Vientiane: The Vientiane social welfare centre is planning to improve its vocational training site for agricultural production to support beggars and people with mental illness who have been found walking around in the capital. According to Vientiane Labour and Social Welfare Divisiontheir numbers are increasing, especially people with mental illnesses.
In the long-term plan, authorities will build more social welfare centres in Sangthong district, Vientiane. They will then become vocational training centres for beggars to provide them with skills in agricultural production.
Officials would like to mobilise funds from the state and private sector as well as NGOs to support the development of the current social welfare centre in Somsanga village, Xaysettha district.
Division Director Lamphoy Siakkhachanh said officials are facing difficulties to solve the problem because there are few skilled staff to deal with beggars and the mentally impaired.
There are now 98 people including 63 mentally-disturbed people now staying in the social welfare centre at Somsanga village.
The beggars will receive ideas about development and living standards before being returned to their hometowns.
Lamphoy said these beggars are farmers and that after planting their crops they came to Vientiane to beg to get more earnings for their families.
However, 90% of beggars who have stayed in the social welfare centre will return to beg again. Thus, the Vientiane Labour and Social Welfare Division would like to ask several sectors to work jointly to solve this problem in the long-term. — Vientiane Times/Asia News Network
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