Established in 2000 and based in Luang Prabang, Laos Kids works to improve the health and education of children and their families in the country’s rural villages, and so help them, their families, the villages they live in and the wider local society to escape the poverty cycle. A small, hands on organisation, Lao Kids is sponsored by Tamnak Lao Restaurant and Cooking School and the “One for One” Book Exchange. As it has no overheads, all the money raised goes directly to the projects it works with.
What do they do?
Lao Kids works to provide invaluable support for the Luang Prabang Provincial Library, Luang Prabang Government Orphanage School, Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital and rural village schools, no matter how remote they may be.
Luang Prabang Provincial Library
Lao Kids operates a tuk tuk library designed to introduce village children to the pleasures of reading. This mobile library also supplies rural schools with book bags containing 100 books, and is aiming to equip them with sufficient text-books to give pupils the basic education they need to compete with children from urban areas for places in tertiary education establishments.
Lao Kids also supports scholarships for rural children who are either orphaned or from one-parent families and need financial assistance to complete their schooling.
While out in the villages the tuk tuk library also delivers sports equipment to schools and items like soap, notebooks and pencils where these are needed. Meanwhile, library staff a take the opportunity to identify children and adults who require medical treatment, eye operations or in the case of bomb and polio victims, access to COPE (the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise). Lao Kids will then cover their medical and associated transport costs.
Luang Prabang Government Orphanage School
Each month, Lao Kids aims to deliver a supply of soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dried noodles, tinned fish and milk drinks to children at the orphanage. Each delivery costs US$3.00 per child. The orphanage is currently home to 571 children, this amount to a commitment of $US 1, 713 per month.
Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital
The Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital opened in 2003. It was built for a population of 22,000, but the population of Luang Prabang now numbers around 60,000. In addition, the equipment originally supplied to the hospital is now old and failing or has already stopped working. The hospital is extremely under-funded and struggles to afford most of the resources it requires to keep running.
Lao Kids liaises with the hospital’s management to identify its priority requirements, and then sources what is needed. To date it has been able to supply items that range from soap, plastic bed covers, shroud fabric, baby blankets, baby wraps and knitted baby hats and vests to paediatric and surgical equipment, foetal Dopplers and ultrasound machines.
How can you help?
There are many ways in which you can help Lao children stay healthy, gain an education and reach their full potential in life.
If you come to Luang Prabang you can:
- Enjoy a meal at Tamnak Lao restaurant.
- Visit the “One for One plus 20,000 kip for the Children” Book Exchange (Open from 10 am to 12 noon and 2pm to 6pm every day, ask for the address at the Tamnak Lao Restaurant on the main road).
- Donate good, used children’s or adults’ clothing via Ruth at Tamnak Lao restaurant.
- US $ 10 purchase a complete uniform (underwear include) for a child
- US $ 30 purchase for 1children: clothing, books and kitchen items
- US $100 payment of a monthly salary for Sengbao Library assistant
- US $275 provide 30 full book bags
- US$ 300 funds the purchase of clothing, books and kitchen items for eleven boys whose village school dormitory has burnt down
- US$ 380 pays for tuk tuk library deliveries of soap and tinned fish to remote villages.
- US $ 450 subsidising a tuk-tuk library visits to villages Including: book bags, teacher training
- US $ 900 acquisition of one defribillator
- US $ 6,000 acquisition of 1 mobile X-ray machine for LP hospital
- US $ 13,000 acquisition of 2 blood gas analysis machines
EXO Foundation support
In 2014, EXO Foundation gave a donation to Lao Kids enabling them to purchase 2 respirators for the Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital equipment that will help to save countless lives.