In one room the women were sitting on the floor around a low bench finishing off some shirts. Others were making cards, not using any of that expensive scrap booking equipment you get at home, but just using your basic scissors. Some others were weaving scarves. It looked so painstaking. A scarf which is probably 3 days worth of work sells for $10. I saw people doing cross stitch. Sometimes I do it at home and it is really is slow. I somehow thought that the pros would do it quicker, but no, they do it as slow as me.
There was a group learning English. The teacher was Lao and while his English was not perfect, he was really putting in an effort to teach the people there.
I recommend visiting- if you drive away from Vientiane along Tha Dea towards the Friendship Bridge, drive about 100m past the turnoff to the Friendship Bridge. The Centre is located in a house on the right. It is open Monday to Saturdays 9am- 4pm. I have heard that if you want to visit outside these hours, you can, because the women live on campus so just give them a call before you get there. Online here http://www.laodwdc.blogspot.com/
I do wonder- production of what type of goods and services is best for this 'least developed' country? Developing their handicraft industries? Some are ok, but ‘Who buys this stuff- useless!’ comes to mind especially for some of the coconut and candle crafts NGOs have funded that I have seen. Developing their textiles industries like