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Phase II: Regional expansion

Champasak

Preparing materials for clay modeling

Project overview and objectives
In Champasak, a resource and training center which serves southern Lao PDR will be established modeled on Luang Prabang. With the Champasak and Luang Prabang centers in place, and supported by the satellite centers in Bokeo and Savannakhet, a comprehensive national training network will be completed with full coverage in Lao PDR. The Champasak center will provide training-of-trainers courses for monks from Savannakhet, as well as mobile training teams to assist on-site in Savannakhet with on-the-job training.   

Training in Champasak will focus on all skills used in temple decoration including painting, carving and sculpting, gold-leaf stenciling and the production and application of traditional lime based stucco. A training-of-trainers programme will be conducted prior to launching the training activities, both in Champasak as well as invited training in Luang Prabang. In addition, a comprehensive awareness-raising programme will be implanted reaching out to all districts of Champasak province.

Project output to date
Project activities in Champasak have commenced in June 2005. The first activity undertaken was to select and send a number of talented monks and novices to Luang Prabang to participate in a three-month training course specially designed to learn basic skills or the subjects included in the curriculum for Champasak training center. Training center was established on the ground of Vat Luang where classrooms were prepared, equipment and tools were purchased and first batch of trainees were also selected from several different districts in Champasak province. Meanwhile, the project team conducted awareness-raising activities throughout Champasak province where monks were identified for enrolment in the training programme. In September of 2005, upon the return of the monks and novices who participated in the training course in Luang Prabang, a ceremony was held to officially open the training center. While the first training classes were conducted, along side training-of trainers continued and particularly focused on didactic techniques. During the subsequent months of training, regular evaluations were conducted and have lead to some revisions of the curriculum. In order to practice the use of traditional lime plaster, the project team has identified an old temple that would be a suitable site for a practicum project. Considering that the temple is located rather far from the training center, logistics may prove too complicated and costly to use this site as training venue. However, in case funds can be identified, it would provide an excellent opportunity for the project and a demonstration project with potential impact for the whole southern Lao PDR.