At Lone Buffalo our primary focus is to develop the English skills of as many young people as we can, improving their opportunities to further their education and embark on careers.  We also believe there is an important link between studying and engaging our students in creative skills and sporting activities.   

Participation in these extra-curricular programs promotes self-confidence, develops team-building and leadership skills as well as highlighting the importance of exercise and healthy living.  Involving students together socially in these programs develops the overall learning environment; students become familiar with each other, assist each other in class and move forward as a group.  It is also a great opportunity for people from different ethnic backgrounds to learn about each other’s culture.

Learning about the local community and national and global issues, such as the environment, are also important elements to the Lone Buffalo project.  We incorporate Unexploded Ordnance (UX0) awareness programs in our curriculum and involve students in UXO related projects.  Students have produced their own short films about the dangers of Unexploded Ordnance.   Lone Buffalo also arranges field trips to local projects and attractions, encouraging young people to contribute to and learn about their community.

Lone Buffalo extends our influence into the wider community by providing employment opportunities and offering training workshops for local teachers.  Teacher workshops are hosted by both our Western and Lao teachers. As most Lone Buffalo teachers also work in the State school system, this helps improve general teaching skills within the community.

Lone Buffalo Football Coaching Program

Lone Buffalo’s football coaching program for girls and boys promotes self-confidence, encourages team-building skills and highlights the importance of exercise and healthy living.
Every weekend we provide structured football coaching for our students.  Our current coaching team consists of two senior coaches (one a former student) and three student coaches, all of whom have successfully completed their FIFA D licence certification.  We currently have two female coaches, although for many of the coaching routines boys and girls train together.  The Lone Buffalo Girls team is currently managed by 16 year old Miss Chua E Vue.
In 2014, three Lone Buffalo female players travelled to Brazil for FIFA’s football for Hope Festival, a tournament that brings together young people from developing countries. The same year six of our girl footballers represented their province at the Lao National Games.
Succession planning is crucial to the development of our football program.  Students, players and coaches move outside of the province to study at university once they complete high school.  It is important that we have properly trained young student coaches constantly coming through our system to assist the senior coaches.  We aim to develop 4-6 new student coaches every year.
The Lao National Games with be held in our province in November 2018.  Lone Buffalo aims to continue to develop female football players to represent the provincial team at the games.

We are grateful for the support of International Unexploded Ordnance Awareness Organisation Spirit of Soccer (http://spiritofsoccer.org) and the US Embassy in Laos, who both actively support Lone Buffalo’s football coaching program.

Film Making and Photography

Lone Buffalo encourages creativity through film making and photography projects.  Students have produced more than 20 short films, some of which have been featured at Vientianale, the Lao National Film Festival.  (http://www.vientianale.org . Lone Buffalo student productions have also won awards at International student film events.

The Lone Buffalo associated movie On Safer Ground (2013) generated international awareness of the tragic Unexploded Ordnance problem in Laos. Inspired by this several student films have subsequently tackled the issue of UXO.
Five students have now successfully completed an intensive summer film making course with our friends @My Library in Luang Prabang.  These five Directors (including three  girls) have made more than 20 short films, since we began working with film in 2012. Our current film directors are Mr Nar Mouas (17) and Miss Chua E Vue (16). The Directors are supported by a team of student editors, sound and camera crew who in turn encourage new students to become involved in film making.

Lone Buffalo’s first Director, Teng Vue Fai Dang is now studying in the capital Vientiane and continues to make his own movies.
The 2017 – 2018 term will see more student productions, building up to the Vienianale Short Film Competition, the highlight of our film making calender.

In 2017 Lone Buffalo hosted our first photography workshop, with help again from @My Library.  In 2018 we will host further workshops.  This was the first time many students had used a proper camera.  Once students complete the workshop they are authorised to borrow cameras from our library to further develop their skills.

You can watch all our Lone Buffalo student productions on our    Vimeo channel.


Unexploded Ordnance Awareness
 Laos is the most heavily bombed place on earth, per head of capita.

Sadly, Unexploded Ordnance is a part of everyday life in Phonsavan and Xieng Khouang Province is the most heavily UXO contaminated province in the country. Every year farmers and children still die or are maimed from accidents involving unexploded ordnance – some more than 50 years old.
UXO Awareness is therefore an important part of our curriculum. Lone Buffalo students have produced short films to warn others about the dangers in our communities. Our teachers observe Mines Awareness Day by planning UXO related lessons.
Lone Buffalo regularly hosts presentations by organisations working in Unexploded Ordnance clearance and Mines Risk Education.  Our students also learn about UXO first hand with specially authorised educational visits to clearance sites.    

Read Lone Buffalo students review of the Mines Advisory Group Visitors Centre.
Lone Buffalo provides capacity building for Mines Advisory Group, by teaching English to their adult staff.  Places are reserved in our community classes for UXO workers children.  Our classes also include students whose lives have been affected by UXO, referred to us by professional organisations.  Two of our Lao teaching team work for World education, an NGO working in UXO victim rehabilitation.

For more information on the issue of unexploded ordnance in Laos:

Environmental Projects
Laos is a rapidly developing country and with this development comes the impact on the environment.  At Lone Buffalo, we believe in educating our students in both global and local issues.

Teachers observe World Earth Day with special lesson plans about the environment.  We have a small recycling station at school where plastic, cans and paper are collected for recycling.  We have Policies on using both sides of any printed paper, and not purchasing throw away cups, plates etc for student events.

Lone Buffalo offer our students use of rechargeable batteries in their homes. They simply return batteries and recharge when they run flat.
Lone Buffalo student/Director Teng Vue Fai Dang approached the subject of the environment in his independently produced short film, Value of Life. 

Female Development Program

Females play an important role in both the running and the development of Lone Buffalo.

45% of our students are girls and they play an important role both inside and outside of the classroom.  Girls are elected as classroom representatives and librarians and often outdo their male peers when we hand out the monthly awards.  Lone Buffalo currently has two FIFA approved female student football coaches and three female movie directors.
The Lone Buffalo Girls football coaching program began in 2012, and has helped develop confidence, teamwork and xx skills among our females. It is the only dedicated female football coaching program in the province and one of very few in Laos. The US Embassy support has been key to developing this program. 

In 2018, under the guidance of female teacher/World Education Team Leader Miss Chanthala Vinthasai we will further expand our female development program.  Lone Bufalo will establish social media support groups for females.   We will reach out to parents and underline the long term family benefits of extending female study beyond high school. We will also introduce female hygiene and dietary workshops, and train our senior girls to deliver these programs to our younger girls.
At Lone Buffalo we are proud to be challenging cultural stereotypes.  

University Monitoring  / Career Opportunities

Lone Buffalo extends support for students beyond Phonsavan and our English Development Centre.  We believe that it is important to continue to monitor progress as students move away to attend university.  Lone Buffalo uses private social media groups to link former students and share information on scholarships and work opportunities.  As the majority of our students study in the capital, Vientiane, we have appointed former students to act as ‘ambassadors’ to assist newer students as they move to the city.  

We host quarterly informal meetings in Vientiane where former students can exchange information and assist one another with any problems. During holiday times, former Lone Buffalo students return to our Centre to discuss their experiences with the senior students.
We also seek to introduce our students to prospective employers from the private sector.

Employers are keen to make connections with hard working, English speaking young people and these quarterly meetings create the perfect platform to meet potential employees.  

Some of our students are now employed for private events at the Crown Plaza hotel, and in July 2017, Mr Lue Yang became the first former students to pass his Masters Degree (in Engineering) and start a career as a radar technician.  He met his new boss at one of these quarterly meetings.

Lone Buffalo Student Council

At Lone Buffalo, we believe that by giving our students responsibility from a young age develops leadership skills, accountability and helps generate new ideas.  

Students play an important role in the running of our project, we have student movie directors and football coaches among our students.  Former students now studying at university return to give motivational talks to current students. Each term, classes elect Class Representatives and Librarians.  The Class Representatives discuss issues with their classmates before the quarterly Student Council meeting.  The Student Council review progress since the previous meeting, discuss concerns in the classroom and put forward ideas to improve our project.   These are then discussed among the Lone Buffalo Directors and actioned, where appropriate.  

Some of the ideas we have adopted from the Student Council include more games and songs in lessons, students preparing and presenting activities to their classmates and monthly movies with lessons based on the film.  

Teacher Workshops

It is important that we are continually developing the skills of our teaching team.  The more effective our teaching methods are the quicker our students progress through the levels, creating invaluable class places beginners to start.  Lone 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.
Lone Buffalo workshops have helped create a fresh approach to our teaching methodology, introducing new ideas and activities into the classroom.  As a result, from an early age students are encouraged to be more active in lessons, increasing their confidence through public speaking. 

Student Computers

Lone Buffalo has a small room where students can work on donated computers.  Our students can access the internet to support their studies at state school. During the 2017 – 18 term we will introduce some basic computer skills courses for our students.