It has been a bit of a challenge this year with so many volunteer functions happening this year. But I did manage to take a fun filled week in Vancouver, with 10 presentations in 5 days and a quick side trip up one of the trams to take a birds eye view of the snow covered mountains, as we were driving towards Whistler…a moment of peace. Thanks to Mike Storey and my sister Dawn from the Ladner Rotary Club, who organized all the presentations for me, I am forever in their debt. I wish I had pictures, and if I go back far enough in my emails I am sure I will find a few.
I think I am roughly on target though, even though I got off to a late start. Here are our projects approved for this year.
First, we have raised sponsorship for 12 primary school students. Unfortunately 2 students dropped out – one went to Vientiane to work and the other, Somnuek who is quite a bit older than the other secondary school students finished lower secondary school but opted out of going to high school. We also raised enough for 2 full time university student and a part-time university student who is trying to raise enough money (through working) to buy a motor bike and go to university next year. Finally, we raised enough for Jouey to continue the second and last year of our program as a teachers apprentice, and Tongsi who has graduated from law school and entering his first year as apprentice. In total, we raised about $21,000 CDN.
Water Filters – we have raised 128 water filters out of our target of 500 for the fiscal year (ending June 30, 2017). While it seems like a long way to go, we hope to raise 200 from another donor, bringing the running total to 328. We are hoping to do one distribution just before Christmas and a second on in January. If you are interested in donating a water filter for a rural village family, I hope that you will contact us. The cost is $110 CDN or $80 US that covers transportation, the filter, stand and bottle. In return, you will get a tax receipt (if donation is in Canada) and an email of a picture of the receiving family with your name on the label, or a name/phrase of your choice. You can send email us a picture too if you prefer, to use as the label instead of your country flag.
Next up is our large water project we are planning for this season. We hope to raise enough to put a permanent water supply to a village that is spread across three hilltops in a rural district of northern Laos. The plan is to build a dam at the source, run pipe to the highest peak into a tank and run from their to the other three peaks. Tap towers will be constructed throughout the three hilltops.
We are hoping that this project will be primarily funded by various Rotary Clubs here in southern Ontario, across Canada and beyond. The project is estimated to be $78,000 CDN. To date we have confirmation from various clubs totalling $28,000 although much more is expected with presentations booked throughout the fall. If we have to though, we may break up the project into two phases or, use donations from individual donors to help make this happen.
We decided not to do a school this year, due to costs and our low Canadian dollar, however we will be supplying desks for a school with a generous donation from Global Change for Children. We also have a number of smaller projects we will look at, if funds permit. One of them is to take a blind child to Thailand for tests to see if he will be a candidate for an eye replacement. I have posted this picture before, but if he is eligible, we will likely start a go fund me campaign. If not, we will look at options for training at a special blind school.
We do have a number of other small projects we are considering and will advise further if positive decisions are made. Last but not least, will continue to distribute free feminine pads to secondary school girls in hopes of increasing enrollment.