 11 to 14 go to school. They are also most affected by food scarcity, with 40% of children in the province suffering from stunting, which is a measurement of low height for age, caused by undernutrition. Poverty is also one of the causes of child marriage. Indeed, in Huaphanh province, 50% of women aged 20 to 24 were married before the age of 18.

Of people are involved in opium cultivation

Opium cultivation and addiction

In the Huaphanh province, up to 15% of the population is involved in cultivation of opium. In 2006, the growing of the plant was made illegal in Laos. However, the production still exists, especially among the poorest, driven by the lack of alternative sources of income. By 2015, the amount of cultivation had tripled since 2007. Multiple programmes have been created, by the Laos Government and external organizations, to control the cultivation and mitigate the addiction, like for example helping farmers to switch to cultivating coffee instead. Not only is the cultivation a problem in Laos, but also the addiction. And children are the biggest victims of this, losing relatives to production, trafficking and addiction.

Your support makes a difference for children in Samneua

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Medical treatments
Were possible
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Spending time with friends in the garden! Children who grow up in our care often form bonds that last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages in Laos).

How your support helps in Samneua

Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Providing medical care
In areas with limited health services, SOS Children’s Villages provides medical advice and assistance. We offer preventative measures such as medical check-ups and vaccination programmes. Most of the patients who approach us for medical help come from local families, who could otherwise not afford to receive treatment.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.