Featured Staff

Our talented and dedicated local staff are the reason VFI succeeds. Meet just a few of our team members and learn about their work.

  • Kongseng Piengpanya

    Kongseng is the coordinator of our Protection and Empowerment of Women and Children (PEWC) program, and a recognized national expert in the areas of human trafficking and child protection. Kongseng has built VFI’s counter-trafficking program from the ground up. She started as VFI’s Administrative Officer and now runs a program that includes 27 staff members, two shelters, a drop-in center, a transit center, outreach activities in 50+ villages, and many other projects.

  • Bounlouan Xaymani

    Bounlouan is a retired government official, formerly in the Department of Non-Formal Education. She has been the manager of our shelter in Pakse since it opened in late-2008 and brings management expertise and compassion to the job. During her tenure, she has been responsible for the care of 450+ young women and girls, all affected by or at-risk of trafficking, helping them chart a better future for themselves and their families.

  • Viengsavanh Thammasalo

    Kood, as she is known to us, is VFI’s master agriculture and food processing trainer. She’s been with VFI since 2003 and works with women, girls and men at our Green Earth Centre in southern Laos and shelter in Pakse. Kood can usually be found demonstrating mushroom production, community gardening, small livestock husbandry, food processing, and social enterprise development to empower and educate farmers and trafficking survivors.

  • Hongthong Sirivath

    Hongthong is the coordinator of our Land & Livelihoods (L&L) program and overseer of VFI’s Green Earth Centre, our 40-hectare demonstration farm and training facility. Hongthong started at VFI when it was founded and has established VFI as a key national stakeholder in land and natural resource rights. In the process, Hongthong has become a national expert in the sector and works closely with government, civil society, and villages to protect local livelihoods.

Our Board

VFI’s work is supported and advised by a board of five experts, all passionate about improving Lao village life. 

Board Advisory Committee

The Board Advisory Committee drives the strategic vision of VFI’s executive director and the Board of Directors. They also assist with fundraising and donor outreach and provide expertise and technical assistance where needed.

  • Lisa Schaefer
  • Tammy Medard
  • Paige Okun
  • Nancy Southasarn
  • Steven okun
  • Gerald Fry
  • Robert Allen, Jr.
  • Michael Victor
  • Gary Camp

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Phonsavanh Tai village, Sisattanak district, Vientiane capital, Lao PDR.