This is an exciting time for VWB/VSF in Lao PDR. We have formed two new partnerships in Savannakhet Province. Savannakhet University (SKU) and the Eco Guide Unit (EGU) are hosting our first Student Volunteer Placements in Laos. Four veterinary students from the Atlantic Veterinary College, Prince Edward Island, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Saskatchewan and Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Quebec are volunteering in Lao PDR for three months.
One project, in association with a PhD researcher in primate conservation, hopes to establish the presence of Silvered Leaf Monkeys (Trachypithecus germaini) in the Dong Phouvieng National Protected Area. The species is classified as globally endangered and the project will explore the related conservation and ecotourism implications of such findings. Two other volunteers based at SKU will be helping to develop curriculum materials for a Bachelor degree program in Animal Science. With the majority of Lao people depending on subsistence agriculture, programs such as this help to build much needed capacity. These volunteers will also be helping with vaccination programmes and teaching English.
Sadly, we have recently said goodbye to Dr Anne Drew and her husband Thom who have just completed their second volunteer mission with the Village Ecohealth and Veterinary Extension Project in Xaythany District, Vientiane province, and their contributions have been invaluable. The couple has become part of the Nabong community and their absence is already being felt. A huge thank you to them for all of their hard work and dedication.
Part of Anne and Thom’s work included setting the groundwork for a poultry project and establishment of rural veterinary drug vendors. Updates on these activities to follow soon…