Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Steve's Email

This afternoon I received an email from Steve Rutledge, who has just returned from Laos, which briefly encapsulates all the wonderful achievements which Adopt a Village in Laos has done this past year. Included in that list is mention of some local work done here in Toronto.

I am already looking forward to going back - I can safely say that we have helped over 2000 people now with schools, water, water filters, toilets or combination of those.

These are the accomplishments, but not in any particular order:
  1. Small Ban Huephen (about 1 hr 15 minutes north of Luang Prabang) - I am just about finished running a new water source from 4-5 km away. This included a dam, a water tank, several km's of pipe and 5 water taps. The water has been directed to the taps, but still has to be redirected to the water tank once the concrete is cured (about another week). I also provided hygiene training and a water filter for every family in the village.
  2. I had visited a wooden high school (23 rooms with 1300 students) several times and noted that there was structural failure pending!!! I went about 3 weeks ago and noticed the wooden support beams (termite damage) had shifted so I purchased new hand made lumber (due to size of the beams) and cemented a floor for two additional classrooms. The wood beams had been delivered and installation of the beams is expected over the next week or so.
  3. Hygienic toilets in Pha Yong Village (2 1/2 hours by mini van, then 1 hour by boat, then 1.5 hours trek, north of LPB) - a sceptic tank is being installed with three toilets (the first of 12 banks to be built for the village) and a large sceptic field. I also put an addition on the school and provided the village of 84 families with 84 filters plus some for the school and toilets, along with hygiene training.
  4. We provided funding for an additional school teacher for Pha Yong Village and received commitments that a second teacher would be supplied by the Department of Education to Had Chanh Village for next year.
  5. We have also arranged for a hygienic toilets to be installed in Had Chanh Village school (about 1 hr boat ride north of Nong Khiaw). This project will start in another month or so. I also built a school there.
  6. We provided funding for a fence around the Education Compound- almost complete.
  7. I provided funding for a fence around the grounds of Pha Yong Village school - completed.
  8. I and a number of friends provided blankets and mosquito nets for a new village of 300 families about 1 1/2 hours south of LPB along the Mekong River.
  9. Provided water filters to another secondary school and the dormitories, plus two filters for a hospital without water (although I am raising money to put a new well for the hospital).
  10. I have about 30 requests for funding next year.
  11. I have made a lot of inroads with various levels of Government who are fully supportive of what I am trying to do. I have also lined up contractors and engineers for whatever gets approved for next year (based on the amount of money I can raise this summer).
  12.  I have had a lot of press coverage from our local newspapers, plus associated press plus some magazines in Toronto (free newspaper). The next release is in the next edition of SNAP newspaper in Toronto, although I am told it is about 1/4 page. There have been a couple of events there already. I have been getting donations through a coffee shop around Church Street and Isabella. I have also been asked to work with a second local newspaper (they don't like the idea that I gave the other one the full scoop) and have been asked to do an interview on local TV as well.
  13. I met a lot of wonderful foreigners who all want to donate or help us in some way. Possibly donors for three more schools and I am lining up at least 20 different presentations to community clubs between Toronto and Belleville. I have also been asked to consider presentations in Calgary and Vancouver, but I said I need at least 6 to make it worth my while (because I have to pay for the trips).
  14. We still have to do a small project for Ladthahae village - the plumbing to the latrines. This is only a two day job, but it should be done over the next couple of weeks when my engineer is free.
I guess that is about it. But I just wanted you to know that my entire life has changed and I already can't wait to go back. We have already helped 2000 to 2 500 people live happier, healthier, longer lives.

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