Posted on May 14, 2019
Remote villages in Luang Prabang province of the southeastern Asia nation of Laos, still struggling after extensive destruction in the Vietnam War, have been receiving education facilities and supplies and clean water for more than 10 years from a Rotary initiated program, Adopt-A-Village, started by Steve Rutledge of the Rotary Club of Whitby, Ontario. For the past five years a team of Ladner Rotary members has joined Adopt-A-Village in Laos to deliver the water filters and education supplies. -- presented by Mike Storey, Diana Cabott Nimsick, Dawn Rutledge and Chris & Penny Offer
Profile of Laos
>Independence: 1949 from France
>Government: One party socialist state – nominally communist
>Terrain: mostly rugged mountains, some plains and plateaus
>Population: 7 Million
>Infant Mortality Rate: 76/1000  (Canada 5.1/1000)
>Per Capita Income: $572 in 2006 (est)
>Life Expectancy: 56.9 for women, 54 for men.
>Education: >15% attend secondary school
>Post Secondary: >1% of students attend university
In nine years 2 million tons of ordnance dropped
on Laos
270 million cluster bombs, exploding with metal balls
the size of softballs just above ground level, were
dropped on Laos
Bombing of Laos during Vietnam War
>From 1964 -1973, 2 million tons of ordnance dropped on Laos
580,000 bombing missions—equal to a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, 24-hours a day, for 9 years
>270 million cluster bombs were dropped on Laos
>up to 80 million did not detonate.
>45 years on, less than 1% of these munitions have been destroyed.
>Each year there are 50 new casualties in Laos, down from 310 in 2008.
Adopt-A-Village Laos
founded by Rotarian Steve Rutledge
Canadian registered charity
Provides new & clean water sources
Education resources & sponsorship
Hygiene training & toilets in the rural regions
Over time Adopt-A-Village has helped many thousands of people, mostly children, in small, remote villages of northern Laos, live healthier lives with access to clean water and, in turn, gain a valuable education to improve their lives. Providing water filters to these villages enables education support in that region, as the original aim of Adopt-A-Village, in a poor country still suffering the impact of the Vietnam War and struggling to look after its people.
A typical village in northern Laos
Water filters, manufactured in Laos, are unpacked for
presentation to each local family
Each water filter is presented to a family and can
meet the needs of up to eight
The actual water filter, inside the base, is ceramic with
many silver particles, cleaning the water as it passes from
the large bottle above into the base with a tao
The team of Rotarians and others from Italy and Denmark joined the mission in 2019