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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 and early 70’s. While rich in culture and tradition, their education, healthcare and hygiene conditions are severely lacking. The average lifespan is only 58 years and average age is only in the mid to late 20’s, caused by poor quality water, poor hygiene and general poverty. BUT with your help, a positive difference has been made in the lives of thousands of villagers.We have completed over a dozen school projects, 12 water projects bringing water to several villages and a hospital (imagine a hospital with no water!) and have completed well over  20 toilet banks for schools and villages.  We have also provided  3,900 water filter systems (about 20,000 people!),  along with critical hygiene training for families, schools and hospitals to promote longer, healthier and happier lives. That’s not all!  We are also sponsoring a lot of primary and secondary school kids, 1 university student and 2 interns, plus have installed numerous solar panels to bring light to the poorest of villages. More bicycles were distributed to get even more kids to and from school and there were a number of smaller projects completed too.

You can help in so many different ways. Before you do though, note that only 15% will go to operating expenses, contrary to many NGO’s who’s overheads can reach 80%. This 15% covers a portion of our local Lao coordinators salary, directors insurance, office supplies, base accommodation and the like.  Sponsors and donors 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.  If you want to come to visit us in Laos, just email us and you can see for yourself, where your money is being spent.

– $125 CDN ($100US) buys a water filter system for a family of up to 8.  It will also include your name on the water filter and a picture forwarded to you with the family and the filter unit.
– $30,000 CDN (approx) buys a 2 or 3 room school (depending on location) for grades 1-5 (rural areas).
– $100CDN ($80US) buys a school table and bench (for up to 4 students).
– $315 CDN ($255 US) buys education for one primary school child for one year including school fees, uniforms, shoes, backpack and school supplies. Note that this cost is approximate.
– $450 – $600 ($3-400 US) buys education and basic living costs for a secondary student who needs to relocate to a village with a school and includes dormitory fees or a bicycle plus school fees, uniforms, school supplies, and backpack.
– $5,000 CDN ($3,700 US) supports a university/college student for a year. Smaller amounts towards the total needed, are welcome of course.
– hygienic washroom facilities rane depending on the number of stalls and start at about $4,300 CDN (depending on how rural the village is), but are critical to prevent more disease.
Prices are subject to the fluctuation in the value of our Canadian Dollar.
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 will be issued to Canadian tax payers. (MasterCard and Visa, cash, cheque are accepted).  Please help…………we cannot do this alone….Meanwhile, please enjoy our updates, below.
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SideTrips to the Countryside

With so many requests coming in, each requiring a site visit, it is so easy to fall behind.  During Mike and Daniels visit, they were sent off on a boat trip to see Muang Ngoi on the Ou River.  It had been a few years since Mike had been there and it was a beautiful day, so it gave us time to visit three other villages in order to review their requests.

For the first village of Nong Ein, where a small number of uniforms were dropped off to their small primary school.  This would allow them to compete in the primary school sports championships in Nong Khiaw coming up next month.  Uniforms are inexpensive here and without them, this poor village simply would not be invited to compete.

Two rattan balls and a net were also donated.

The team will be playing rattan ball and soccer against other villages in the Ngoi district. Sadly, many other rural villages will not be able to participate because they don’t have uniforms.

The second village we visited was actually just south of Nong Khiaw.  As we arrived we had seen that portions of the riverbank and road had fallen into the river (August monsoons).  There had been a temporary fix for one larger section, certainly not enough to withstand another monsoon.  In the other section, one lane had dropped out – the only protection was five or six skinny saplings in bright green bags blocking the lane that had fallen out.

The villagers have asked for help as we walked about 300 metres at the side of the road and climbed through the barrier fence to review several properties.  There was almost no property left.  Their entire property was pretty much washed away.  Imagine your property being 20-30 metres deep, all washed away except 3-5 metres (where the road wasn’t washed away too).

It is difficult to understand the magnitude of the damage but here you can see a small island to the right of the picture – there was no river there before.  It wasn’t particularly easy keeping one’s balance on the edge either.

This is a slightly better view – the tree stumps used to be on the land owned by villagers.

This was taken near the edge of the lane that fell out into the abyss. You will notice in the top left corner, new water pipe that has been run, supported by temporary cable.

We visited a third village that was particularly hard hit, even more than this one. As we approached the village, there were so many mudslides, visible by the lack of growth on the sides of the steep hills.  This village lost several huts into the river and 41 others had serious damage where they could no longer live there.  Fortunately the villagers heard it coming and evacuated so there were no deaths.  The government has since cleared a piece of land that they would like the villagers to move to, since the whole village has to be relocated but in our view, it is just too low and too close to the river itself.  The villagers are very nervous about moving there.  In addition, the local graveyard is located right above the cleared area and villagers are worried that their ancestors will wash over the village.  We have decided to put them onto our list for water filters when additional funds are raised and will wait to see how things progress before committing more funds for additional projects there.

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