We found again something interesting, good and worth-to-write-about in the middle of the jungle. It was next to the karst mountains while we were passing with our modified go-karts to a lagoon. We jetted past a sign, but after the short look we had to go back to that place the next day for sure. There was written: „Buy a cocktail and send with your purchase a child to school”. There was as well something about „Need Volunteers”. That sounded interesting. What are they doing there and who is doing what and are they really doing what they wrote? And if yes, how can you support? A lot of questions, so let´s go and check it out.
It definitely was an impressive visit. All that happened a few weeks ago in Laos somewhere in the back country. Ok, the whole of Laos is back country, there is no sea, but it provides a breathtaking landscape, an phenomenal temple culture and the amazing Mekong River. The little village Vang Vieng is meanwhile a hotspot for travelers and notorious for the karst mountains and the outdoor activities. And as well because of the wild and crazy parties and the tubing…. But this will be another story.
By accident we found the little idyllic project place of the „Equal Education For All (EEFA)“ and the „SAE LAO Project“ in Vang Vieng in Laos. Volunteer Lara from Belgium showed us the place and explained what they do to help and support the local people with their knowledge, time and effort. The main work is focused on teaching the children in the surrounding villages how to read and how to write, and this in English. So it means as well teaching English at the same time, while nobody understands. But the children have fun and learn quickly, and this spreads motivation. At the moment there are 17 volunteers teaching over 400 pupils in the surrounding villages, as well there are classes on the project property. The place is a little learning refuge and as well a trail station for real value and easy producible innovations. The budget is small, as well the climate and weather brings its problems. You have to be smart and clever. The volunteers origin from a lot of different countries and each of them brings special skills and knowledge for several projects. They gain freshwater with a special self-made plastic filter, they built a bicycle dynamo construction for creating energy and with the usage of the leverage effect and a press they produce bricks for houses. Lara told us a lot more details about the work and the project in an interview:
The project is focused on empowering the locals to self-help. They teach them easy mechanisms and simple but effective knowledge. Learning to read and to write are the first basic components for communication and qualification. It´s about using knowledge in a wise and reasonable way. In the dry season there is a lack of drinking water. Here neither a MBA, a job recommendation or a check over one Million dollar isn´t really helpful in that situation. In the last years the project members designed and implemented a lot of beneficial instruments and tools. For example a fresh water pump, a brick manufacture production, real natural soap recipes and the super cool cocktail mixer bike. There is a continuous need for volunteers; the possibilities to get involved are various. Information about the process and the contacts are listed on the websites at the end of the article.
Lara showed us the place, described the different mini project and explained how everything works.
Phone: +856 20 91 949 923 (for Sae Lao & EEFA)
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