Honda is a Data Management Operator at DDD by day and a Computer Science student by night.
As a boy growing up in Vientiane Province in Laos, Honda Nakseangchanh knew he had to find a way out of the grinding poverty that had trapped his family and the generations before it. Employment opportunities outside of farming were few in the mostly rural Phonhong District. The typical villager is a subsistence farmer tilling a plot of exhausted land to plant rice and other crops. Beyond farming, the village had a handful of herb doctors, tailors, carpenters, and makers of baskets, pottery and crafts—most living on less than a dollar a day. Honda’s father, a farmer, struggled to raise a family with seven children but was able to send Honda, the youngest, to school. When Honda finished high school, however, the family barely had enough money to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. Getting a college degree was a luxury his parents could not afford. Honda, who believed that education was the way out of poverty resolved to find a way to support his studies. He found that opportunity by joining Digital Divide Data and its work-study program. Soon, Honda found himself working as a Data Management Operator (DMO) at DDD’s office in Vientiane. For the past three years, he has worked on various client projects including converting paper books to eBooks, digitizing magazines and journals, and creating online archives for publications. “Before DDD, I didn’t know anything about computers" he said, with a hint of disbelief over how far he has come. “DDD is the best place for young people like me to start professional work, continue learning and improve ourselves,” he said. In addition to working at DDD, Honda attends the Lao National University where he is majoring in Computer Science. Described by supervisors and peers as talented, hardworking and quick to learn, Honda is now a candidate for promotion to the project management team. He also enjoys the benefits he receives at DDD - from intensive training in English, soft skills and personal effectiveness to subsidized school fees, health and accident insurance. Now 20 years old, Honda feels confident that after graduating from university, he will find a high-paying job outside DDD where he can be successful, give his family a better life and, inspire young men and women from his rural community.