Sunshine School is a non-profit, non-denominational institution. The School is dedicated to providing a universal, ethical education for children, with a focus on integrated learning and the holistic development of children.
Sunshine School was established with funding from NGOs and donations. It now covers its running and maintenance costs but still seeks funding and donations for annual improvements and expansion. The organisation of the school, its green & environmental awareness, and the creative, progressive teaching methods are so well respected that it is now seen as a ‘model’ in Vientiane. Teachers from other schools visit to get ideas and, in 2004, Sunshine School was chosen to pilot a re-cycling programme that launched in Vientiane.
Established in 1996 by a foreign volunteer, the Sunshine School was planned to improve the overall quality of education to children in Laos. Staff and the advisory board are all Lao. There are now five pre-school classes, ten primary school classes from grades 1 – 5 and four junior high school classes.
In 2011, the educational project expanded to include a kindergarten at the school’s farm in Veuntaen village (about 50 km from Vientiane along the Ngum River).
The ethos of the School comes from Ananda Marga, an international group that supports improvements in education, health, and community development, and promotes personal self-development through teaching practices such as yoga and meditation.
The school aims to awaken each child’s thirst for knowledge while developing their whole personality through:
- creative, child-centered learning
- integrated learning, encouraging children to make connections between disciplines, knowledge and events
- ethically-based education
- awakening each child’s spiritual awareness
- nurturing a spirit of service and social consciousness
- environmental education
- appreciation of local culture as well as diverse global cultures
School terms are September through to July. The main school is open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm. There are also activities on some Saturday mornings from 8am to 12 noon.
The village kindergarten is open from 8am to 12 noon Monday to Friday. In the afternoons from 4pm to 5.30pm there are English classes for the village youth.
Sunshine School is setting an amazing example for just how effective non-’traditional’ education can be. The School is helping new generations to achieve greater awareness of their own abilities – physically & mentally, their relationships with others, and their community & environment. They want to be able to welcome more and more children to classes and to be able to share their techniques & successes with other teachers and organisations.
The School is also working consistently to be even more self sustainable.
What you can do
There are a wide range of activities open to volunteers who come to the School
You can teach English to our kindergarten, primary and middle school children. Each primary and middle school grade has 5 lessons a week at 45 minutes each lesson; the kindergarten classes have 20 minutes of English a day.
We would also like it if you could teach English to our staff during the lunch break or free time.
Teach or do other creative activities with the children – music, dance, drama, art, crafts, sports, computers, gardening, etc. There is also the opportunity to teach agricultural or ecological activities and skills at the School’s farm.
Volunteers often have ways to help promote the school through writing, making contacts, creating links or even technical work like changing the website. There might be things you can do that no one else has thought of!
There are lots of jobs to be done around the school, including making materials for lessons & fundraising activities, repair work around the buildings, decorating, gardening & landscaping.
USD 0 per week
More details available upon request.
The original Sunshine School is in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The village school is in Veuntaen village, Xaythany District of Vientiane Province.
There are no living arrangements at Sunshine School, Vientiane, because it is a centre for visiting only; there is no accommodation. Local accommodation can be found for approximately USD 80 – 200 per month for room only. Many volunteers also find extra work teaching English in the evenings.
Vegetarian lunch is included each day.
You will need to arrange your own transport while in Vientiane – walk, bicycle, motor bike or hiring local transport are the most common methods.
There are basic living arrangements on the farm for those who volunteer out there.
Interested to volunteer with this programme? Get in touch using the little form a the top of the page, through our social networks or on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can provide you with further information about the programme, put you in touch with previous volunteers, help you plan your trip and answer all your questions - big and small.
Check out other programmes that might be of interest to you.