The “Why” behind A Child’s Notebook
“Talent is universal, opportunity is not.”
Discovering a need in Southeast Asia
In the developing world, more than 80 million children have no access to primary education. Almost one billion adults are illiterate, with no real prospects for improving their lives or those of their children. Lack of access to education worsens already staggering income gaps, and illiteracy increases the number of people who live in debilitating poverty.
In rural villages of Laos and neighboring countries, resources are especially limited. Often, teachers must supplement their education by farming, which leaves just a few hours in each day for teaching. Even when education is seen as a high priority by the government, many of the most remote villages will never receive adequate funding without outside help.
The beginnings of A Child’s Notebook
The seeds were planted for A Child’s Notebook in March 2016, when Founder Ducksoon Hwang traveled to Laos and saw the ways geography, language barriers, cultural barriers, and poverty impacted schools in remote rural areas. She visited several schools facing the greatest challenges, and talked with students and teachers about their most urgent needs. She also listened when villagers shared their longer-term hopes and dreams for their students.
A partnership for education
In 2018, Ducksoon founded A Child’s Notebook to improve children’s education and address one of the most pressing issues facing the international community. In the years since, A Child’s Notebook has worked in partnership with targeted communities, building and sustaining a network of rural schools in some of the most impoverished areas in Laos.
See what our partnerships have accomplished
Students posed near their new school’s entrance for this 2022 photo. Many students cannot afford uniforms. Some of their families live nomadic lives and forage in the jungle for food.
A Passion for Education
From Our Founder,
My deep respect for the power and ultimate importance of education is rooted in my own personal experience growing up in South Korea. After graduating from college, I spent several years working in Korea, then moved to Japan and eventually emigrated to the US. During a 20-year career at Boeing, I was able to travel to remote parts of the world. I saw firsthand the ways that access to quality education drives economic and political change.
A Child’s Notebook grew out of my desire to open doors for girls, and to change children’s lives where we can have the most impact. I am excited by the ways our community-led initiatives have empowered villages in rural Laos, and I look forward to ACN’s continued success. Thank you for supporting our efforts to make education accessible to some of the world’s poorest children.