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giving toys to children

  • mudgeerambl-
    er

    Joined Travelfish
    11th April, 2008
    Posts: 10
    Total reviews: 2

    is it a good idea to take small toys to give the children in Laos ? Where are good places to give them out ?

    #1 Posted: 13/10/2008 - 16:48

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  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 951

    I am going to suggest that you don't do this. I know this sounds harsh, but this encourages a begging mentality that you see in so many Asian countries.
    A better idea is to take some resources such as coloured pencisl and things that can be used in schools and drop them off to a local school. Now that would be really appreciated.
    Also there is a worthwhile charity organisation here called "Big Brother Mouse" that promotes reading among Lao kids.

    #2 Posted: 14/10/2008 - 07:59

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 563

    I'd add... I often hear it suggested that any gifts to shcools or children be given to a school teacher or village headman so to leave in place exiting paths to giving. Buy localy, the market is a great place.

    I'd suggest leaving it to the pros and just be happy that your tourist dollars are doing much to eleviate poverty. Spend as far down the money chain as possible.

    Beautiful books by Big Brother, but expensive, and they are not a non profit.

    #3 Posted: 15/10/2008 - 19:54

  • agarlao

    Joined Travelfish
    13th June, 2008
    Posts: 30

    Where are good places to give them out ?

    If you choose to give books rather than toys, this would be a good choice since many Lao children have no access to attractive books like those Big Brother Mouse produce. With Big Brother Mouse, you can participate in a 'book party'at the school where you take part in handing out the books.

    As suggested above, if you would also like to give pencils, crayons and other school materials, there is no need to bring these with you - you can buy them locally.

    Big Brother Mouse have branches in both Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Have a look at their excellent website and contact them before you come.

    Good luck!

    #4 Posted: 16/10/2008 - 08:22

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 951

    "Where are good places to give them out ?"

    Local schools, and not in Vientiane but rather in Luang Prabang where you get a lot of children from rural areas attending.

    Somsai, are you sure BBMouse is not a non profit organisation? I thought they were....I may well be wrong though.

    #5 Posted: 16/10/2008 - 11:59

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 563

    I was curious about thier status so I emailed once. Most small charity type organisations in Vientiane and Luang Prabang aren't very official inculuding many affiliated with the stay another day effort.

    Never heard anything but good about Big Brother to be truthfull.

    One time I heard that http://www.copelaos.org/ was going through the audit process to get certified so they could recieve funding from all the international donors. Started me wondering how many small orgs are just really businessses. Pricewaterhouse Cooper used to do all that stuff in Laos. Audits are a good way to make sure money is being handled correctly, but I can understand why some might not want to go that route.

    Mudgeerambler if you are still watching this thread COPE at the link above does have a storefront office to drop by and look at arms and legs or even buy some. Plenty of limbless kids.

    #6 Posted: 18/10/2008 - 07:05

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 951

    I would definitely agree with Somsai's comment about COPE.

    #7 Posted: 18/10/2008 - 08:04

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