With the 2014.15 season over, we are in full fundraising mode for the 2015/2016 season. 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, 2015-2016 our target is about $180,000, depending on our Canadian exchange rate which is terrible at the moment.
As of August 15 we have done about 25 presentations and small gatherings, in Southern Ontario with more booked in Toronto and Durham Regions. We also have a couple of presentations booked in Nova Scotia. To date, another NGO out of Italy, Ink For Charity has raised $6,000 with more fundraisers to come, Global Change for Children has committed 6400 and among other donations, we just received word today that the Rotary Club of Bowmanville will donate $10,000 this year to our projects! While it hasn’t been an easy summer for some Rotary clubs who have donated in the past, weather created havoc and disappointment so donations from them may not happen. As such, we continue to look for new clubs and organizations to present to.
Hardiman Mount Insurance Agency also held a nearly sold out golf tournament earlier this month, of which we are honoured to be one of the recipients of the funds raised.
Barbara Seagram and Patti May who organize several bridge tournaments in North America and on cruise ships to raise funds for water filters for Laos, and fellow Rotarians from a Vancouver area club are seeking donations for water filter systems
We are in high gear at the moment to try to secure funding for our remaining university students and are almost there.
We also have booked our venues for two Giant Used Book Sales – one at the Port Hope Rec Centre (October 16 and 17) and the other at the MTC Centre in Whitby (November 7 and 8). I already have about 7,000 used books, a good percentage look like they have never been read. Stay tuned for details.
There are a number of other things in the works but it is going to be tough to reach our huge targets this year.
If any of you would like a presentation in the GTA area or southern Ontario region, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
There are some hefty targets for this coming season and so many more that should be done (we have way more projects requests than we can fundraise for), especially water projects, bringing permanent sources of water to villages without.
Here is a brief summary of what is planned;
– Five Room school for the very poor village of Donesok, located abut 200km northwest of the capital city of Vientiane. It will include a well and toilets. The school cost is estimated to cost $80,000 and we will team up with SKL Inc, a Winnipeg NGO with our portion being $30,000 sponsored in part by Ink For Charity and Global Change for Children. We still have to raise about $15,000.
– Permanent water source for the village of Vieng Hin, located about 4 hours north of Luang Prabang (Route 13) and along a back road. This will be about $47,000 as a minimum. We are about halfway in our fundraising targets.
– Student Support – $3,000 – The primary and secondary school students are now fully sponsored.
University (3 students) – $9,000 (minimum). We have one student starting his first year, a second student going into his third year and a third student entering his last year. We are close to the target but I am hoping to raise another $1000 or $1500 to top up the sponsorship – each year I end up having to put in extra funds to assist.
Teacher – $2000. Juey is our newest student to graduate from university and will be teaching as an apprentice…which means no pay.
We also have some small projects on the go, depending on fundraising of the major projects. One of them includes providing feminine pads to secondary school girls so they continue to go to school. This is a pilot project with an assigned cost of $1000.
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, 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.
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!