Global Association for People and the Environment, Champasak, Laos

The primary focus of GAPE is to provide education for the inhabitants for rural villages, many of whom are indigenous people and do not come into contact with the outside world very often, but GAPE aim to support them by infusing their local cultures with modern farming and land management techniques in order to make their environment more sustainable. This in turn helps to increase the longevity of these cultures and preserves them and their rights.

The aim is to support those who are often marginalised and help them maintain their livelihoods through more economic techniques in farming, fishing and forestry. This helps not only to support the incomes of these communities, but also preserves nature and the environment so that the communities may continue to exist for generations to come. GAPE have created a legal network that allows rural villagers to have an improved understanding of the changes taking place in and around their communities and an increased ability to absorb and analyse information, and organize and make decisions on issues that affect their lives.

Also there is an ongoing mandate to empower women across rural communities through increasing the involvement of women in decision making processes and including them in the implementation of solutions to issues that affect the whole community. This allows the men of these communities to see the women as equals, but also ensures that issues pertaining to women are met and dealt with by the community. 

One of the greatest projects that has been developed and supported by GAPE is the construction of schools and libraries in rural areas so that those living in agricultural communities have access to the same quality of education as those in the cities. The hope here is that through an increased quality of education, generations to come will have the knowledge and skills to empower themselves financially and as such better their prospects and potential in life. 

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