ABOUT ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​US
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LONE BUFFALO ENGLISH DEVELOPMENT CENTRE 

Lone Buffalo provides free, structured English tuition to over 200 young people living in one of the world’s most heavily bombed places.  We also have more than 300 others registered and waiting for new classes.
 
Across ten classes, we teach five levels of English, from Beginner to Intermediate, using a combination of trained local teachers and qualified western volunteer teachers. Both Lao and Westerners are involved in the senior management of the project. 
 
Our project is dedicated to an inspirational local man, Manophet ‘Lone Buffalo’. Manophet committed his entire life to helping others.  Tragically Manophet died in 2010, on the eve of the Gothia Cup in Sweden. Lone Buffalo co-founder Gareth Carter’s On Safer Ground project had taken Manophet’s football team from Laos to compete in Europe.  Like Gareth, everyone who met Manophet was touched by his dedication, generosity, selflessness and stamina.
 
At Lone Buffalo, we encourage a culture of helping each other and challenging cultural stereotypes.   We have student representatives and librarians in our classrooms. Almost half of our students are girls, who are also involved in football coaching and film makingLone Buffalo arrange regular teaching workshops, hosted by both our Western and Lao teachers.  As most Lone Buffalo teachers also work in State schools, this also helps develop the general teaching skills within the community.

Most of our students’ parents are farmers but developing Laos is experiencing a cultural shift in education and work. These farmer's children now have similar ambitions to other young people for successful careers in business, arts, technology and the environment.  
 
Lone Buffalo’s English language and creative skills programs provide young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with improved chances of attending university, thus creating similar career opportunities to those from more privileged backgrounds.
 

OUR INSPIRATION
      ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
MANOPHET 'LONE BUFFALO'. 

Manophet ‘Lone Buffalo’ was a selfless man who dedicated his life to helping others. 

His days were spent working with the Unexploded Ordnance Clearance teams or guiding guests around his town and province. His evenings were spent teaching English to as many people as he could cram into a tiny classroom in his house. At weekends he worked on developing his football team, one that he believed were good enough to compete in Europe.  

It was that his commitment to helping others that inspired us to start the Lone Buffalo project in his memory. 
 
Today we take comfort that more people around the world know his name and incredible life story than ever before.

   
Christopher Whitehouse met Manophet in Phonsavan in 2001.  He was inspired to begin writing a book about his life.  Ten years later he returned to Phonsavan to complete his book. 


photo: Boon Vong / Legacies of War
STUDENT PROFILES
  1. Managing Director
    Miss La moved from Lone Buffalo in 2017. She now studies Finance at the Banking Institute in Vientiane. She studied at LB for 5 years, finishing in the senior Intermediate level English class, won a record four Student of the Month awards and was also a class librarian. Miss La managed the LB Girls football team and received her FIFA D licence coaching certificate in 2016. She attended a film making course and has co-directed several LB movies. She has also co-hosted a film-making workshop for the American Embassy. Miss La’s family understood the importance of learning English and the opportunities LB provides. La’s older sister Miss Bie Xiong was also a star student who became the first ethnic H’mong girl to study at the Faculty of Engineering.
  2. Managing Director
    Mr Koua Neng's parents live hours away in the Hua Phan province and he was sent to Phonsavan to study and stays with relatives. A real talent at football coaching, he initially struggled in class and attendance was affected. Teacher Steve stepped in to watch over him and subsequently his confidence has grown. He played the lead in the award-winning ‘I am Messi’ film, attended the Vientiane short film festival and scored a hat-trick on debut for the senior football team! Despite his age, Mr Koua Neng completed a FIFA D licence coaching course and assists the senior coach at weekends. More importantly Mr Koua Neng’s English has really improved. He can study for another four years with LB, by when his English will be as good as any of our senior students.
  3. Managing Director
    Mr Teng ‘TV’ Vue was one of the first students to register at Lone Buffalo. During his time at LB, Teng surprised his teachers with questions like ‘do you think history is true. In 2016 he moved to the capital to study Business Management at the National University of Laos. He started as a very quiet and shy student and blossomed into a confident and creative individual, expressing himself through the films he has directed for Lone Buffalo. Recently Teng Vue, along with other Lone Buffalo students, hosted a film-making workshop for the American Embassy. Teng continues to make short films, the most recent being about the impact of climate change on the environment.

Miss La Xiong (18)

Mr Koua Neng Vang (15)

Mr Teng Vue Fai Dang (21)

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