SGRA Project in Laos (January)

A JILAF delegation visited the Lao capital of Vientiane from January 18 (Monday) to 20 (Wednesday) for the SGRA project (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network), which JILAF is implementing with grants from the Japanese government (Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare). The third meeting of the Central Promotion Committee and a national workshop were held during this period.
In the third meeting of the Central Promotion Committee, which was held on January 19, reports were heard about the project and activities in fiscal 2015, after which a committee member gave an assessment of the project in the current fiscal year. JILAF Assistant Secretary General Ryo Saito then proposed policies for the coming fiscal year.
On January 20 a national workshop was held for the first time in Laos. About 60 people attended, including representatives of the Lao government, labour, and management involved in the SGRA project, as well as experts from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
At the beginning of the workshop, an opening address was given by Mr. Ounkam Bounyaseing, head of the General Affairs Division of the Labour Protection Bureau at the Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU), on behalf of the new president of the LFTU, Mr. Pan Noymany. Speeches were also made by Mr. Ponsisack, head of the Labour Administration Bureau at the Lao Ministry of Labour; Ms. Sengdavone Bangolesengdet, secretary general of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI); Mr. Charles, a specialist at the ILO Asia-Pacific Regional Office; and Mr. Hideki Chiba, an officer at the ILO. All of these speakers praised the significance of the SGRA project.
Speaking on behalf of the organizers, JILAF Assistant Secretary General Saito then expressed his appreciation for the enthusiastic efforts that all the participants were making on the front lines and explained the purpose of the workshop and other matters. Mr. Chiba of the ILO also noted that “The SGRA project, which brings together the government, labour, and management at the grass-roots level and continues to achieve results in improving and uplifting livelihoods, is very unusual in the world and is attracting a lot of attention.”
Next, after Mr. Ounkan of the LFTU had given a report of activities in fiscal 2015, representatives of the two districts where the project is being implemented (Vientiane and Savannakhet) delivered detailed local reports. JILAF then proposed and confirmed future policies. In response, the participants split into their respective regional groups to discuss and make plenary presentations on the roles of local government, labour, and management and target groups and activities in the coming fiscal year (Vientiane: quality improvement and marketing training for traditional textile workers [home workers] and training and employment for potential textile factory workers based on cooperation with the employers’ organization; Savannakhet: organic farming training for workers engaged in vegetable cultivation, literacy education, etc.; Champassak: training in the nonuse of agricultural pesticides and productivity improvement for workers engaged in coffee cultivation, training in the use of organic fertilizer and marketing for workers engaged in poultry raising, literacy education, etc.). After the LFTU and JILAF had commented on the presentations, JILAF Assistant Secretary General Saito ended the workshop with a wrap-up of the proceedings.

Schedule

DateContents
01/19Tue3rd Central Promotion Committee Meeting
01/20WedLao SGRA Workshop

Photos of Participants

Central Promotion Committee meeting

Opening ceremony

Report by Mr. Ounkam Bounyaseing of the LFTU

Savannakhet activity report

Discussions

Scene of the venue