We are will into the start of our on-site projects in Laos, as our fundraising season has pretty much would down. Officially, our year runs from July 1 to June 30th.
Our fundraising activities begin as soon as our visiting director(s) return from Laos each winter. It runs from approximately April 1 through November 30 each year. This year, 2018-2019 our target is about $230,000, depending on our Canadian exchange rate which is terrible at the moment.
This year we have done about 40 presentations and small gatherings, in Southern Ontario, and the Vancouver area. There have also been fundraisers done in Italy by INk For Charity and another group from Malaysia. Plus Global Change For Children has provided a significant donation as has Hardiman Mount Insurance Agency who held a sold out golf tournament earlier this year, of which we are honoured to be one of the recipients of the funds raised.
Much of our water project funding comes from various Rotary Clubs and District Matching Grant. This year many are participating with both main projects and a few of them have elected to donate towards water filters too. We continue to look for new clubs and organizations to present to.
The largest single fundraiser this year was done by Barbara Seagram and Patti Lee. Each year they hold a bridge game in Toronto as a fundraiser and I am thrilled to say that this year topped all expectations and was by far, their best Laos fundraiser ever.
Of course, it is the hundreds of individuals and small organizations that we are so thankful for. Without them, we would be nowhere.
If any of you would like a presentation in the GTA area or southern Ontario region, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
With some extra, unexpected funds this year, we are able to expand the number of projects. It couldn’t have happened at a better time, too. The only other charity whose focus is in roughly the same geographical area as ours, has now shut down and moved, officially Dec 31, 2018.
In addition to providing two permanent water supplies with dams, water tanks, taps and lots of pipe for Mok Kok and Pak Mong Secondary School (both in Nambak), we decided to help out 4 more villages to repair the damage done by back-to-back monsoons, where several hundred metres of pipe had washed away, and/or destroyed dams.
We also had a record number of donations for water filters. With a target of 600, for 600 families, we will be distributing to 827 families across more than 8 rural villages, bring the grand total to 45 villages with clean water, and as of this post date, more filters are expected to be donated for this year. This will bring our total number of filters since inception to 4,726 representing about 23,630 people.
We will be doing some smaller projects too and continuing to sponsor 12 students ranging from secondary to university.
We certainly recognize that these are trying times for some of us but if you feel you may be able to help us with funding, or know of others that may be interested, I sure hope that you will contact us. If you aren’t sure where exactly you would like to apply your funds, please contact us and we will let you know where it is needed the most. Perhaps you may be interested in doing a fundraiser for or with us. A few dollars can go a long way. Although NGO’s in Laos are few and far between, most focus on the urban areas, yet there are so few that are able to help the rural villagers. If you have any questions or wish to discuss some ideas, please do get in touch. You won’t regret it and it may change your life.
One last thing – If you are interested in joining us in Laos to see/participate with any of our projects, there will be lots to see and do…the famous Kwangsi Waterfalls, the Unesco heritage city of Luang Prabang, famous night market, Phousi mountain and lots of amazing restaurants and wine bars to help you enjoy your stay. If you are interested in joining our group, I would be happy to provide details. Please note that this is not a sweat equity trip, although you will have an opportunity to assist us with ‘light’ work.
Our sincere and respectful thanks to every one of you who have helped and continue to help us with your donation, to raise money and/or volunteer their valuable time to help some of the poorest but most grateful people of Laos.
Thank You for Caring!