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To get a real sense of what goes on in a village on a daily basis, one of our volunteers, Massimo, who comes each year from Italy to help on the ground, produced this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1GQ4r19j_4
Do hope you can take the time to watch this.
Here is our volunteer on the ground, Steve Rutledge, who created Adopt A Village in Laos. This is a shot of a typical water filter distribution day where Steve is showing the villagers how the water filter works. These water filters will last at least 25 years and only need to be cleaned once a month or so by using a soft brush or cloth to clean the inside of the filter.
Also in the picture is his wonderful assistant, Siphan, who is from Laos and carries on the work for Steve when he is not there.
Watch another video as Steve educates the recipients receiving a water filter - Hygiene Lesson Laos March 2016. (Steve speaks english in the video)
Patti Lee & Barbara Seagram visited Laos for the first time in 2012. The remote villages of Laos have never recovered from the 'Secret' war of the 1960s. Laos has the dubious distinction of being the most bombed country, per capita, in history. While rich in culture and tradition, their education, healthcare and hygiene conditions are severely lacking.
The average lifespan is only 56 years and average age is only 20.8, caused by poor quality water, poor hygiene and general poverty. BUT with your help we have already made a difference in the lives of thousands of villagers.
Steve Rutledge is a volunteer on the ground in Laos six months of the year. He is from Port Hope and has received many humanitarian awards for his work in Laos. He pays all his own airfare, accommodation and meals while travelling to and from Laos. Here are some of his accomplishments to date:
There are many other projects that he is involved in: i.e. building fences around compounds to keep the oxen out, furnishing a huge education centre (where they train teachers), bought 52 bicycles for school kids, installed solar lighting in several villages etc. In Steve's last stage of distribution and training (March 19, 2014) was to 5 schools. In total 525 were distributed this year, to a grand total of over 1200 systems including 7000 people!
This faraway land captured Patti's and my heart in 2012. You will hear more in a later newsletter about Laos but let me first tell you about this year's adventure. Steve Rutledge is the volunteer who heads up the NGO Adopt A Village in Laos and spends many months on the ground here. He hails from Port Hope, ON. He arranged for us to head north of Luang Prabang to a couple of very remote villages. We set off in a van and travelled two hours to a village where we would overnight in a guest house, a nice new one. The next day, a flatbed truck arrived to take us to the village. "Roads" were to be difficult so we needed a truck. They did not exaggerate. We loaded up the truck with 10 cases of Beer Lao as the villagers love a good party. They distill their own whiskey also: Whiskey Lao. 100% alcohol!! Continued...
Over the next year, these are the plans in place:
Patti and Barbara's big thrust is for water filters for the villages of Laos. Each one costs $125.00CDN ($100.00USD).
To receive a filter, they must take a basic hygiene & sanitation course from Steve.
If you would like to become involved and to help the people of rural Laos help themselves lead a more fulfilling life, please complete the Donation form and send it along with your cheque made payable to Adopt A Village in Laos to:
8 South Kingslea Drive,
Toronto, ON M8Y 2A3
Official Tax Receipts will be issued. Please help... we cannot do this alone!
Adopt A Village In Laos, Charity Registration # 83699 1000 RR0001
When one village was asked how many people had dysentery (diarrhea) in the past year, 300 hands (all) went up.
Six months later, after the water filters were installed, 2 hands went up.