MoneyGram Foundation Celebrates Completion of School in Laos

MoneyGram Foundation Celebrates Completion of School in Laos

April 28th, 2017  |  Published in Laos

A 2016 grant awarded to Pencils of Promise enabled the construction of a school benefitting 109 students and over 500 community members.

By Maria Bankiet-Kamińska

The MoneyGram Foundation recently celebrated the construction of a brand new, four-classroom school for students in the Kang community in the Luang Prabang province of Laos. The building was funded through a foundation’s grant to Pencils of Promise (PoP), an international nonprofit organization that increases quality education access through programs and school buildings for children in the developing world.

“Even one school building can serve the needs of an entire community by not only creating a better place to learn, but by providing a safe, supportive structure that will stand for years to come,” said Jaclyn Hall, president of the MoneyGram Foundation. “We were proud to once again work with Pencils of Promise on this project. The MoneyGram Foundation’s reach is extending far wider than we ever imagined—we are truly inspiring minds and improving lives worldwide.”

Students in the community previously attended classes in a wooden structure with bamboo walls and dirt floors, which formed puddles in rainy weather. The overcrowded classroom also lacked ventilation, creating a hot and congested environment poorly suited to learning. The foundation’s grant enabled PoP to partner with students, teachers and members of the Kang community, who worked tirelessly to construct and equip the building with blackboards, benches, desks, doors.

To celebrate the project which had lasted four months, PoP officials and foundation representatives hosted an opening ceremony and unveiled a customized plaque posted on the building.

“It was deeply moving to see firsthand the impact the MoneyGram Foundation’s grant has made on the Kang community,” said Raj Dhorkay, regional business head for Indo-China, Malaysia and Brunei at MoneyGram. “We were deeply touched by how excited students and community members were to have their own creative space for learning, and are honored to have been a part of something big—contributing to a better education for hundreds of students.”

MoneyGram Foundation funded the build of the school in Luang Prabang province in 2016.  An additional grant to build a second school is currently being proposed. Pencils of Promise was awarded $35,000 in 2016 for the school in Luang Prabang. If the additional grant is approved, the Foundation will award another $35,000 for a total of $70,000.

The local community also contributed 20% of the materials and labor for the school. The MoneyGram Foundation worked closely with the Pencils of Promise team that coordinates with the local community and the Lao government to ensure the project’s success.

About MoneyGram Foundation

MoneyGram established the MoneyGram Foundation in 2012 to help children around the world gain access to educational facilities and learning resources. Its mission is firmly rooted in the belief that education is at the heart of better economic opportunities, healthier families and individual freedom and empowerment. The MoneyGram Foundation is focused on inspiring minds and improving lives and grants funds to deserving organizations with this mission in mind. To learn more, please visit or connect with us on Facebook.

About Pencils of Promise

Pencils of Promise (PoP) is an international NGO founded in 2008 to increase access to quality education for children in the developing world. PoP works in partnership with national governments and communities across the globe to build schools, train teachers and create programs that provide education opportunities for children, no matter where they were born, or what resources they have. In just seven years, PoP has built more than 380 schools throughout Laos, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Ghana, providing educational opportunities to more than 35,000 students and establishing itself as a leading innovative global nonprofit working toward sustainable social change.

About MoneyGram International, Inc.

MoneyGram is a global provider of innovative money transfer and payment services and is recognized worldwide as a financial connection to friends and family. Whether online, or through a mobile device, at a kiosk or in a local store, we connect consumers any way that is convenient for them. We also provide bill payment services, issue money orders and process official checks in select markets. More information about MoneyGram International, Inc. is available at