Books Not Bombs
Luang Prabang, Laos
Sadly in Laos, books are often a luxury few can afford. Spend the day learning about the people and organisations trying to change this, bringing education and a love of reading to local children.
Start at Luang Prabang Public Library, a sweet little building in the heart of the town. Not only does the Library provide a peaceful place for people to read and learn, they are also very proactive in spreading this opportunity to the wider community.
The Library has its own tuk-tuk and two boats. These are used to deliver books, learning activities and games out into the countryside villages, where often they don't even have schools.
Another issue that has a huge impact on lives in rural Laos is unexploded bombs. Per capita, Laos is the most heavily bombed nation in the world, and it is estimated that around 30% of the bombs dropped on the country never exploded. Spend some time at the UXO (Unexploded Ordnance) Visitor Centre, to learn more about the work being done to help educate the community and clear the ordnance.
Finish the day at Big Brother Mouse, a not-for-profit publishing project, which aims to bring the joy of reading to Laos' children. Not only has the organisation published hundreds of engaging and educational books, they also run reading programmes and even throw book parties, where the children can read aloud, play games and sing songs about books. Each child then goes home with their own book; usually the first they have ever owned. Learn more about the operation, and should you wish, purchase a book or two.