Lao disabled centre to sell souvenirs for 25th SEA Games

Posted by samakomlao Monday, April 27, 2009

The Lao Disabled Women's Development Centre (LDWDC) is determined to produce Southeast Asian Games' merchandise following a decision by the SEA Games Organising Committee to issue copyrights to the centre free of charge.

LDWDC Director and founder Ms Chanpheng Sivila told Vientiane Times recently she was pleased to learn of the decision as it results in significantly reduced production costs.

“We are making four types of souvenirs - photo albums, photo frames, namecard boxes and notepads. All these are handmade from mulberry paper. Prices range from 15,000 to 25,000 kip.”

The public can buy the centre's creations at mini-marts and handicraft stores in Vientiane .

Each product will have a maximum run of 1,000 units, meaning 4,000 units will be produced in total during the games.

The centre has 15 productive members at present.

“Even though we have so far made only 30 percent of the souvenirs I can guarantee we'll have everything finished by September,” Ms Chanpheng said.

“We estimate that by the end of the games we will have earned about 50 million kip.”

She said any profit would go towards vocational training for disabled women and creating jobs for the training centre's graduates across the country, as well as providing equipment for training.

Design and marketing are thought to be the keys to sales success.

“We are concentrating on marketing strategy and product design as there will be many kinds of souvenirs on sale during the games. We want to have as great a market share as possible, so our products should be unique,” she added.

“I'd like to ask the Lao people to help those who are disabled by purchasing our products. I hope everything will be completely sold out.

“At the end of this month the centre will hold a short course on how to make the paper we will use, as we need more people to help us with this work. The course will be funded by the Bank of the Lao PDR.

“To make sure we have everything ready on time we have to train more people, and I'd like to thank the Bank of the Lao PDR for their support,” Ms Chanpheng said.

The LDWDC was established seven years ago. It is located in Dongphosy village, Hadxaifong district, Vientiane , and today has more than 40 disabled members.

The centre's mission is to provide disabled women in Laos with support, knowledge, skills and access to jobs to help them become self-sufficient and productive members of society.

By Souriya Meunviseth

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