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, February 23, 2011

Rotarians from Whitby Sunrise Club

I can't believe how fast the time has flown by, with only 6 weeks to go before I head back to Canada. What is worse is that I haven't updated this blog in over a month!

It was only 3 days after Sammy and Kate left, when 7 Rotarian friends from the Whitby Sunrise Club came for a visit. Their adventure started right in the airport. Poor Mark and Leslie! There they were, sitting in the Immigration office looking quite forlorn and trying to use Canadian logic to talk their way out of a $200 fine each for not checking the expiry date on their passport before they left. With some luck I had brought the hotel manager to greet them and with his influence we were able to knock the fine down to a total of $300. Perhaps a minor consolation but better than nothing for sure.

Left to Right: Rotarians (and spouses) Buncha Putchana (president of Bangkok Rotary), me, Leslie Burton, Mark Chipman, Craig Howie, George Punyaprateep, Deborah Murray and husband Robert Ellis.

The picture on the right is Le Belair Hotel Manager Somnuek Bounsa who negotiated a discount for Leslie and Mark.
They were only here 3 full days and I knew that Rotarian George Punyaprateep had taken them on a grueling adventure in Thailand, so I didn't want to overload them with too much.
The first day, I took them to a couple of villages, the main one I wanted to show them was Ban Huephan, where the villagers have been forced to trek kilometres to get water. Fortunately, I had received all necessary approvals the week before to be able to officially announce this and the start of construction to run a new water source to the village from a river located about an hour's trek away. The villagers were waiting for us of course, including the Ou District Governor, with open arms and our Rotarian Guests had their first Bacci experience. For those of you who have not read in my earliest blogs about Bacci, it is quite an extraordinary experience and quite humbling I might add. We are generally treated like their Buddah with prayers to us, lots of chanting, and lots of ritual involving string tied around our wrists as they pray to us. I have really shortened this but if you would like to understand more, please take a look at my earliest blog entries.
Here are a few highlights;

(left) The fellow in the centre is the Governor of Ou District. The district is located North of Luang Prabang.

During Bacci, the Rotarians were watching me very closely to see what I would dare to eat, since the hygienic conditions were non existent.....yet. I can certainly tell you that they ate very lightly and some were quite good at hiding the food handed to them so they didn't have to eat it. We have plans to distribute a water filter system to every family in the village and to teach them about hygiene, but more about that later.

Here are some highlights from Day 2 of their visit and it features the new village of Nong Buekhon whereby 300 families are being moved here from several villages around. The Government has found a sponsor for building two water tanks that have been installed already, and various Taps throughout the new community. They are still seeking sponsors to finish a primary school, secondary school, hygienic toilets and the completion of a road system throughout the village. This is a huge project. With equal personal donations from all of the visiting Whitby Rotarians, we managed to purchase and distribute 200 blankets and mosquito nets to the village, to add to the 180 blankets and mosquito nets I donated along with the owner of Le Belair Hotel a couple of weeks earlier. They are still in need of more so that each family has a blanket and net. I might add that I received a couple of phone calls the following day saying that we were seen on the local TV station.

The fellow on the right is the Governor of Luang Prabang District.

Below is the District Governor and staff with
the blankets and mosquito nets

The final day was open for everyone to see and feel the heritage city itself. Some went golfing, others went bicycling and we all met up for dinner together that night. I am pretty sure that Laos left some lasting impressions, and they have vowed to help me further our cause here.

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