LAOS BUCKET OF BOOK FULL DAY TOUR
This unique tour supports two excellent local charities and allows clients to donate to local communities whilst minimising any negative impacts. This is a day trip from Luang Prabang but can be adapted to fit in with an itinerary that goes further afield in Laos. Clients will donate 10 educational and fun books, which are suitable for all ages and have a focus on promoting awareness of the natural environment and how to care for it.
This morning guests will be picked up from their hotel at 0900 and transferred into the countryside surrounding Luang Prabang for a charitable adventure.
The guide will present each guest with a ‘Bucket of Books’, which are assembled by EXO’s local office and can be donated to the villagers who guests will meet today. The contents and even the bucket itself have been carefully selected to be of maximum use to the community.
The idea behind this excursion is to help the local community without being invasive (for example, avoiding distracting children from their schoolwork, which some other charitable excursions are guilty of). The initiative also avoids the use of plastics (apart from toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste, as there is no alternative and dental hygiene is a significant issue). The books are sourced from excellent local charities; Big Brother Mouse and Pha Tak Ke.
Big Brother Mouse is a not-for-profit, Lao-owned project employing local staff who work with the goal of helping young Lao people develop new and beneficial skills. It is not an NGO. Started by a retired American publisher working with several bright and dedicated Lao college students, Big Brother Mouse started publishing “books that make literacy fun!” The books are written and illustrated by Lao writers for children to educate themselves through reading. The cost of five books is included in every Bucket of Books, with that money going directly to Big Brother Mouse.
Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden is due to open in 2015 and will be the first project of its kind in Laos. Located close to Luang Prabang and on an impressive scale, the primary objective of the project is education; teaching people the importance of preserving the natural world and how to go about it. The garden will also host international botanists for various research projects. Whilst the gardens are not ready yet, the team behind them is already actively educating the people of Laos, with a focus on rural communities and children especially. The team has already published five books which are aimed at children, but will be educational for all ages. The cost of five books is included in every Bucket of Books, with that money going directly to Pha Tad Ke.
The Bucket of Books contains:
– 1 x Metal bucket (used for carrying water from the well/stream and for washing)
– 5 x Books from Pha Tad Ke
(5 different titles, suitable for all ages, each one explaining sustainable use of local flora, with proceeds going to the charity)
– 5 x Books from Big Brother Mouse
(5 different titles, suitable for all ages but aimed at children, with proceeds going to the charity)
– 4 x Toothbrush
– 4 x Toothpaste
– 4 x Bar of soap (wrapped in cardboard)
When creating this option a major concern was that numerous clients would end up visiting the same communities and giving the same donations. To avoid or minimize this issue, EXO has have compiled a list of the 10 most suitable villages within a few hours of Luang Prabang. The villages that guests visit will not be confirmed in advance so that bookings can be managed effectively. Through these efforts we aim to ensure that the village being visited might have had a similar visit a few months before, but not a few days before.
A picnic lunch, catered by l’Elephant, is included for guests to enjoy in the countryside.
Guests will return to their hotel in Luang Prabang in the mid-afternoon (timings will vary depending on which village they visit and how long is spent there).