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.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Visit from Associated Press

I was contacted by Jacquelyn Martin, a photojournalist from Associated Press through email. She had read my blog and wanted to visit Laos for her vacation. I was thrilled. We managed to spend a couple of days together and I know she got some great pictures as we travelled through some of the mountain villages. We were accompanied by the Director of Tourism and Madame Bountom, Director of Public Schools in the District.

I can hardly believe it but this is the only picture of Jacquelyn that I have. I had given my camera to Khamdee, my translator to take some pictures while I was working, but this is all I have. Jacquelyn, please accept my apologies! If you happen to have any pictures that you would like to send my way, I would be very happy to accept!!!
Jacqueline has also kindly offered to send me a print or two for a silent auction that I am planning this summer, in hopes of raising money for some worthy projects here in Laos
The homestay in Ban Phon was pretty amazing. After dinner and a bottle of Lao Lao, Jacquelyn retired for the evening and I thought I was too as I made my way to my homestay location. That wasn't to be though. There were about 8-10 people who followed me up and another bottle of Lao Lao, plus stories and laughter.

Here are a couple of pictures.

I should mention that while the men tend to sit in the foreground, the women are perfectly welcome to join in but they tend to stay in the background as shown below.

Khamdee was my translator for this leg of the journey. He is also a university student but goes to school at 4pm, then starts an overnight shift at a hotel to help for his studies.

I have just over 4 weeks to go before I leave for Canada.....and things are moving quite quickly. I can't believe I have been here since the middle of November! Anyway, I now have Government approval for all of the remaing projects and am working very quickly to make sure that all of the projects are well underway before I leave. These include Done Lom School which will begin construction on March 14th, the hygienic toilet project for Pha Yong Village which started last week, the toilet project for Had Chanh Village school where construction will start immediately following the Pha Yong toilet project, and there are a couple of other smaller projects already underway.

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