Give Children A Choice (GCAC) is a non-profit organization with the mission of providing sustainable education programs for underprivileged children as means of escaping poverty. As the organization’s name suggests, successful education from an early age provides children with the luxury of choice, something many impoverished children are denied. By building and filling preschools predominately in Laos, GCAC is empowering youth since it’s launch in 2002 by providing education in the most formative years of their lives.
With aid from donors, government officials, partner organizations, and the villages where GCAC operates, the project begins with the construction of preschools from the ground up. Once the education infrastructure is in place, GCAC provides funds to train effective teachers, materials emphasizing the importance of hygiene and nutrition, and an environment to thrive.
In only 70 to 90 days, GCAC establishes effective preschools that will educate youth for generations. School provides confidence among youth and fortifies success in higher levels of education. Positive social skills and emotional development are nurtured by attending preschool. Additionally, participation in preschool results in greater high school graduation rates and university attendance.
“Nothing makes us smile more than the opportunity to give children choices by offering them a better life via an education.”
But the children are not the only ones who directly benefit from GCAC’s projects. Villagers, parents of students, and the local community are involved in every step of the process, and ultimately feel a sense of ownership and pride in their success. A core concept of GCAC is the empowerment of villagers to create and sustain education programs.
Featured on their website, www.givechildrenachoice.org, are a myriad of completed, successful projects. On such project was the construction of a preschool in the Laotian village of Pak Nga. Upon arrival in March 2005, GCAC was the first foreign visitor to set foot in the village. But just six months and many new friendships later, the first preschool was finished and ready to be utilized. Since the school’s completion, GCAC has been pleasantly notified that many other villages have asked for preschools of their own. Currently, the school and students are thriving and eager to learn.
Like Give Children A Choice, Friendship Tours World Travel (FTWT) values education because of the empowerment and opportunity it supplies. We partnered with GCAC because we believe in their mission and have complimentary values. Our educational travel programs promote sustainability, local connections, and peace to evolve students into global citizens.
FTWT also offers socially-conscious travel that incorporates many levels of community service and social-entrepreneurship. Students are invited to contribute their skills and talents toward advancing a project; such as shooting, producing, and editing a promotional video for an NGO. Additionally, fundraising and supplies-collection generate resources for organization addressing a community problem. To increase awareness of social problems, students engage in letter-writing campaigns, interviews, and press conferences. Each trip involves direct cultural-exchange activities with local children.
Please explore GCAC’s website to learn more about their mission, completed projects, or to donate. Anything helps in the mission to construct preschools, secure supplies, and ultimately change the lives of whole communities forever.