Many thousands of people, mostly children, in small, remote villages of northern Laos, are living healthier lives with access to clean water and, in turn, a valuable education to improve their lives thanks to Adopt-A-Village in Laos.
A team of Ladner Rotary members have just returned home after delivering water filters and education supplies to the remote villages in Laos’s Luang Prabang province.
Providing water filters to these villages enables education support in that region by providing clean water and significantly reducing illness preventing children from attending school and adults from supporting their families. Education was the original aim of Adopt-A-Village, which has expanded into providing clean water, in a poor country still suffering the impact of the Vietnam War and struggling to look after its people.
The first stop on this year’s Adopt-A-Village water filter distribution tour, to deliver 240 water filters, was Ban Xiengd, a village of 2,000 people.
Last year, Rotary Club of Ladner led a project, with the support of others and the Rotary Foundation, to fund and help build two small dams, 6.5 km of pipe, a large concrete water tank and 15 tap stations spread throughout the village. The touring team also visited four other, smaller villages to distribute another 240 water filters.
Each family receiving a water filter pays a minor sum for the right of the entire village to receive one water filter per family. The investment means that each family will take ownership of their filter. Before each family receives their water filter, however, at least one family member takes part in the hygiene course where they learn how to use and maintain the filter properly.
“I want to make this world a better place,” said Ladner Rotarian Mike Storey, who just completed his fifth Adopt-A-Village tour with wife Kathy. “I want to help those people who have very limited options and who were born into the difficult situation they find themselves in.
“We see first-hand that what we do has tremendous meaning to them, and we can see the appreciation in their faces. I have found that these trips abroad give me a new appreciation for Canada and for the opportunity and freedoms that we have here.”