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Welcome to the Laos Volunteering Centre!

In Laos, volunteering under the French scheme is fairly stable in terms of numbers. The majority of volunteers are on VSI contracts, as this type of contract is best suited to managing development projects. The number of civic service missions remains low.

There was an estimated 350 people on short-term volunteering stays in 2018. The real issue remains those people who go ‘off-scheme’.

Find all the information for your volunteering in Laos.


Volunteering in Laos

Each year in Laos, France Volontaires has approximately (figures recorded in 2019, the year before Covid-19):

  • 28 International Solidarity Volunteers (VSI – Volontaires de Solidarité Internationale)
  • 8 volunteers under Civic Service status
  • many interns and volunteers
  • a few skills sponsorships
  • 39 volunteers on International Solidarity Work Camps (outside the VVV-SI and JSI schemes)

In 2015, an initial study on the dynamics of International Exchange and Solidarity Volunteering (VIES) in Laos, identified 101 volunteers hosted by 24 host organisations. Upstream and downstream of this study, the French Embassy in Laos asked France Volontaires to set up a permanent mechanism in Ventiane to support and develop the VIES dynamic. 2019, the year of FV’s tenth anniversary, saw the opening of the France Volontaires branch in Laos, thanks to the involvement of the French Embassy. This branch has made it possible to deploy a range of local services to support volunteers and volunteer organisations, and to actively participate in the qualitative and quantitative development of VIES and promote it. FV’s activity in Laos was heavily impacted by the pandemic from 2020 and throughout 2021. In close collaboration with the French Embassy in Laos, we are planning to reopen our branch in Ventiane by the end of 2022.

Our partners

Volunteer host organisations in Laos

There are many volunteer host organisations in Laos. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the host organisations:

  • GRET
  • Compter sur Demain
  • Laos Cooperation Committee
  • Anoulak Association
  • Agrisud International
  • Pierre Fable Foundation
  • Service Fraternel d’Entraide
  • Tetraktys
  • Enfants d’Asie
  • Enfants du Mékong
  • Peuples et Montagnes du Mékong
  • Espoir pour les Enfants du Laos
  • AUF
Dispatching organisations that are members and non-members of France Volontaires
  • The Guild
  • GRET
  • Defap
  • Enfants du Mékong
  • Peuples et Montagnes du Mékong
  • AUF
  • Tetraktys

Settling into Laos

Identity card

  • Official name: Lao People’s Democratic Republic
  • Head of State: Thongloun Sisoulith (enthroned on 22 March 2021)
  • Capital city: Vientiane
  • Main cities: Vientiane, Savannakhet, Pakse, Luang Prabang, Thakhek, Vangvieng, Sekong, Luang Namtha
  • Official language(s): Lao
  • Spoken language (s): Lao (official and mother tongue, spoken by approx. 58.1% of the population), minority and immigrant languages in addition to French and English
  • Currency: Kip (KIP) 1 euro = ± 13,157 KIP
  • Population: 7.4 million inhabitants
  • Literacy rate: 79.9% for 15-24 year olds
  • Religion(s): Buddhism, Tai folk religion, Christianity

(Sources: demographic data: UNFPA/UNDP; economic data: DGTPE (French Treasury and Economic Policy Directorate General), European Union)

General presentation

A former French colony, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (hereafter Laos) has, since its independence in 1975, been ruled by the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP), a single party of communist inspiration, which ensures the country’s political stability and continuity. The President is elected by Parliament, which is renewed every 5 years. Public policies are defined by the Communist Party, the single ruling party, which consists of a Politbureau (11 members) and a Central Committee (32 members).

Laos has a population of 7 million and an area half the size of France. Its capital is Vientiane (820,000 inhabitants at the last census in 2015). The territory is divided into 18 provinces. The Lao deconcentrated administration is divided as follows: central level – provincial – district – village.

Laos has long acted as a buffer state between Vietnam and Thailand due to its landlocked location in the heart of the Indochina peninsula. Today, Laos intends to go beyond this traditional role to become a crossroads for the countries of mainland South-East Asia and southern China. In 2017, official development assistance reached a total of US$475.9 million (OECD, 2018).



International Volunteering Development Officer for Asia and Madagascar
France Volontaires Office in Cambodia
[email protected]

Contact the team

[email protected]

France Volontaires' partners in Laos