VFI leads the fight against human trafficking in Laos by sheltering trafficking survivors and at-risk women and children, and running prevention and capacity building programs at all levels across the country.
Village land in Laos is vulnerable to misuse or misappropriation by companies, foreign investors, and government. VFI works to educate and empower communities about their land rights and teach them sustainable land management practices.
The vast majority of Lao people are dependent on agriculture for their income and survival. We work with farmers to increase the sustainability and productivity of their crops, resulting in healthier food systems and communities.
We believe that international change starts at the local level. In Laos, that means empowering rural villages, where nearly 70 percent of the population lives. Villages are complex and interconnected, a tapestry that requires healthy land and natural resources, access to food and livelihood opportunity, and empowered and skilled women, men and youth. When these key ’threads’ are weakened, village life becomes unhealthy and the entire community becomes vulnerable. We aim to strengthen village life by eradicating human trafficking, assuring communities’ land rights, and increasing their food security.
Laos, or the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, with a population of just under seven million people. Laos shares its borders with Vietnam in the east, Thailand in the west, China and Myanmar in the north, and Cambodia in the south. Laos remains one of the poorest countries in Asia and is included in the UN’s list of the 47 least developed countries in the world.
As the majority of Laos’ population is rural, VFI takes a grassroots approach to alleviating poverty, working on the ground in communities while advocating for policies at the national level to protect villages’ interests. Our Lao staff works closely with local leaders to promote self-sufficiency and build the capacity of families and communities to prevent human trafficking, increase land security, and grow sustainable and nourishing foods. We believe confronting Laos’ many challenges takes much effort — but most importantly, it takes a village focus.
of the population depend on agriculture as their main source of income
of children under five are stunted due to malnutrition
of the rural population lives below the national poverty line
The purple lotus is VFI’s symbol of hope in the fight against human trafficking. Just like lotus seeds grow into beautiful flowers from the mud, so too can women and girls blossom from adversity. VFI empowers them to overcome their difficult pasts and make the most of their futures.
Want to get involved with VFI’s work without a financial contribution? VFI may be able to use your help as a volunteer or intern, with tasks like legal research, grant-writing, website design, communications, and fundraising. Our ability to accommodate volunteers and interns is determined on a case-by-case basis, and most opportunities do not include financial compensation. Contact us to express your interest!