Why did I decide to collect donations for a school in Laos?
In 2004 Iīve already been a guest in this country with a friend. Among others we visited a village in the area of the south-laotian
islands. It was a sunday and so from the very beginning many kids where around us. It didnīt last long time till they asked us, wether
we wanted to see their school. They were very proud to have an own school at their village. Of course we went with them. Also the
headmaster of these school came to welcome us. And this was their school:
Some years later I was back in Laos again, this time in the north of Luang Prabang at the Mekong river
And again we visited a village and again they proudly presented their school to us. This school was built by a foreign
organization with support from the inhabitants some years ago. When we arrived the children were working as landscape
gardeners - they cleaned up the ways and weeded the area around the school.
The most impressive for me was, that in both villages the children were so very proud about their school. It was the center
of the village for the kids, even on sunday, when they didnīt have to go to school. And it was so important that it had to
be shown to the foreigners.
From this moment I realised, that I want to be active in this direction, because: what is more important than education?
Only the "how" was for me not obvious at this time.
About one year ago a friend of mine suggested to me the book
"Leaving Microsoft to Change the World"
from John Wood. I read it very fast. The book tells the story of the start-up of the american organization
"Room to Read", which is really impressive.
My next step was investigation. I wanted to know more about "Room to Read", wanted to find out how
these people work, which concepts and strategies they pursue. And again I have been surprised.
In short the concept of "Room to Read" is, to build of the inhabitants own initiative with their financial,
material and first of all personal contribution schools and libraries
and enable girls from poor families
to go to school. Further these schools will not be built in the big cities but in isolated areas, the libraries
will be equiped with donated books in english and national language. Also the publishing of books
in national langugages is a project of this organization. They work in Nepal, India or Zambia just as Laos.
I liked the fact, that all these projects are realized with native companies and organizations and take
notice of country-specific environmental and living conditions. But I was convinced when I read that they
disclose their financial report, I mean received donations, project and overhead charges. And in regular
intervals they report about the projects. And: everybody can visit the projects in person on the spot.
So I decided to contact a german chapter and to put wood behind the arrow. The result you can see here.
All, who want to know more about "Room to Read" will find here
detailed informations in english and
here in german language. The links at the text above refer to relevant reports of the year 2010 from
Laos and other countries, provided by "Room to Read".
You have more questions? Than ask me or write an e-mail.