Greetings from beautiful Luang Prabang.
The LPB orphanage is still the wonderous
place that many of you will remember and with almost 600 children, we are now
at full capacity. There have been several projects come to fruition in the last
6 months that have improved conditions considerably at the orphanage.
This year will be a very busy year and
although Luang Prabang will always be my heartfelt priority, I have now started
support at Numbuk and Suan Luang orphanage/ethnic schools.
We now provide support for over 1,800
children in orphanages and villages around Luang Prabang.
Last month, I opened the orphanage’s new
art school. We built this quite quickly and the goal was to provide a room
where all children can go after school to paint and draw. We have seats for 30
children and we supply the paper, paint and pencils. The room has been a big
hit and has provided a much needed creative outlet for the children.
After some delays, our library has been
completed with bookcases, chairs and tables. It was delayed as I needed to
relocate the computer room, which is now complete. The school now has a
separate Library and computer room and provides great learning opportunities
for the children.
Last week I replaced the old, broken
swings and we now have a set of new swings for the girls and a new set for the
I have started a new nutritional program
for the 150 youngest children at the orphanage. I now supply milk, 2 times per
week for each of these children As
before, we provide eggs, meat and fruit on an ongoing basis and I believe we
now have a very balanced diet suitable for the children to grow up healthily.
I have installed 3 more water filter
systems around the orphanage and we now have four in total. Each child now has access
to clean drinking water and we hope this starts to lower the incidence of
We had 2 doctors visit in November and saw
almost 400 children and we are now collating a substantial medical data base.
The general health of the children is good but we saw many female health issues
and lots of ear infections. I am addressing female health through education,
and girls now know they can be treated easily for typical female infections. I
plan to start a monthly ear clinic in order to address the high incidence of
I will maintain all these programs in the
future as well as the dental and hygiene programs. I hope that if funding is
available we can make the same positive changes at Suan Luang and Numbuk.
Suan Luang and Numbuk are
orphanage/ethnic schools that are home
to both orphans and very poor children.
In the poorest areas of Laos, even
children with parents seldom have enough food to live on. Most are from very
poor farming areas and live in very desperate conditions. Suan Luang and Numbuk
provide a home and school for many of these children.
Suan Luang has 630 children from 9 to 19
years old and is just 30 minutes from Luang Prabang. Numbuk has over 400
children in the same age range and is situated 2.5 hours from Luang Prabang.
I am presently building a 36 metre dormitory
at Numbuk. Over the next two years, the government wants to take in another 180
children. The new dormitory will allow for 90 more children to arrive in
September this year and I plan to build 2 more dormitories in the next year to
accommodate the extra 90 children due to arrive in September 2014. There are also
2 dormitories at Suan Luang that are close to collapse and they will need to be
replaced when funding is available.
Conditions at both places are very poor .
The quality of food is appalling with only 5 kg of meat (virtually all fat) to
share between all the students and the vegetables supplied to both schools are
dry and the cheapest available. Rice is given with each meal but is also the
lowest quality and is seldom cooked properly.
Previously there was no clean drinking
water at either school so I have
installed a series of water filters and tanks at both places so that the
children can now drink clean water. I have also started a food program for 2
meals per week at Numbuk and Suan Luang and we supply pork or fish, and
eggs as well as fresh vegetables and
herbs. I will provide a further two meals per week starting from April this
year. This is a small step to help these
children but we have to be diligent when initiating programs so that we can
ensure that a suitable relationship evolves with the directors and the students
before expanding these programs.
Most clothing donations are now going to
Numbuk and Suan Luang as most children just have filthy, old clothes. I am
expecting a container of clothes from Canada that has been organized by my
friend and we hope this will solve the clothing issue in the short term.
Scholarships. Presently we sponsor about 70
orphanage students to university. This is a wonderful program as it offers each
student their only chance to escape poverty. Without a scholarship, most
students are forced to return to their villages, unemployed and live in very
This year we have 45 graduates from the
LPB orphanage and we hope to offer each a scholarship to university. The cost
of a scholarship is $US650 for a year so if you know anyone who would be
interested to support a student, please get them to contact me.
At Suan Luang, we have 130 children
graduating in June. All will have no option but to return to their poor
villages and try to find work. I want to offer the brightest students a working
scholarship where I support them in LPB long enough for them to find work so
that they can work their way through college. The working scholarship will cost
$350 for each student and will pay for accommodation, 2 months salary and their
university fees. This year I have a generous sponsor from Montpelier who has
agreed to match every scholarship that I can get so if I can find 40 people to
support a scholarship, then Montpelier will also sponsor 40 scholarships, for
example. We have a chance to change many students lives for the better through
My contact for this program is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thankyou all for your wonderful support to
date. My projects are growing quickly and we are making a huge difference in
the lives of many children and this can only happen with the support of very
Below is some recent pictures of the kids from Luang Prabang