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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 56 years and average age is only in the early 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, 7 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 over 2,772 water filter systems (about 14,000 people!), along with critical hygiene training for families, schools and hospitals to promote a longer, healthier and happier life. That’s not all!  We are also sponsoring a lot of primary and secondary school kids, 3 university students and 2 teachers (during their apprentice years), plus we have installed numerous solar panels to bring light to the poorest of villages. Lots of 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 less than 15% will go to operating expenses, contrary to many NGO’s who’s overheads can reach 80%. This 15% is partially covered from a variety of fundraisers including our very successful used book sale held in Port Hope, Ontario and Whitby, Ontario each fall. 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 where your money is being spent.

– $120 CDN ($90US) 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).
– $100 CDN ($80US) buys a school table and bench (for up to 4 students).
– $125 CDN ($95 US) buys education for one primary school child for one year including school fees, 2 uniforms, shoes, backpack and school supplies. Note that this cost is approximate.
– $300 – $500 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.
– $3,500 CDN 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 have increases significantly due to our low Canadian Dollar exchange rates in recent months so the prices listed are subject to change for better or for worse.
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. (MasterCard and Visa, cash, cheque are accepted).  Please help…………we cannot do this alone….Meanwhile, please enjoy our updates, below.

Recent Posts

The Road to Paradise

It was so sad to see everyone leave a couple at a time but I suppose the highlight was when Dawn (my sister) and Beau managed to visit after o many years of hearing me talk about it.

While I was busily reporting to the donors, Siphan headed to a small village near the Plain of Jars, Ban Napia with or Italian friends to assist in the distribution of 62 water filters there.  As I understand, it went without incident although there was some heavy drinking afterwards with the villagers there.

Ban Napia water filters donated by the sponsors of Ink For Charity.

Ban Napia water filters donated by the sponsors of Ink For Charity.

So next up was to make another attempt at Thong Thuen.  The water filters were supposed to be there already but the rains had prevented the deliveries so they were stored at his mom’s house.  While our guests were here, Siphan had rushed down to Phonsavanh (Nambak District) while we were visiting Meung Ngoi, to relocate these filters yet again to his dormitory complex, for fear of theft.  The previous night his dad woke and found that the cover for the filters had been removed.  It was likely the thieves were interrupted before anything could be taken.  So now it was time to move the filters again to the final destination…with five truckloads, this was accomplished.

I managed to take a shot of one of the trucks as they whizzed by the guesthouse.

I managed to take a shot of one of the trucks as they whizzed by the guesthouse.

Hmmmm….I am wondering how to describe the road condition.  The main road was fine but about 20 minutes later, we turned off.  It looked like we were heading into a driveway full of huge potholes..gong about 3km per hour.  Most of you would not be able to imagine just how poor the road was.  Lots of muck in places, reasonably dry in others, steep inclines but the huge craters, potholes slowed us to a snails pace for abot 1 1/2 hours…but as the cloud deck rose, so did we.  Yes it was a bitch to get there but it was undoubtedly worth it.

I really hoped that our visitors could have experienced this view...just stunning and this was only half way.

I really hoped that our visitors could have experienced this view…just stunning and this was only half way.

I wish I cold have taken pictures of the actual road but it was so bumpy I am sure any attempt at aiming would have directed the camera to a tree of something.  We were on a constant incline too…so no stopping.  What a difference a year makes.  Last year we could have gone most of the way by minivan.

Upon our arrival, the three of us got straight to work, preparing the water filters for distribution, then went straight into training after a few announcements from the District Governor.  The village was so appreciative and obeyed our one order…to smile for the camera…perhaps the most fun loving bunch we have seen for a long time.  The last two filters were reserved for the bamboo school and for the teacher who was off somewhere during his day off….not impressed.  I had one of the villagers promise to go through the basic training once the teacher returned.

The school children posing with the water filters

The school children posing with the water filters

The first pouring of clean water

The first pouring of clean water

The first sampling....ok I lied.  I took the first sample so they could see it was safe.

The first sampling….ok I lied. I took the first sample so they could see it was safe.

Following this there was the usual baci celebration and ceremony…it was CRAZY!  There is no way anyone could take pictures during the string frenzy.  Siphan and I have been to a lot of baci ceremonies before but NOTHING like this.  It was like we were in the middle of a mob and couldn’t even see daylight!  LOL It was fun though and even better because we were all sitting outside on chairs!

146 famiies tried to put strings on our wrists at the same time...this is the result.

146 famiies tried to put strings on our wrists at the same time…this is the result.

Before we left however, we were updated on the progress of the huge water project.  This project involves the construction of a dam, 9km of pipe, a large tank and taps throughout the village spread over three hilltops…for 146 families.  We are building the tank to be large enough to run a pipe next year to a village further downhill into another smaller tank (to be constructed next year also) to fulfill the dreams of a Hmong village).  Here are some pictures;

Each family has been given the task of trenching a section of land for the pipe.  We do not allow the pipe to sit on top of the land because torrential rains can damage or destroy the connections.

Each family has been given the task of trenching a section of land for the pipe. We do not allow the pipe to sit on top of the land because torrential rains can damage or destroy the connections.

The District engineer standing by the water tank.  Today they have taken away the supporting wood and are building the top with access panel.

The District engineer standing by the water tank. Today they have taken away the supporting wood and are building the top with access panel.

As you can see, the water is already running...this was done first, to the euphoria of the villagers.

As you can see, the water is already running…this was done first, to the euphoria of the villagers.

It is hard to explain just how excited the villagers were to have water, for the first time ever in their village.  That was an exciting day and lots of celebration afterwards.  We received about a half dozen calls from the village to tell us just how happy they were.

The project should be complete in just a few weeks.  We are hoping to add an additional three taps but will see if the funding comes through.  Stay tuned…

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