BLOG: Charity founder explains how funds are changing orphans’ lives in Lao
Support Lao Children volunteers give clothes and blankets to children in need, just in time for winter.
Staff at Appco UK regularly donate to a children’s charity in Lao as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme.
The founder of Support Lao Children, Andrew Brown recently updated us on the charity’s projects and how regular funds from Appco UK are making a difference, saying: “Thank you for sending funds so regularly – it really does help us. Our medical support is growing each year, and this is where I am now allocating all of your funds.”
Support Lao Children’s plans for 2018
It’s now winter in Luang Prabang, and the poorest children rarely have enough clothes or blankets to keep warm during winter. Thankfully, we’ve received extra supplies, kindly donated by a sponsor, for which we are so grateful.
The work we’re doing is expanding quickly, and we now support 12 villages and over 4,000 children. Recently, we began helping a new village, which has almost 200 children under the age of 13 years.
Many remote villages have very limited access to medical assistance and the children’s diets are of a very low standard. Through our charity’s food programme, we provide regular meals – including eggs and pork for six meals per week, and fruit and milk twice a week – and this is often the only nourishment they receive.
Support Lao Children was able to arrange life-changing cleft-palette surgery for this little girl.
We also provide medical assistance, school supplies and clothing, and run clean-water projects where required. In November, we helped a young girl with a cleft palate undergo corrective surgery. She will need a further operation in three years, but already her life has vastly improved.
On the education front, our scholarship programme allows students to study for tertiary degrees and we now have approximately 200 enrolled students. We are seeing some wonderful results too – over 85 percent of graduates are being placed into work within 12 months of completing their studies.
A decade on and our future is strong
We know that the work we’re doing is making a big difference and I plan to continue expanding our village projects to help as many young people as possible in remote villages. We are still working towards opening a refuge for children aged up to six years old who have very little support and are at most risk.
Despite the difficulties of working in a third-world country, I often reflect on how lucky I’ve been to be able to work with our sponsors to improve the lives of some of the neediest children in Lao. It has been almost 10 years since I began working on these projects, and I would like to thank all of our sponsors and individuals who have supported us along the way. Even the smallest donations have helped to change the lives of many for the better.