Muang Sing, Laos. May 20th - 23rd, 2010
|Name||Butterfly Children Development Center and School, Muang Sing, Laos|
|Aim||Support them with education / scholarships, and pediactric healthcare|
|Staff||Bryan Watts and Leila Srour|
|People reached||300 primary school children|
Butterfly Children's Development Center
PO Box 10
|Donation||donations in kind + 300 USD (439 USD)|
But the reality behind the friendly faces is often tougher than we wish to recognize. Child labor, lack of education, HIV/Aids, and depleting natural resources are all signs of Laos' incapability to deal with the unstoppable forces of progress.
We visit the Butterflychildren school and children Development Center in Muang Sing, run by two highly motivated American expats that have struggled for their allowance to operate here with relative independence. They work in coordination with a small ngo called Healthfrontiers.
Bryan and Leila are incredibly hospitable people and we are very positively overwhelmed when they invite us for lunch on their balcony and tell us about their projects here. They run a Children Development Center for afterschool activities, with a computer lab, English lessons, and many activities that are so valuable in a child's upbringing, ranging from paper maché to puppetry and from volleyball to painting. They have also started to build a five classroom school serving children from nearby villages that now stay at home. The Development Center will be moved to the school upon its planned opening in August 2010.
Leila is a pediatrician by profession and has trained many Lao doctors in the capital, Vientiane, visited uncountable rural hospitals and has made an invaluable contribution in this quiet country. Bryan is a photographer and takes care of the computer lab, where the children learn math and basic computer skills.
The next day we combine the exciting with the useful on a beautiful trip to the local market, and several hardware stores where we buy stationary, toys, and tools for the Development Center. We prepare for the four pm meeting and again, we have a great time with the children. We stay a few days with Bryan and Leila, and we have a great time. If you are ever in Laos and good with children or willing to make a meaningful contribution, their place is highly recommended.
It emboldened our conviction that developmental measures need to start at early age, by gradually improving the education system and communicating a sense of resourcefulness to the next generation of Laotians that make them thrive in a world where neither the Thai nor the Chinese are going to wait for them. It has turned out that we have supported exactly the right cause here.