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Laos forum

giving toys to children

Posted by mudgeerambler on 13/10/2008 at 16:48

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

#1 mudgeerambler has been a member since 11/4/2008. Posts: 10

Posted by Rufus on 14/10/2008 at 07:59

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 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973


Posted by somsai on 15/10/2008 at 19:54

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 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568

Posted by agarlao on 16/10/2008 at 08:22

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 agarlao has been a member since 13/6/2008. Posts: 30

Posted by Rufus on 16/10/2008 at 11:59

"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 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973

Posted by somsai on 18/10/2008 at 07:05

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 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568

Posted by Rufus on 18/10/2008 at 08:04

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

#7 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973


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