Dear beloved friends,
I hope you are all doing well, wherever you are in the world.
As some of you already know, since February I have made a number of trips to Luang Prabang in Laos. It has been such a lovely experience and I fall into with the people who are still so honest and pure. But I came back with a huge heart and a rather new direction for my life with this project. Now I am sharing the experience with you and perhaps you would like to take part in my new project to help those in need.
Pa Nor and the Khmu peopleWith a friend, I visited Pa Nor village, an ethnic indigenous community 20 km to the south of Luang Prabang city. The Khmu is one of the largest ethnic groups based in the northern part of Laos. There are more than 500,000 Khmu around the world, with populations of 450,000 in Laos alone. Compared to a tribe like Hmong, Khmu is considered a poorer group among the poor. These days the village does not have enough water, especially during the dry season. Women have to wait in a queue at a tap (which is dripping) over night.
Village PrioritiesFrom the first visit (1st March 2010), I came back with the feelings that I cannot just “do nothing” after having seen another group of human friends living in such a poor condition, so my friend and I decided we will help them now.
Since that first visit we have made a few more trips to the village (6-10th April everyday and 19th April). These visits were spent sitting and discussing with the Village Committee (fortunately, there is an active community deciding making body consisting of six lovely Pa Nor people), and from these discussions we have learnt that the needs of the village are:
1. Improved water system2. Skills training3. New Primary School for Grades 1 and 2 (which fortunately, has now being built with some international assistance) 4. Community center5. Temple6. First Aid resources
What the villagers and we have doneMy friend and I decided we will respond to their urgent needs (first and secondary needs) of the village – which are water and skills training for income generation.
For the water system, on 27th April, we met with Mr Boontan, Deputy Village Master and Mr Onn-chan, Village Committee Member for Education. They said that they have already located a new source of water with the help from a researcher at the Provincial center. A rice land where they can have the water to use the whole year round, is 3kms walk from the village. This piece of land costs 15,000,000 kips (1,450 Euros). The villagers came together and decided they will buy this land by putting down a down payment of 3,000,000 kips (290 Euros) by collecting from each family in the village) so it left them 12,000,000 kips (1,160 Euros) to be paid. So for this project, at this moment we plan to help them buy this land and raise 1,160 Euros.
To help them with income generation, we are planning a sustainable skills training project. We hope to initiate and run skills training sessions with the community utilizing the existing village networks which include the village committee and the women’s association. From our observations there appear to be two key raw materials in the village; job’s tears and bamboo. We plan to contact the Laos Women’s Union in Luang Prabang province and hire trainers to conduct a series of training sessions on these two materials. With additional skills, they could manufacture paper from the raw bamboo and sell for over twice the amount that they currently sell the raw material. From our initial research, we will need to mobilize around 1,000 Euros (10 Euros per day per trainer x 30days) x 3 sessions for each skill. In total, we would need approximately 2,000 Euros to run this project.
So for both projects and putting down some seed money, we are trying to raise around 3,500 Euros within these coming two months.
Our intention is to have this first amount quickly by contributions from our family and friends (my friends and I have put down our own savings as a start). Following that we will deliver our water proposal to a bigger donor for them to consider installing a 3-km pipe from this land, which will cost in the region of 10,000 Euros. I have provided you with a bank account in the name of my friend’s INGO in case you have the capacity to help. We do not mind at all how much you are able to offer – we believe that little by little we will be able to raise the amount needed.
If you would like to help our Pa Nor friends by supporting our project through funding, please find below details of Save Children’s Souls bank account:
Siam Commercial Bank / ThailandUse our Thai account only for payments in Thai Baht and please contact me before you do so! We might otherwise not get accurate donor information and allocation of funds will be difficult
KSK Schwalm Eder, Germany
Account Save the Children’s Souls
Account No 110011228 Bank No: 52052154
Or make donation through
If you would like to help us with ideas/advice/expertise, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or my friend, Christian Volker Ide at email@example.com
I thank you all from the bottom of my heart in advance for having read until this line. I appreciate so much for all of you who have already offered your good will intention and kindness on this new project already. Lastly, I wish you all good health mentally and physically and happiness forever. Take care of yourself well and I will be in touch again soon.
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