Support Youth Development in Laos
$8,987 raised
128% of $7k goal
72 contributors
27 Days left

So grateful to have met our funding goal with the kind support of so many, Thank❤️You! Your contribution has made a huge difference! 

Now we're really excited about using additional contributions to expand our library efforts in the countryside.

Supporting the Countryside:

Having met our funding goal for @ My Library in Luang Prabang, we are excited to have the chance to use additional contributions to continue our grassroots library efforts throughout the north of Laos. Our plan is to head back out to the countryside, to bring essential educational resources to remote areas that are filled with youth who are not able to migrate to larger regional educational centers. It is exciting to know that someday one of those students might change the world!

 

First up is HaoTai lower secondary school (6th - 9th grade) with 4 classrooms and 60 students. Teacher Yia, who used @ My Library while studying at University in Luang Prabang, has asked for help. This school is located 40 km from his hometown of Sam Neua, so he and other teachers live at the school. Like many young teachers in Laos who sometimes wait for years for an official government contract, he receives no salary. The teachers there, along with 2 student leaders from each class, have volunteered to run a “pop-up” library after school. @ My Library staff will personally deliver teaching and library resources, replacing  wooden facsimile computers and keyboards with real laptops loaded with teaching materials, and support reading, for knowledge as well as for pleasure, with full bookbags.

 

Our grassroots efforts also support dynamic teachers at rural schools with portable suitcase libraries in specific subjects (math, physics, chemistry or English), which they can use with their students. Because so few educational materials (aside from textbooks) are published in Laos, we include user friendly Thai materials in our collections, as well as a range of digital and print resources which we have created to meet specific needs.

 

With your support, @ My Library can continue to implement cost effective solutions giving motivated people free access to the tools they need in order to develop themselves and change their world. Your funding changes many lives. Thank❤️you!

How it all began…

20 years ago, I met a young novice at a Buddhist temple in Luang Prabang who spoke excellent English and who shared his study notebook with me. I asked him where he studied, and his response caught me off guard. “Oh, I don’t go to English classes,” he said, “I can’t afford them. I copy my friend’s notebook.”  And that was the moment, on that chance visit to Laos which provided many such eye-opening encounters, that made me, with a background in Alternative Education, Community Organization and TESOL,  ask… what could happen if you gave motivated people free access to the tools they need in order to develop themselves and to change their own futures?

 

Thus, began a 20-year experiment, creating new and supporting existing libraries and youth resource centers throughout northern Laos, in villages and towns, temples, schools, Teacher Training Colleges and the University, to give people access to the ideas, skills, and experiences they need to discover their dreams, develop their potential and change their world. We named our nonprofit The Language Project; it is registered as a 501(c)(3) charity. @ My Library is our largest library and youth resource center in Laos; its latest news can be found on facebook.

@ My Library

Our students are hungry for education, for knowledge and skills. Many migrated to continue their education in a public school, while others became novice Buddhist monks for completing their schooling. Many  are the first in their families to pursue junior high, high school or university education. It is not unusual for their parents to be illiterate or for them to come from dirt floor, bamboo houses.

 

@ My Library they find a safe and friendly home away from home. They explore our print and media resources, take classes in the library, and are diligent practitioners of self-study. They develop computer, language, thinking and problem-solving skills, start their own projects, and share their voices and their visions through the photography, film and the writing skills they’ve acquired – all in order to get a job or to win scholarships to study locally or abroad. These students find new passions, learn about local and global issues, set and reach new goals, and then they travel back to their home regions throughout the north of Laos, taking all of that knowledge and enthusiasm with them, applying what they have learned, changing and developing their world.  

The Bottom Line...

We need your support in order to continue our success and help us through the COVID times. This fundraiser is our first in 20 years of creating and supporting libraries and resource centers in Laos. It is time for us to spread the word more widely about our nonprofit and its commitment to education, and about the successes we have built on over the years.

 

Until COVID, tour groups and individuals who visited @ My Library, in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage town in northern Laos, recognized our importance and graciously donated, contributing to @ My Library’s support. They also supported our in-house sustainability efforts by purchasing our Hmong photo book, created by the young photographers we have trained, purchasing our used books, utilizing our internet and printing, and refilling their water bottles. All of that support vanished when COVID closed the borders 8 months ago , and we have had, for the first time ever, a donation shortfall. We need your help.  We have proven that ours is a worthy and viable cause, and we are so proud of the learning we have fostered and of the many successes of our library users over the years, and yet there is still so much to be done!

 

Please donate, and help us help them, because everyone deserves a chance to better themselves, improve their community and develop their country. Funding will be used to meet our budget shortfall and continue our ongoing library operations @ My Library.

 

We know this is a time of great suffering and need throughout the world and we appreciate your kind support.

 

Spread the word...

To help us spread the word, please share this Fundrazr through the email and social media links below the photo and video gallery above.  Add a personal message about how you know @ My Library and why you think it is special! Together we can give Lao youth a chance through access to the education and growth that so many of us take for granted, but that Lao students so desperately need. Help us continue to help them change their world.

 

Thank you for your kind support!

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