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Lao PDR: Rehab centre gains new library

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Article from Vientiane Times
Author: Time Reporters
Published: 02/06/2010
Newspaper section: Panyasith Thammavongsa

Vientiane, 2 June 2010 - More than 900 patients at the Vientiane Treatment and Vocational Training Centre now have access to further learning opportunities after the Australian government provided more than US$9,000 to improve and expand a library at the centre.

Centre Director Mr Sisouphan Boupha said yesterday that previously the centre's library was very small and contained only 30 books. Now, it is a comprehensive library with many books and reading areas thanks to assistance from the Australian government.

Vice Chairman of the Lao National Commission for Drug Control and Supervision, Mr Kou Chansina, joined Australian Ambassador to Laos, Dr Michele Forster, to cut a ribbon to open the new library on May 31.

"This provides a good opportunity for our patients to do further study by themselves after participating in vocational skills training courses at the centre," Mr Sisouphan said.

Patients now have access to books and resources on history, general knowledge, geography and English language at the new library. "We currently have 997 addicts at the centre, of which 63 are women," he said.

The American government recently provided assistance to construct two new buildings which can accommodate around 200 patients each, he said.

Mr Sisouphan said the centre currently offers courses in English, carpentry, furniture making, painting, toy making and construction.

"The centre provides comprehensive treatment and many families in the provinces send their children or relatives for treatment here," he said.

"Each day we receive an average of seven addicts seeking treatment. Last month, more than 50 patients returned home after completing their treatment."

Senior government officials and representatives from international organizations also attended the opening of the new library.