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.

Recent Posts

Fall Update 2018

It has certainly been a hectic summer and fall so far.  There have been lots of fundraising activities for our Laos Projects and other local projects in Southern Ontario.  Fortunately it looks like we are on target with our financial goals for the upcoming season.  We hope to do two water projects. First is to provide a permanent water supply for a new secondary school in Pak Mong, about 2 hours north of Luang Prabang, involving a dam, several km of pipe, water tank and taps to the toilets and handwashing stations.  The second is in Mok Kok involving a permanent supply of water to the village and to the secondary school there.  With approximately 5km of pipe, another dam and water tank, the village will have their first permanent water supply ever.  This village will get water filters too, so we hope to keep more children in school and that there will be more productivity from the villages.  We expect that the result of more productivity will be prosperity and longer lives, as we have seen in other villages.  In addition to the two water projects, we hope to raise funds for distribution of 650 water filters.  Finally our students are back in school too but it came with some challenges.

Due to a terrible season of monsoon rains, there has been a lot of flooding and mudslides in the area we work.  Just getting out of the Luang Prabang region, has been a struggle to get around a partially collapsed bridge. Some of the land abutting the bridge washed away too.  The result?  A 12 hour wait for the hastily constructed temporary road down the bank of the river and transport of 4 car ferries to get across it. This happened during the time we needed to get the kids outfitted and back to school for September.  Everything was delayed and some of the students couldn’t travel due to the high rivers or impossible roads.  Eventually our manager did get everyone back to school.

The students are shopping for uniforms, backpacks and school supplies.

A couple of students from Nong Ein received new bicycles too.

These students came from 4 villages. Because of the heavy rains, and poor phone service, only 7 students were able to make the journey that day. Siphan did manage to meet up with the others on other days. Pictures forthcoming.

Here is just a glimpse of some of the issues caused by the heavy flooding and mudslides.  While at least 2 dozen NGO’s and governments from Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos were all there to support a dam collapse in southeast Laos earlier, affecting 13 villages, only Bamboo Schools (a German based NGO) and us, Adopt A Village in Laos were able to assist a couple of the villages.  The Swiss Red Cross also came in to assist temporarily, thanks to a plea from Bamboo Schools.  We are told that Bamboo Schools will be moving out of Laos in December, after something like 19 years.  This is sad news in that we will be the only NGO in this area.

As you can see, they managed to get a piece of heavy equipment to clear the road.

The first village Siphan managed to make it to, just a few km north of Nong Khiaw, he found families living temporarily staying in a neighboring villages school. It is a pretty sad sight. I can’t imagine what must be going through their minds.

The villagers shown here are just a few of the families from the village that was evacuated after 4 homes were pushed into the Ou River.  The rest of the village was permanently evacuated after a large crack in the mountain behind them was discovered.  It is only a matter of time before the entire village disappears under the mud.  We understand that the village is beginning to rebuild in a farmers field.  While I haven’t received full details yet, my understanding is that the government arranged to buy land off of the farmer.  I am not sure what the financial arrangements are but the government had said that they didn’t have the money to buy the land.  That was about 3 weeks ago.

These are some of the supplies provided to the remaining villagers. Most had left to other parts of Laos to stay with friends or relatives. We provided blankets, bed matts, mosquito nets, hygiene kits and food.

We arranged for delivery of water filters too, however that was not to be.  The ferry boats couldn’t carry large trucks across the river so the filters ended up back at our house in Luang Prabang.  Instead, Bamboo Schools provided 50, however the lifespan on those are not expected to last more than a couple of years.

Siphan will be visiting another village that is in even worse shape.  The river has been too high so crossing has not been an option until just recently.  This village of 96 families lost 8 houses into the river plus their rice storage hut…meaning no food.  23 of the remaining huts were 70% damaged according to the government.  Unortunately there isn’t a lot we will be able to do since our budget for small project is now exhausted.  We will try to provide food as we can however, until their rice crops are harvested in the November timeframe…for those that didn’t lose their fields to the floods.

Siphan’s fish farm wasn’t spared either.  When he sent pictures, I couldn’t recognize where he was talking about until I studied them in detail.  For those of you that I have taken to his farm, the pond in teh distance and side river are now one lake!  Needless to say that his fish are gone.

Fortunately Siphans house in on a hill behind the camera

Another view

My heart goes out to all of these families.  I wish I could do more.

Still, we are so thankful that many people have stepped up to support us again this year, being our 10th!  With two more water projects, bringing our total to 14 villages with permanent water supplies, and hopefully another 650 families with water filters, meaning another 3250 people with clean water, we should be over 40 villages with water filters (23,000 people).  I should mention that Barbara Seagram and Patti Lee held their annual fundraiser for us and have raised 193 Water Filters!!!  We are ecstatic!  With our students, our last university student should graduate this year, and our first high school students should be graduating in 2020.

Now, on to more fundraising….we aren’t there just yet!



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