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.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Projects - Foreword


We chose these first two projects as a starting point because we would have better control, given that relations had already been built with the village liasons. We felt it critical to use these two projects in order to understand the processes required, determine what sort of obstacles could be expected in the future and to learn more about the culture. We didn't want to use someone else's money for this learning curve so we are using our own, at least for the schools.

Just before the last trip to Laos it was strongly recommended by several friends that I read a book called Three Cups of Tea, a true story about Greg Mortenson who had built 87 schools in Pakistan and Afganistan as of the publishing date of his book. I never really had the time to read much of it while overseas but managed to finish it last week and yes, there are quite a number of comparisons behind the reasons for building schools and more when it came to some of the challenges he faced. All I can say is that I sure hope I can avoid most of what he went through. I am rather shocked that he is still alive. Still, it did prepare me somewhat for the adventures that lie ahead. The book is an incredible read.

During our treks to other villages in Northern Luang Prabang province, most villages seem to have schools but most are primary grades 1, 2 and 3. After that many drop out because they have a much longer commute, either by trek or by boat, which is significantly more expensive, to attend grades 4 and 5. After that is secondary school, grades 6, 7 and 8, even a longer commute usually requiring the children to live in the village where the school is or in a dormitory of sorts. Again, the expense rises significantly more. Finally, we get to High School (Grades 9, 10 and 11), only available in very large villages or the main cities, which are extremely expensive, comparatively speaking. Only 15% of the young adults make it this far. After that, it drops to less than 1% for post secondary trade school or university. Somehow there must be an answer to improve these numbers. Perhaps we will discover something better.

Since the start of the first project just a couple of months ago, we have already received three requests and proposals for funding of projects that have either been started and abandoned due to lack of funds, or for full replacement of derelict one-room schools. A couple of them are intriguing but we need to be sure we know what we are doing first. I know that once our cause is more widely known, we will be getting many, many more requests where we won't be able to handle them all unless I win the lottery.

Finally, while each project is considered separate, I will be combining them for purposes of fundraising efforts only. These people are clearly living on the edge. It is now rainy season but there is very little rain and farmers are becoming desperate. Without rice there is no food and almost no income.

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