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January 25 2014

Saving Elephants in Laos

Photo from Facebook page of Elephant Conservation Center

Photo from Facebook page of Elephant Conservation Center

Laos was once called the ‘land of a million elephants’ but today elephant population has been reduced to several hundreds because of poaching and illegal ivory trade. Some are dying because of overwork in logging areas.

It is estimated that wild elephants number around 300 to 600:

Scattered in small fragmented herds, population numbers of wild elephants are believed to be around 300-600. Like many other countries, wild elephants in Laos are threatened by problems caused by humans. This includes deforestation, poaching, expansion of human settlement and human-elephant conflict.

Meanwhile, there are around 420 captive elephants:

Sadly captive elephant populations are in decline. Only an approximate 420 remain in Laos. The new millennium has bought with it the burden of financial gain, with mahouts (elephant owner) having to work their elephants seven days a week to earn a living. Elephants are mainly employed in the logging industry, a very hard and dangerous job. Male elephants are too tired and busy to reproduce and can even die from logging accidents.

Fortunately, there is a growing awareness about the need to protect the elephants in the country. One of the groups spearheading this advocacy is the Elephant Conservation Center:

Elephant Conservation Center differentiates itself from elephant tourist camps by being a haven for elephant reproduction, lactation, convalescence and disease diagnosis. Do NOT expect to see package tours riding these elephants all day long!

It is also the first elephant hospital in Laos as well as serving as an ecotourism camp. It provides technical and livelihood assistance to elephant owners or mahout who depend on the elephants for their daily income.

The center is also a sanctuary for rescued elephants. They were able to rescue a young elephant which they named Noy. After a few years, the elephant will pick his new name through a process described by head veterinarian Emmanuelle Chave:

At three years old, elephants are trained by their future mahout, to respond different cues, in order to work with humans. A shaman organizes this important journey, where the elephant leaves the forest world for the human world. At the end of the training, the young elephant is offered three sugarcanes, on which are written names. The name on the first sugarcane he picks up will be his.

Brita visited the center and recognized its role in protecting the welfare of elephants:

The Elephant Conservation Center is probably one of the few places you can visit where it’s not about elephants adapting to people’s schedules and needs but where people adapt to the rhythm and needs of the elephants

I am very picky when it comes to choosing an Elephant “place” as there are far too many all over the world which treat their elephants badly and which just means moving from one horrible life (=logging) to another (= bad treatment for tourism purposes).

jo ebisujima also visited the center and learned that putting chairs on the back of an elephant is painful for the animal:

One of the important things that were learnt was that the chairs that are used for carry people and luggage on an elephants back (hawdah) really isn't good for them. This is due to the shape of the bones…It is more comfortable for the elephant to be ridden without any kind of saddle and sat on their neck.

January 05 2014

One Year in Asia

Antoine Lavenant, with his girlfriend spent a year in Asia – China, Laos, Cambodia, Thaïland, Malaysia, Philippines and Sri Lanka. The video is a brief record of their exciting journey.

December 31 2013

Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia

The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development has published a policy briefer that tackled the extent of human trafficking in Southeast Asia.

Many Southeast Asian countries are at the bottom of a lot of the world's supply chains, including for food, garments, and technology. Yet few countries in the region have adequate laws for addressing corporate responsibility for human trafficking, including in their supply chains.

The primer also provides country-specific recommendations on how to best address the human trafficking issue in the region

December 30 2013

PHOTOS: Humans of Southeast Asia

Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York Facebook page has inspired many photographers around the world to share photos and stories of ordinary people in the streets in their respective countries. Let us review similar initiatives in Southeast Asia.

The Humans of Brunei page was created on May 17, 2013. Below is a photo of Brunei students

Photo from Humans of Brunei Facebook page

Photo from Humans of Brunei Facebook page

Meanwhile, the Humans of Indonesia page was created on August 16, 2013. Below is a photo of Indonesians in the Harau valley waterfalls in the Bukittinggi area:

“It was a very special experience … these pristine waterfalls were turned into some kind of public bathing area. So if I would zoom out you would see kids riding inflatable ducks, souvenirs, people selling noodles & bunch of other activities …” Photo from Humans of Indonesia Facebook page

“Those young coconuts look fresh?” “Oh, please take one if you like” “Thank you so much. Why don’t you just drop them down? Seems heavy to carry like that” “Don’t you see that few kids play under these trees? I am worry these coconuts would hit them.” Photo from Humans of Indonesia Facebook page

“Those young coconuts look fresh?”
“Oh, please take one if you like”
“Thank you so much. Why don’t you just drop them down? Seems heavy to carry like that”
“Don’t you see that few kids play under these trees? I am worry these coconuts would hit them.” Photo from Humans of Indonesia Facebook page

There is also a Humans of Jakarta page. Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia

Photo from Humans of Jakarta Facebook page

Photo from Humans of Jakarta Facebook page

Check the Humans of Bali page. Bali is a popular island in Indonesia.

In Malaysia, Avinash explains the idea of creating the Humans of Malaysia page:

…firstly its because I want those people know that there are people out there who care, for their opinions, for their stories, for their time, for their attention, for their thinking, for their views on life, on every issue, on everything, and that these people make Malaysia home. Second, i like to listen. and ask questions of course. And thirdly, well because I was at a point of my life where i really just needed to talk to someone, i needed someone to not help, but to just listen, no one was there for me then. I always have this thing in my mind, thinking that i might come across someone today who really just need someone who would listen. Thats why I do this

“What scares you the most?”
“Being poor. Having no money. Everything is about money nowadays. Supporting my family, food, transport, bills. Its everywhere.” Photo from Humans of Malaysia Facebook page

There is a separate page for the Humans of Kuala Lumpur. Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s capital.

“Abang (brotherly term for a guy) Hafiz washes and arranges the fish and vegetables at one of the agricultural grocery stores in KL. It is late at night and people are still coming in.” Photo from Facebook page Humans of Kuala Lumpur

The Humans of Thailand page has not been updated regularly but the Humans of Bangkok page seems active. Bangkok is the capital of Thailand. Zon explains the project:

The page is a small urban project that I've just started about the people and their everyday lives in Bangkok, which has become a much more hybrid-society than ever. Revealing lives of the city inhabitants would make us better aware that everyone is interconnected.

“My daily challenge is riding. I have to manage to ride through the gaps between big cars. And actually it's extremely dangerous. I've been a taxi rider for a year but honestly I don't know how long I could continue with this job, or either know what I want to do next with my life.” Photo from Humans of Bangkok Facebook page

Bangkok police. Photo from Humans of Bangkok Facebook page

Bangkok police. Photo from Humans of Bangkok Facebook page

As the political crisis deepens in Thailand, Bangkok residents are calling for a ‘peaceful Sunday’

“Political conflict in Thailand now. We hope for #peacefulsunday and that no violence will take place tomorrow.” Photo from Humans of Bangkok Facebook page

Check also the Humans of Chiang Mai page. Chiang Mai is located north of Thailand.

Photo from Humans of Chiang Mai Facebook page

“No texts, no calls, nothing. Cause I'm still thinking abt my Painting!” Photo from Humans of Chiang Mai Facebook page

In Vietnam, we’d like to feature the Humans of Saigon and Humans of Hanoi:

Photo from Humans of Saigon Facebook page

Photo from Humans of Saigon Facebook page

Photo from Humans of Hanoi Facebook page

Photo from Humans of Hanoi Facebook page

In Laos, there is a Humans of Vientiane page. Vientiane is the country’s capital.

“Local law enforcement in Luang Namtha enjoying a game of petangue.” Photo from Humans of Vientiane Facebook page

Below is a photo of Stacy from Singapore relaxing at Clarke Quay. Photo from the Humans of Singapore page:

“I've been sitting here because it's quite breezy. And you can watch the boats passing by too. They've been doing a tour of the entire river all the way till Marina Bay Sands, where they tell you about the history of these places and Singapore. It's quite interesting, you hear all sorts of things which you didn't know and it's always a bit of a surprise.” Photo from Humans of Singapore Facebook page

Visit Humans of the Philippines and Humans of Manila. Manila is the capital of the Philippines.

Children of Tondo in Manila. Tondo is a working class district. Photo from Humans of Manila Facebook page

Children of Tondo in Manila. Tondo is a working class district. Photo from Humans of Manila Facebook page

The People of Yangon page created by Chris James White was also inspired by the Humans of New York idea. Yangon is major city in Myanmar.

People of Yangon Facebook page

People of Yangon Facebook page

December 21 2013

Popularizing the Hmong Qeej Musical Instrument through YouTube

Catherine Falk studied how Chinese and Laotian Hmong diaspora groups maximized the YouTube to preserve and popularize their culture, in particular the playing of qeej, an iconic Hmong reed mouth organ.

December 15 2013

Abducted a Year Ago, Sombath Somphone Case Highlights Human Rights Abuses in Laos

Protest in front of Laos embassy in Bangkok. Photo from Facebook page of Joey Oliveros Dimaandal.

Protest in front of Laos embassy in Bangkok. Photo from Facebook page of Joey Oliveros Dimaandal.

Sombath Somphone, a development economist and educator from Laos, was abducted by unidentified men exactly a year ago a few moments after he was stopped by a police car. His disappearance was captured by a CCTV footage. Today, his family and friends from around the world are asking the Laos government to undertake more decisive actions to help find Sombath.

The Solidarity for Asian Peoples’ Advocacy Working Group on ASEAN is accusing the Laos government of hiding something about the case:

We hold the government of Lao accountable for his enforced disappearance. The inconsistencies in the Lao government's policy pronouncements over his case prove our point that it has something to do with what happened to Sombath Somphone. We challenge Lao officials to, once and for all, provide a credible action and resolution on his case. It must prosecute individuals and institutions responsible for his enforced disappearance.

The Laos government has denied that it was involved in the disappearance of Sombath.

Nalaka Gunawardene clarified that Sombath is not an activist:

Sombath isn’t a politician. Nor is he an activist, although some have given him that label. The Sombath I know is a sensitive thinker who pauses to reflect on where his country and the world are headed. He is also a teacher and mentor who has helped thousands of young Lao nationals to improve skills and find their own voice.

In a Facebook note, Anne-Sophie promised Sombath that his friends will keep alive the advocacy until he is found:

Someone said that “the one who has been killed dies once, the disappeared dies again everyday”. We refuse to let this happen. This is why we are starting this discussion with you today. And this discussion will continue, everyday, to keep you alive. Your engagement has been a lot about giving voice to the people. It is time for others to give you a voice. Silence will not prevail. Because we will never forget. Because we keep hoping.

Meanwhile, 62 NGOs in the Asia-Pacific signed a statement urging the Laos government to form a new body to investigate Sombath’s disappearance:

Establish a new commission tasked with carrying out a prompt, thorough, independent, and impartial investigation into Sombath’s enforced disappearance and return him safely to his family.

Extend an invitation for a country visit by the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances
Sombath’s whereabouts remain unknown and there has been no progress in the investigation into the circumstances of his enforced disappearance. In addition, the authorities have rejected offers of technical assistance to analyze the CCTV footage.

M Rajaretnam hopes the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN will demand more answers from the Laos government:

After a year of silence, the disclosure should be treated as an opportunity to seek redress for Mr Sombath. If Sombath Somphone can disappear in broad daylight, it can happen to anyone. Asean governments and their stakeholders, in the name of human decency, have the right to clear answers from the Lao leadership.

October 16 2013

Saving Mothers and Babies in Laos

The group CleanBirth.org is committed to improving the maternal health care situation in several Laos rural villages by providing birth kits, training of new nurses and mobilizing village volunteers. In a recent update, the group highlighted why many rural Laotians are choosing homebirths over delivery at health centers. Among the reasons are ‘distance and cost of transport, poor treatment, desire for family to be near, and desire for traditional birth practices.

October 07 2013

Sticky Rice is Bad for Babies, Lao Mothers Told

@LaotianMama reminds Lao mothers not to give sticky rice, a traditional Lao food, to hungry babies:

Sticky rice for infants is the Laotian equivalent to what we know as rice cereal in Western culture. The idea is the same as well where the introduction of solid foods will fill out their little bellies. Well, of course, introducing a near-empty food so early can be quite harmful to children’s developing gut and can cause problems such as food allergies, stunted development, and breastfeeding difficulty.

September 26 2013

Why Laos Has High Maternal And Infant Mortality Rates

Dee Harlow cites several factors that explain why Laos has the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in Southeast Asia:

Many factors contribute to the inaccessibility of the care expectant mothers need including, geographic remoteness, lack of infrastructure and seasonal limitations for travel on rough roads, lack of transport or money to pay, little knowledge of the health requirements of prenatal care or services available, as well as family priorities of working for subsistence living and other household responsibilities

Maternal under-nutrition, which is predominant in Laos, can lead to low infant birthweight leading to poor infant health leading to high risk of mortality from illness or disease.

September 16 2013

Gender Inequality in Laos and Cambodia Schools

Laurence Bradford studied some statistics about female education in Southeast Asia. She highlighted the problems and discrimination faced by young girls in Cambodia and Laos. For example in Cambodia, 50 percent of young girls are laborers instead of students. In Laos, male literacy rates are 20 percent higher than those for women.

August 07 2013

Hydroélectricité : Inquiétude des pécheurs du Mékong à cause de la construction de barrages au…

#Hydroélectricité : Inquiétude des #pécheurs du #Mékong à cause de la construction de barrages au #Laos.

Six pays, de la #Chine à sa source au #Vietnam à son embouchure, profitent des richesses du Mékong. Mais aujourd’hui, les projets hydroélectriques menacent faune et flore, et à terme, le mode de vie des habitants. La pêche, ressource essentielle, est la première menacée.

http://geopolis.francetvinfo.fr/le-mekong-menace-par-les-barrages-20489

April 14 2013

Helping Laos Recover from Cluster Bombs

Bryan Thao Worra, a Laotian American writer, reflects on his last trip in Laos where he witnessed the impact of cluster bombs in rural villages. Laos was one of the most heavily bombed countries during the Vietnam War and thousands of unexploded bombs continue to be a threat today.

April 07 2013

Digital Collection of Historical Southeast Asia Travel Accounts

Southeast Asia Visions is a collection of historical travel narratives of pre-modern Southeast Asia from Cornell University Library's John M. Echols Collection. The digital collection includes 10,000 images, drawings, photographs, prints and maps.

January 16 2013

Laos: Where is Sombath Somphone?

‘Find Sombath Somphone'

Sombath Somphone, a development economist and educator from Laos, was last seen on December 15, 2012. A month after his mysterious disappearance, his friends and supporters from around the world are asking the Lao government to intensify the search for Sombath.

Sombath Somphone was last seen in Vientiane on the evening of Saturday 15th December when he was driving home in his jeep. His family and friends immediately contacted the police, visited hospitals, and informed Embassies, but nobody knew where Sombath had gone.

Two days later, CCTV footage became available that showed Sombath being stopped by police and then abducted.

Sombath founded the Participatory Development Training Centre in Laos and his lifelong work in the field of education and community development was recognized when he won the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay Award, which is known as Asia’s Nobel Prize, for community leadership.

Sombath’s wife, Ng Shui Meng, thinks it’s not entirely accurate to call him an activist. She explains the philosophy behind Sombath’s numerous projects:

Sombath’s development philosophy is that of promoting balanced and sustainable development. Sombath has never opposed economic development, but he urges that economic development be balanced with spiritual well-­‐ being, social improvement, and environmental and cultural protection.

Sombath’s abduction was revealed in a CCTV footage:

Ambassador Yong Chanthalangsy of Laos to the United Nations in Geneva issued this statement in behalf of the government in relation to Sombath’s case:

The Lao government is deeply concerned about the disappearance of Mr Sombath Somphone and attaches importance to the investigations underway in order to find out the truth of this incident.

On this incident, the concerned authority as the law protection agency that protects and maintains social order has the legal duty to find out the truth in order to bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure justice to Mr Sombath and his family according to the law

Thomas Wanhoff asks why police failed to stop Sombath’s ‘abductors’:

Questions still remain why the police did nothing when they witnessed that someone stole the car and Sombath was forced into the car. He certainly would have informed the police officers if he had been kidnapped.

Sombath, “the trainer of trainers'

News of Sombath’s kidnapping drew strong reactions inside and outside Laos. Government officials and civil society groups from other countries are one in urging the Laos government to help find the missing Sombath. In Thailand, more than 60 groups signed a petition in support of the campaign to find Sombath:

We, civil society organizations in Thailand, urge concerned Lao authorities to take every urgent action with regard to Mr. Sombath’s disappearance. We look forward to hearing that all immediate and necessary efforts are made to search his whereabouts and investigate the cause of his disappearance.

Above all and last, we hope that Mr. Sombath remains safe and will re-appear to resume his unfinished mission. For this will be encouraging to not only those sharing a similar mission, but, those committed to the course of making this world a better place for us all

Writing for New Mandala, Simon Creak and Keith Barney asks if Sombath’s disappearance is related to his advocacy for the protection of land rights of ordinary villagers:

Links are instead being drawn between Sombath’s disappearance and his involvement with the controversial AEPF (Asia-Europe People’s Forum held in Vientiane last November), particularly his support for people who made statements advocating for the rights of villagers who are suffering from the loss of their customary lands and resources. As Sombath’s wife has reiterated in public comments, government officials were also involved with the National Organizing Committee of the AEPF, so the event as a whole should not have been tainted.

Harrison George analyzes the impact of Sombath’s disappearance among the Laos civil society networks:

So the effect has been properly paralyzing. Nobody in Lao can guess who will be next. Nobody knows where the line is that they should not cross. Some people have left the country; some have done a duck dive, flitting from safe house to safe house in the hope that the security forces are still a few steps behind. And everyone is keeping their mouths firmly shut.

December 05 2012

Activists Reject Southeast Asia’s Human Rights Declaration

More than 50 human rights groups in Southeast Asia issued a statement criticizing the recent unveiling of a Human Rights Declaration drafted by the 10-member nation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The signing of the joint declaration was done during the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh last month. The initiative to establish the region’s first joint declaration on human rights was discussed in Laos in 2010 but key stakeholders and other human rights advocates complained that they were not consulted.

When the declaration was made public this month, it was immediately dismissed by regional human rights organizations for containing provisions that allegedly distort universal standards on human rights protection. In particular, they question the wording of the declaration’s general principles which balance rights with duties and responsibilities imposed by member countries.

Hundreds join a protest action in Phnom Penh to assert the human rights agenda during the 21st ASEAN Summit. Photo by Erika Pineros, Copyright @Demotix (11/16/2012)

The controversial provision reads this way:

…the realisation of human rights must be considered in the regional and national context bearing in mind different political, economic, legal, social, cultural, historical and religious backgrounds.

The exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others, and to meet the just requirements of national security, public order, public health, public safety, public morality, as well as the general welfare of the peoples in a democratic society.

Indeed, several fundamental rights were identified in the declaration like the right to vote, the right to participate in government, and the right to form and join trade unions, but these supposedly universal rights are apparently applicable only if they conform to existing national laws and policies.

Prachatai published the statement of civil society groups which criticized the declaration:

The document is a declaration of government powers disguised as a declaration of human rights.

It is deplorable that the governments of ASEAN have insisted on making a Declaration that implies that their people are less deserving of human rights than the people of Europe, Africa or the Americas. The people of ASEAN should never accept a lower level of protection of their human rights than the rest of the world.

The Declaration fails to include several key basic rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to freedom of association and the right to be free from enforced disappearance.

It is highly regrettable that governments in the ASEAN who are more democratic and open to human rights succumbed to the pressure of human rights-hostile governments into adopting a deeply flawed instrument.

This Declaration is not worthy of its name. We therefore reject it. We will not use it in our work as groups engaged in the protection of human rights in the region. We will not invoke it in addressing ASEAN or ASEAN member states, except to condemn it as an anti-human rights instrument.

According to Maruah, a human rights group in Singapore, the declaration subverts the concept of human rights:

This is objectionable and self-defeating…This provision in the (declaration) is prohibitive and subverts the concept of human rights. We are very concerned with this inclusion of ‘public morality’ as it is subjective and can be interpreted in such a manner that affects people, particularly women from fulfilling their rights. This provision is objectionable, as subjectivities in the interpretation of morality will adversely increase the vulnerability of certain communities…instead of embracing universality, it has marginalised certain communities by exclusions.

Karapatan, a human rights network in the Philippines, is worried that the declaration might be used as a ‘blueprint for further rights violations’:

These are not just mere loopholes of the declaration which may be suited to the State parties’ interests, but we fear these provisions will be used to justify the States’ continuing violations of human rights in the region. The declaration will not only be deemed meaningless in the promotion, protection and realization of human rights, it may likewise be used as a blueprint for further rights violations

The Committee to Protect Journalists notes that the document ‘lacks a corresponding mechanism for enforcement.’

September 30 2012

Laos: Low Power Rates but Many People Still in the Dark

Despite the presence of several large hydro power plants in Laos, electricity access remains a problem for many people in the country. Power rates, however, are lower compared to other countries

September 24 2012

Singapore: Charity Group Targets Poor Children in Laos and Vietnam

A group of seven professional Swedish women in Singapore have formed the charity organization Together for Charity. As expat wives, they realized that their life situation in affluent Singapore is extremely privileged compared to that of most people in the neighboring countries, and they want to make a difference where they can.

I got a chance to talk to two of the founders of Together for Charity, Stina Hotine and Elisabeth Lewenhaupt, and they told me, with great passion and energy, how their one-year old charity organization has already made a huge impact in the lives of others.

The group has a simple but noble objective:

We wanted to change the lives of children who are less fortunate, by changing our own behaviors in our daily lives. We also wanted to show others how fun and easy it can be to give a little or a lot to those with less. We wanted to find simple ways to contribute and then make them a part of our and many other people’s lives.

Gift card to present a donation to a party host or friend

Gift card to present a donation to a party host or friend

 

“People want to know what their donations do and how effective they are”, says Elisabeth, and shows me the printed gift card where the donor can specify what the amount they donate will achieve for the needy children.

At the moment the organization concentrates their aid to two different projects. One is Deak Kum Pa Orphanage in Luang Prabang, Laos, and the other is The English School of Mui Ne in Vietnam.

Children at the Deak Kum Pa Orphanage

Children at the Deak Kum Pa Orphanage

Deak Kum Pa Orphanage is run by the Lao government, and to a great extent managed by Australian Andrew Brown. Andrew relies on donations and makes singlehandedly sure that every penny that is directed towards the children is put to the best use.

Children are rescued from the streets and a life in severe poverty. They are given a chance to go to school and live their lives in a safe and relatively comfortable way. More information about the orphanage:

Deak Kum Pa is now home to over 500 children and this number is increasing.

The orphanage also operates as a school; positioned on the edge of the town, the very basic brick and concrete dormitories and school classrooms are set in grounds reached by dirt road and a wooden bridge.

With the inclusion of the very basic school services at Deak Kum Pa, these children can in some small way be considered fortunate; however the school is severely in need of additional staffing, resources and equipment.

Through the efforts of the charity group, the orphanage was able to enroll more children in the facility:

Nutrition was one of the first concerns for the orphanage, with only one meal a day with rice and soup the children had limited ability to grow and learn. Today the children enjoy meat, fruit, egg and bread on a regular basis.

Together for charity has through its generous donors raised enough money to provide for 30 additional children to come to the orphanage during 2012.

The English School of Mui Ne in Vietnam has come a step further in the development. They are inviting children among the poorest in the village to learn English in order to be able to make a living in the future in the growing tourism industry. As they expect these children to be able to support their poor families in the future, they carefully choose the neediest candidates to admit – and always just one sibling from each family.

At the school, which is in addition to the regular school during the weeks, the kids are not only taught English, but also valuable lessons of friendship and sharing as well as computer skills. Many students have through their interaction over the internet discovered possibilities for themselves for the future and have dreams that they could never have imagined before.

Five of the school’s students have posted a video on Youtube speaking in English about the opportunities that have opened up for them:

The English school reports important events and activities on their Facebook page. From the group's status page on September 4 this year:

…is proud to announce that we recently have taken a big step forward in our development, as we are now able to support our students through higher education. Thanks to our generous donors and hard work from everyone involved in the organization, English School of Mui Ne now has a second location, a student home in Phan Thiet (a city next to Mui Ne Village).

As the result of rigorous work and many hours of preparation, the 31 students who took their entrance examination earlier this summer all got accepted and started their semester of High School a few weeks ago.

As a response to continued support from their sponsors, they write:

“A warm thank you to our sponsors for making it possible for us to start this new chapter in our development as an organization in order to help our students continue their education.”

The English School of Mui Ne sends a warm THANK YOU to Together for Charity for all the books they sent! All the students are busy reading and filling up the library with new literature on varies topics.

Elisabeth and Stina make sure to emphasize that Together for Charity is a lifelong project that they have taken on. They keep it very simple and personal, focusing on only two projects at the moment. They keep close contact with the two entities and target 100% of the funds they collect towards them.

July 29 2012

Laos: Participation in 2012 Olympics

Laos sent three athletes to the 2012 London Olympics. An employee of the United Nations World Food Programme in Laos also represented the country when she was invited to become an Olympic torchbearer early this month

Laos: Environmental Impact of Xayaburi Dam

Kirk Herbertson explains the environmental impact as construction of the controversial Xayaburi Dam along Mekong River in Laos begins.

May 07 2012

Laos: Luang Prabang Airport

Sao Darly posts photos and a video clip of the new airport of Luang Prabang in Laos

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