UXO Survivor Centre

Yesterday, I had my first Mini-Workshop with the staff from the UXO Survivor Centre in Phonsavan. They want to become a Non-Profit Association – from Lao people to Lao people. As the name of the centre already says, their work focus on UXO survivors and on integrating them into society. The NPA wants to give support to all those, who suffered and suffer directly and indirectly from UXO-accidents and to give opportunities to improve the survivor’s quality of life.

The staff is very ambitious – great to see their commitment and I am glad to be allowed to assist them with developing a logo (besides of some other things about which I will write another time)! Since it is very important, that the staff has the ownership of the logo, we had our first meeting yesterday morning. Andi (my mentor from GIZ) told me that it is quite difficult to talk with lao people in only abstract terms, so I brought drawing material. As a first exercise (and after we have talked about many other things) I asked each staff member to write down what he/she thinks is really important about the NPA. We then presented the results to each other. Some keywords we discussed were: commitment, sharing, invite people to get in touch with disabled people, don’t separate, improve quality of life, a chance for the future, integrate in society, help/support so that they can help themselves, give opportunities to earn money.

As a next step I asked them to pass the paper to a person sitting close to  visualize the sentence of the other person. I was surprised that everyone was actually drawing something – no one complained “Oh, but I can’t draw!” Or maybe I just did not understand what they were saying in lao language…
The results were a big help for the further development of a logo. I understood that for them, a logo is more what is a coat of arms for us and that it is important to include different symbols in one “logo”. Will be interesting to develop this further – I have to leave some settled ideas about what a logo should look like behind. I guess it is a little bit like eating brown cheese in Norway. Just don’t think about that it’s actually cheese!

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