Why we are Helping and how YOU can get involved

The remote villages of Laos have never recovered from the 'Secret' war of the 1960's. While rich in culture and tradition, their education, healthcare and hygiene conditions are severely lacking. The average lifespan is only 56 years and average age is only 20.8, caused by poor quality water, poor hygiene and general poverty. BUT with your help we have already made a difference in the lives of over 2700 villagers.

We have built schools in the villages of Pha Yong and Had Chanh, and a 3rd school located in Done Lom is under construction. We have also distributed over 200 water filters systems and completed hygiene training for three entire villages. Each family is required to take this course before a filter is provided, in order to promote a longer, healthier and happier life. A new water source including a dam, water tank and taps has been completed, as has our first bank of hygienic toilets.

It doesn't stop there. We have requests for 34 new projects and with your help, will do what we can to support as many requests as possible.

You can help in so many different ways. Before you do though, note that less than 5% will go to direct overhead costs, contrary to many NGO's who's overheads can reach 80%. Sponsors for every project will receive emailed pictures and details of how the money was spent.

Here are some examples of how you can help with your financial contribution.

- $55 buys a water purification filter for a family of 8.
It will also include your name on the water filter and a picture forwarded to you with the family and the filter unit.
- $12,500 US buys a school for grades 1, 2 and 3. Perhaps you would like to sponsor or assist us to sponsor a school.
- $4,000 US (approx) buys school tables and desks for a three room school and a two-room kindergarten.
- $700 US (approx) pays for a teacher for one year
- $50 US buys education for one child for one year including school fees, 2 uniforms, shoes, backpack and school supplies.
hygienic washroom facilities rane depending on the number of stalls and start at about $3000, but are critical to prevent more disease.

If you would like to become involved and to help the people of rural Laos help themselves lead a more fulfilling life, please email us at AdoptaVillageinLaos@gmail.com. Official Tax Receipts are not yet possible although we hope to receive charitable status this summer. Meanwhile we would still love to hear of your interest.

Please help............we cannot do this alone....

Meanwhile, please enjoy our updates below.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Had Chanh Village Project

Had Chanh Village Project

Population: 68 Families - approximately 350 people

Children: 89 students including 57 female, 32 male

Location: Northern Luang Prabang Province. To get there, it is about a 4 hour truck ride to Nong Khiaw, then a 1 hour boat ride up the Nam Ou River. The Village is located at the top of a riverbank of the river.

Brief History: The village is a much smaller village than Pha Yong in terms of residential land usage. It is surrounded entirely by fence. There are ladders made with tree branches at key points to climb into the village (to keep the buffalo and cows out), with the exception of the school where excrement is everywhere. The village has been in existence since the Vietnam war, although could have been there before that. The Lao Government have been in the area located just north of the village, three times in recent years to remove and/or detonate unexploded armaments. Villagers are still wary that many more are still out there and travel only the well marked foot and buffalo paths.

Current:Wages and income are slightly higher than Pha Yong Village although the exact numbers are unknown. The villagers augment their income from fishing and small game hunting.

Source of Support: farming of rice (sticky and steamed), pineapples, plus from the sale of pigs, chickens and fish. There is additional income from small game hunting as available. There are a couple of homes that are considered much wealthier than others due to the concrete block construction of the first floors. Several homes have concrete floors.

Diet: While slightly different than Pha Yong village, the greens are found in areas closer to the river, rather than in the hills. Bamboo is common as well. Fish and sticky rice are the staples for every meal.

1) New School
2) Clean water - they currently boil the water from the river, but it remains a yellow/green colour. Sickness is quite common, as with Pha Yong village.
3) Hygienic washrooms. There is at least one washroom that is half decent - not considered to be hygienic but there was a squat toilet in place and a separate open-aired basin used to fill a bucket and flush the toilet. There were no hand basins in sight.
4) Tourism - there is none currently and there would be a relatively small investment required to become a tourist stop.

Had Chanh Primary School - first priority

School Replacement Cost: $9300 USD
Our involvement with the village is to replace the school in its entirety. It was a one room bamboo school with critical structural flaws from the last construction, endangering the structure. Three classes were taught in the school room. Construction of two walls was bamboo. The other two walls were concrete block, hand-made incorrectly by the villagers. The roof was corrugated metal - some with holes. They will be reusing some of the roof material to cover the rice storage huts.

We will additionally fund 26 new tables for the students as they will reuse many of the old ones at a cost of $904.00 USD plus shipping costs.

We will additionally fund a new toilet at a cost of $366 USD

We will additionally fund fencing to go around the entire school property to keep the animals out, at a cost of $235

We will additionally fund the costs for students who cannot afford to attend school. Estimates are around 8 at $2.50 each for the entire year.

We are investigating how many children do not continue to grades 4 and 5 (located in another village) and their costs.

Clean Purified Water - Second Priority

We will be supplying water purification units to supply each family at a cost of $50 (CDN). This may include most of the shipping costs.

We will also supply additional water filter units for the school washrooms. The style is yet to be decided because of a prototype unit that will be available in September. We have been told that due to the low water levels, there is not enough supply to be run to the school. We will investigate this over the next couple of months to find a viable alternative (eg. building a water tank)

We were advised yesterday that the rainy season is two months late and that the river is at an all time low level, requiring buckets of water to be brought up from the river instead of the Government built water supply (again pumped from the river). We will investigate that as well and possible sourcing of a new water supply.

Hygenic Toilets - Third Priority
We have not fully reviewed the requirements here and will do so upon our return in December.

I believe that tourism in this village is a viable, low-cost option to increase the village wealth. We will further investigate this, once the rest of the project is completed.

We are told that the school is nearing completion. Pictures will be available within the next couple of weeks.
Please check back for updates to this project!

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