Before I came to Japan, I had worked at Laos’s office of AAR, Japan (Association for Aid and Relief), which is a Japanese Non-Government Organization (NGO). I was a project officer assistant, and took responsibility for financial and administration work. Beside that I was a member of Laos Disabled People’s Association. I worked there as a volunteer. I sometimes supported persons with disabilities.
I didn’t study Japanese. At the first time when I came to Japan, I was very worried because I could not understand any Japanese. I always wondered how to speak in Japanese and what the meaning was. I sometimes did not say anything, because I could not understand Japanese. And I felt homesick. At that time I really hoped every thing would be getting better, because of the kindness of many Japanese people.
I arrived in Japan on August 25, 2003. My life was changed a lot from that day. I felt very excited but very worried about my training a lot, because I could not speak any Japanese. I tried to tell myself that living abroad was very amazing and many challenging., but it would be fun and good experience.
For the first three months, I had the Japanese class from September to November. This was the first time for me to study Japanese.
It’s very difficult for me to study Japanese, but it was great and sometimes fun. I really like my teachers. Each teacher’s character and teaching style is different. I enjoyed my class and understood what I had learned.
During my Japanese class, I had a chance to participate many activities and study tours. For example: Wheelchair Handy Marathon at Toyama park and Nagoya city, Visitation Duskin head office in Osaka, Clean up the world activities, Barbeque party and etc… They were very interesting and nice. I sometimes very tired after the events.
Before the New Year vacation, I went skiing in Naeba. It was very cold and nice place. It was the first time for my life to play skiing and touch the snow. I had never ever thought that one day I would have a chance to play skiing because of my disability. It was very wonderful and new experience for me. After that I had a home stay in Gifu prefecture. My host family was very warm. My parents were very kind to me and it made me think of my family in Laos a lot. At the same time I could learn about Japanese cultures and traditions from my host family.
My individual training started from December 08, 2003 in Shizuoka prefecture. Since then, during the six months, I had training at CIL Shizuoka, Peer Support, Dream Navigator Yokohama (DNY), Japan Sun Industries, Oita Taki and Asian Development with Disabled Persons (ADDP).
I had learned many things from them. For example: computer, assistive technologies for persons with disabilities, Japanese cultures, working styles and systems, leadership training program, especially disability issues. I was able to learn various things. It will be very useful for me to work in the future. I think a lot of help from people and technology will be for persons with disabilities and can improve their knowledge and skills.
For persons with disabilities: I am the one who is with disability. In the future I would like to be a trainer or an advisor for persons with disabilities. I would like to encourage them to have education and work. I will try to help them as much as I can do.
I would like to implement the society where all persons without and with disabilities have the equal opportunities, could work and live together with harmony.
If possible, I would like to be a pioneer to lead our Lao society to the integrated society for all.
For myself: In the future, every thing is not sure and no body can know. I maybe get marry, have a warm family and continue working.
I would like to say thank you very much to Duskin to give me the chance to participate in this training program. It’s very useful and gives me a lot of new experiences. I learned a lot of from Japan. It’s very difficult to explain what I learned and how much I learned in Japan. I have no any specific word to express my feeling. I am very appreciated and grateful to Duskin.
From now on I don’t know what is going to happen and how every thing is going on. However I really hope all of you will comfort me and continue supporting persons with disabilities in my country.
Thank you very much for your kindness and support.