News concerning this boy are good and promising. Last year ASAS had helped this young boy who couldn’t go to school because of a lack of money and of a very complicated family situation.
When we first met him, he was not communicative and we could feel his sadness and his anger.
One year later this young boy has recovered his smile. His school results are good and he told us he wanted to study in a technical school, in two years, once he has finished secondary school.
ASAS will be pleased to take in charge his school fees, his school material and the costs of boat transport to go to school every day. We’ll tell you next year was has become of him.
Visit to Ban Kho Kram
Visit to Ban Kho Kram Many villages which ASAS has helped are on the banks of the Mekong river.
After we had given the “school transport boat” in one village, we stopped over, on our way back, in Ban Kho Kran village. We hadn’t told we would come, but, as usual, we were warmly welcome.
We were pleased to notice that the sanitary blocks are very well maintained and that the school surroundings are very clean. We sang some songs with the kids who were full of energy at this time of the day.
We took this opportunity to give each child a snack; you learn better when your stomach is full!
Construction of a sanitary bloc in Ban Kho Kram
Ban Kho Kram, this little fisher village on the bank of Mekong where ASAS had built a school in April 2005. The construction of a sanitary block had been planned. It has now been built.
The villagers, who had already a first building experience and already all the necessary tools built it in two weeks. L’ASAS went there in December with the last finishing material (paint, taps,….). We took profit of this visit to organize a refuse collection around the school with laughters and songs, we tried to teach them some principles of waste management.
We had a very good time but noticed that, unfortunately, there is nearly no knowledge of the subject. ASAS has decided to introduce a global project with a workshop and didactic tools. Another challenge to come about which we will report later.
Some villages in the neighborhood have heard about the various actions of ASAS, especially for the assistance in education. So teachers of the school located in Pakou came to us and asked us to analyze the situation of their school where there are 70 pupils.
The conclusion was the following: the roof of the school is damaged, the sanitary block is partially paid, no child has any book, and teachers don’t have the necessary material (paper, pens…).
We go back there 3 weeks later and organize a day with dances, games, story reading and songs. But hygiene remains the first priority in the animations.
Finally, each child has received the three official books of the school program, a piece of soap, a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a notebook, a pen and a rubber. The sanitary block has been paid and a library with 200 books of tales and stories has been given to the teachers.
As for the roof it couldn’t be paid for as yet.
Benches for Kho Kram village
On the 31sr of October, ASAS went to Ban Kho Kram again. After having built the school, we have bought tables and chairs for the school.
As we were there we took the necessary measurements in order to build a toilet block. As every time we go to this village we are warmly welcome.
On our way back, we visited another school who has asked for our help.
We’ll go there on November 26th and we will inform you later about it.
News concerning Khanya
Khanya, you don’t know his name yet but you know his son’s: Taowana whose school fees ASAS is paying for.
We had informed you that his farther had had an accident which had broken his back. We went to Luang Prabang hospital in order to have a diagnosis. Result: he cannot be operated on here and he should go to Vientiane.
On the 18th of October Khanya left to go to Vientiane. He was accompanied by his mother (see on the picture before the departure) who was to give him the basis care and feed him. ASAS has paid for the travel, the medical care and the food. His son, Taowana has stayed in the village and was looked after by his cousin. Last week we learned the diagnosis for Khanya: an operation can be done but the risk of an aggravation of his health is 50%.
Kanaya was to decide himself. Eventually, he has decided not to be operated a second time. He has gone back to his village in his family where people organize themselves to help him.
Going to school, a right for everyone
His name is Taowana. He is thirteen and lives in a small village, one hour away from Luang Prabang on the right bank of the Mekong. His life was like all other children’s in the village until his father had a terrible accident in the forest. As he wanted to cut wood to finish the construction of the family house, a tree fell on his back and he became paaralyzed. After this accident, and despite daily care, Taowana and his mother tried to lead a normal life. But the situation was getting worse every day because there was no more money. One year later, Taowna’s mother abandoned her husband and her only son, without further explanation. Up to now, she hasn’t given any news..
After she left, daily life was very complicated. However, Taowana and his father helped each other. The young boy kept on going to school every day (to this end he has to take a boat to cross the Mekong river and then walk on a muddy path). A woman of the village brings some food and his father cooks as much as he can on a small fire on the ground. In order to pay for the food, he built as small forge and makes wicker baskets. But all this is not enough to come up for the family’s needs.
Taowana’s teacher alerted the person in charge of the library with whom we cooperate so that a durable solution could be found to help them.
On the 23th of August ASAS went to the village in order to meet the family and to see what the situation was. Finally, ASAS decided to come up to the school fees for a duration of three years, until the end of compulsory school. For the next step, if Taowana wants to go on studying, discussions will take place.
At the same time the father will be brought to the hospital next week in order to have a complete analysis of his state of health. We will of course inform you about what is being done for this family.
Kho Kram village
It‘ s small village of about 200 inhabitants along the Mekong, From Luang Prabang you need about 2.30 hours to go there, going northwards.
After a visit in Pou Panack a village where we wanted to see how the work was going on for the toilet block, we went through this village of Kho Kram which was on our way.
It was a happy coincidence. We discovered this village because the road we normally take was impassable. We then had to take a tuktuk, then a boat and finally walk during one and a half hour to reach Pou Panack.
As we were coming back to take the boat on the Mekong we met some inhabitants of this small village for whom we were the first foreigners they had ever seen.
In this village, they need a new classroom. The existing building is not big enough for the number of pupils which increases every year. It is a basic construction in bamboo which cannot resist during the rainy season.
Distribution of material
A school is nice, but it is better with books. We come back there with the team form the library who, as usual, has animated a lively day.
As usual, we bring educative books, notebooks, pens, textbooks with the official school program as well as soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
As every time we go to in the villages, we meet a lot of children and adults who need medical care. In 80% of the cases they have infected wounds due to the lack of small medical equipment or they suffer from fever or nutritional deficiencies due, for their part, to a lack of basic body and alimentary hygiene.
All in all we bring 8 children with one of their parents and one adult to Luang Prabang hospital.
A real expedition because the way is long and we have to be back in Luang Prabang before dusk as boats can’t navigate at night as they could hit rocks.
In the end everything went well. One person had to stay three days in hospital (severe nutritional deficiency). For the others there were sutures, disinfections and some children were given antibiotics. Everybody went back to the village after a stop they had asked for at the big market in Luang Prabang (Talad Poussi). Of course, there are not many opportunities to come into town….
We took this opportunity to buy for each child a Bermuda shorts, tee-shirts and shoes. It’s a minimum for many people but many Lao people don’t even have it.
From theory to practice
21 december 2014
Following our visit and various actions in relation with hygiene which were led in Phou Panack village, ASAS decided to furnish the village with two toilet blocks. The building took three weeks. The main difficulty of this operation, lay in the conveyance of the material on the spot. Not less than nine truck trips, on a very chaotic road, where necessary in order to collect all the elements before the beginning of the building.
In the end, two toilet blocks and a retention tank for the watering of the gardens are built.
We take the opportunity of one of this trips to make the follow-up of hygiene rules which were taught before, and to distribute again soap and toothbrushes to each pupil and to hang in each classroom various posters reminding of the elementary hygiene rules.
Moreover, we hand out clothes, small medical material (coming from our collect point) and to give each pupil a school book *.
* This school book is very often the only course material which children have at their disposal. It contains exercises and the official school year program. In most schools, these books fail because there are too expensive. If the school has some, there are not enough for everybody (in general, one book for three children). The pupils use it together when they are at school and take it home for their homework on a weekly rotation basis.
Ban Phatong Loum (Khamu village)
26 September 2014
There are as many as 187 children, aged 3 to 12, who attend this primary school in Huey Krang, a village situated south from Sayabouri in Nan district. We went there with the library team whose members organized games and animations as soon as we arrived. Learning while having fun, this is a way of learning everybody agrees with.
All in all hundreds of books, exercise-books according to the official program for the various school levels, ballpoint pens, writing pads, hygiene material and various games were distributed to the children and teachers. We were warmly welcome, music and laughters were omnipresent.
Khamu is part of the Austro-Asian ethno-linguistic group the language of which derives from Môn and Khmer. This family represents 22,6% of the Lao population, they are thus the most important group of the Môn-Khmer family.
They were the first inhabitants of Laos and used to live in the valleys before the arrival of the South Laotians who came from China during the eleventh century. The Lao people knew how to irrigate their crops and probably pushed back the Khamus in the mountains, It is a peasant and land-clearer people which mainly lives from culture, hunting, gathering and smith activities.
Learning, understanding and having fun
23 May 2014
L‘ASAS go with the staff off the library in order of rounting books, school stationery, health car products and games to the primary school of PhaNack village (Pak Ou district) which is situated in the mountains, a 3 hours drive of Luang Prabang.
Very chaotic journey and impassable road during the rainy season.
As we arrived, the team of the library take charge : animation of various workshops through games and songs, material distribution, discussions with the villagers…
A lot of emotion and many sharing smiles during this day.
ASAS gives free French lessons to children and adults who are motivated to learn a language their grand-parents spoke under the French Protectorate.
How many smiles we get in exchange of only a few hours of our life!
Basic medical care
18 of June 2014
When ASAS visited the village of Pha Nack (here above), we met children who were ill or suffered from infections due to badly healed injuries.
In Laos, with the tropical climate, small wounds which don’t seem to be serious can quickly develop into severe infections which can give irreversible residua.
As soon as we came back to Luang Prabang, we informed the chief of the library and asked her to organize the hospitalization of these 4 children who were aged between 2 and 8. After a week’s treatment,here they are all out of hospital, with their parents.