LUANG PRABANG, LAOS :: GIVING BACK TO LAOTIANS // contribute to the red cross, volunteer at big brother mouse, donate money to the cause by my 27th birthday (oct 26)

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Days after visiting the UXO Bomb Museum, I was still affected by the information I learned about the US military dropping bombs on Laos.

Part of me felt responsible even though I wasn’t even born at the time, but I wanted to give back, I wanted help the people of Laos, but how?

I honestly contemplated donating blood to the Red Cross… and then I thought there could be a “safer” way of doing things… so I ventured around Luang Prabang… entered cafes, shops and bookstores, and found a 5 year old girl hauling beer from a truck.

And that’s when I finally got it- support the kids.

Part of me wanted to buy books for every Laotion child I passed but I was nearly out of Laotian money… so I did the next best thing: I volunteered every morning at Big Brother Mouse.

What is Big Brother Mouse?  It’s a not-for-profit Lation publishing company that was created by an American. It’s Lao-owned, and Lao staffed. Volunteers from abroad help by:

  1. dedicating time to teach young Laotions develop new skills in English.
  2. or by funding book parties in rural areas of Laos; from there the BBM staff members travel to different towns so children can discover and experience how fun books can be!

My Volunteer Experience at BBM: During my stay, I taught English to smart, eager young adults every single morning. I walked to the school, took off my shoes at the door, sat down on a chair and waited for students to arrive. One by one the students were assigned to a mother tongue English speaker and spoke for the next 1.5hrs; if there weren’t enough volunteers, students would share an instructor.

When I was introduced to my students, the conversation started off slow. I wasn’t sure how much they knew or what they wanted to speak about, but they warmed up almost immediately and told me stories about their families, why they wanted to learn English, who they want to be when they grow up, and my personal favorite: their snack of choice (which were live catepillars- talk about a culture shock)!

After the lesson, I learned a few things from these students:

  • I realized that these students travel far distances to attend these classes.
  • I enjoyed their smiles when they felt accomplished after speaking in English.
  • I noticed initiative when they would bring topics to work on.
  • I saw their potential when we had access to the right resources to work with.
  • These kids need our help so they can have more opportunities in the future.

DONATE! With your help, I plan on raising money for a Lao Book Party which is organized by Big Brother Mouse, by my 27th birthday on October 26,2012.

GOAL: Lao Book Party $250.00 // If I can raise $250.00, Big Brother Mouse will travel to a village and spend 3 hours talking about books, creating art projects, playing games, singing songs, putting on plays, and starting a library for all of the children. I can only imagine the happiness the Laotian kids would feel after receiving a book of their very own. Help out, you know you want too!

DONATION INFORMATION: If you’d like to contribute to the book party, please click the paypal link and choose your denomination. If you want to be part of the experience, I’ll donate a dollar for every comment, tweet, and/or facebook post that tags Little Miss Local and a positive message regarding literacy awareness in Laos with the hashtag #LMLlovesLaos. Thanks for taking the time to read about it LMLers!

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And here’s a special message from a teenage Big Brother Mouse Student:

“When I was first time to go there,  I started  to learn alphabet consonant like:  A B C D for a week and then I learned word to word and learn how to make the words for sentence. After 3 months my English is better.  I like to go around the town and to the Phousi hill to find foreigners practise speaking English and Jpanese, Otherwise Big Brother Mouse hold the time to teach us Electronic about how to connect the electricity.I go to the Big Brother Mouse  twice a week, sometimes more than, the reason I can speak English because is Big Brother Mouse, not only me, majority Lao student know English from the Big Brother Mouse.The thing I like at there is distribution the free stories books to children in the villages, and talk story make for  fun to children. they like the scare story and comedy story.  Now the thing I really want to know in English are listening and pronounciation comprehension skills.For example the word ” Will” is difficult for Lao people. I have learned English for over a year but I accept a word” Will” because I can’t pronounce.”

See You {Lakone} -Yeejkoob

HELP ME RAISE $250.00! Tweet, facebook, comment or donate!

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