Jai Lao's humanitarian trips aims to help villagers in rural areas of Laos. Each trip is unique and tailored to the projects or help needed by the different villages. The following are just a few of these special trips we take to help anyway we can and is needed of us. Jai Lao's first humanitarian trip to provide relief for villagers was in November 2009. We learned that a big typhoon had hit Laos so just seven months after the founding of Jai Lao, several Board Members volunteered to travel there to visit villages in need, particularly Baan Na Don Keo that was hit really hard by Typhoon Ketsana. Jai Lao brought the village of 137 families basic household goods, food, livestock, and clothes to replace a fraction of what they lost during the flood with a project cost of $6,800.
Check out more photos on our Facebook page!
Upon hearing the devastating plight of the poor villagers experiencing unusually cold weather, Jai Lao had to do something to help ease their pain and burdens. Children were getting sick, because they just did not have the proper winter clothes to keep them warm and safe from the dangers of the frost and even snow. With the generous contributions from our faithful supporters we were able to embark on another trip in February 2016 to bring coats and blankets to eleven villages totaling 526 families plus 198 students living in a village to attend school far from home. In addition, 150 disabled students and patients also received blankets at the Disability Center and Hospital in Vientiane which makes it a total of 500 coats and 2,150 blankets of love given to keep our Lao brothers and sisters warm.
We couldn't stop at just that knowing there were so many children that didn't receive warm blankets and clothes. Some things such as warm winter clothes are basic necessities for us in a developed world, but for people in the remote mountain top villages of Laos, these things are luxuries that they may never be able to afford. So just three months after that trip, we went back to northern Laos in June 2016 provided 1,500 children with lime green Jai Lao tote bags filled with coats or jackets, beanies, mitts, scarves, socks, shoes, and dental kits. It was the largest amount of donations we've ever done requiring a 20 feet shipping container to be sent over to Laos. It took us over two months to gather all these items, and supporters throughout the USA contributed so kindly and generously to this relief effort.
Our March 2017 trip focused on visiting the five villages Jai Lao built schools for and to donate educational materials to the children and do service projects for each of the schools. It was a great opportunity for Donors and Board Members to see firsthand the schools they have worked hard to help build. It was a long and arduous journey with a few unexpected mishaps along the road, but we always ended up making it to the villages where we're greeted by smiling and excited children.
Check out more photos of this village donation on our Facebook page!
Then in November 2017 for our "Backpacks of Hope" village donation visit, we shipped a container with 750 backpacks filled with school supplies, clothes, shoes, and even toys that was organized by Vicki Gilbertson, an amazing volunteer with Jai Lao. From then we worked with our partner Voluntour Laos to distribute the backpacks to seven villages in northern Laos.