JILAF has been implementing the SGRA project (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network), which is subsidized by the Japanese government (Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare), successively in Thailand, Nepal, and Bangladesh since 2011 and has launched it in Laos as well from the current fiscal year.
In August JILAF and the International Labour Organization (ILO) jointly held Life Support Seminars in the two districts in Laos where the project is being implemented, namely, the capital of Vientiane and the southern province of Savannakhet, with the aim of improving and uplifting the livelihoods of informal-sector workers. The seminars targeted tuk-tuk (three-wheeled motorbike taxi) drivers in Vientiane and sugarcane plantation workers in Savannakhet; the participants were organized as new SGRA network members.
A combined total of 70 new network members attended the Life Support Seminars held in the two above-mentioned districts. Members of the regional working committees (made up of representatives of the Lao government, labour, and management), who promote activities in the two districts, explained about the social security system in general and assistance that Lao people can receive free of charge, such as public services, and provided livelihood information using an SGRA tool kit produced jointly with the ILO.
In the final part of the seminars, toward improving the income of new network members, the organizers explained about plans to realize the transfer (“bridging”) of members to existing training programs implemented by the Lao government and others and discussed training content.
As a result of these discussions, in Vientiane it was confirmed that there is a need for training to improve English conversation skills and technical training to repair tuk-tuk taxis in order to cope with the increased number of tourists expected following inauguration of the ASEAN Economic Community. In Savannakhet, meanwhile, many requests were received for training in soil improvement for sugarcane farms.
From now on JILAF, operating mainly through its office in Thailand and in close cooperation with the government, labour, and management in Laos, will strengthen efforts to realize bridging in the two districts.
|08/17||Mon||FY 2015 1st Savannakhet Life Support Seminar|
|08/18||Tue||FY 2015 1st Vientiane Life Support Seminar|