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(Revised  December 08, 2020)

Phoumieng -- A village in need of some help

The Laos Village Project was started to help the people of Phoumieng improve conditions in the village. Phoumieng (Fah-mee-ang) is remotely located in the hills 36 km west of Luang Prabang, Laos, and is home to approximately 400 Hmong people living in 40+ houses. Villagers support themselves with subsistence farming and raising animals; surplus rice and some animals are sold to generate income.  

Our project coordinator, Bounchan Her, was born in the village and is married to wife, Noi; they have 4 children. Prior to the pandemic Bounchan & Noi were working at the Mekong Riverview Hotel  in Luang Prabang and living during the week with their two older children at a relatives’ house in Luang Prabang so the kids could attend classes at a better funded school, and to avoid a daily 2 ½ hour commute to work which could be difficult during the mud of rainy season. Bounchan and Noi are currently furloughed from their jobs due to the virus. Noi spends the week in Luang Prabang so that Anna & Vong can continue with school. Back at the village Bounchan has been expanding the family’s buffalo, cattle, and goat herds looking towards the lucrative and developing Chinese market. 

Future projects

The village is currently struggling with the effects of a serious fungal blight in the rice fields that reduced crops harvested in November, 2020 by about 70%. This followed a few years of widespread droughts in South East Asia. We are currently raising funds for the following projects:

3 kilometre water pipeline. By the end of each dry season in March and April, the village water supply runs perilously dry requiring village women to carry water uphill from a secondary source; this leaves less water for personal hygiene and is a great hardship. The proposal is to run a 32 mm PVC pipe from a more reliable source 3 km up the mountain. The cost for the project is in the neigbourhood of $3,500 CDN.

 Toilets.  The village currently has no toilets except for two next to a new school that was built in the summer of 2019. Bounchan has made a proposal to build 37 toilets at a cost of approximately $6,450 USD  ($175 USD each). This project will begin with a proof-of-concept installation of 2 or 3 toilets.

Summary of past projects

March, 2020   Improved cookstoves. The project provided 38 improved cookstoves having concrete chambers to contain the fire, retain heat, and burn at a higher temperature -- which reduces the smoke and particulates. They also use less wood.

September, 2019   A mobile learning lab for the Laos Buffalo Dairy. The project provided the Laos Buffalo Dairy in Luang Prabang with 13 Amazon Fire 8 tablets and a RACHEL micro-server from WorldPossible . The Dairy is a remarkable development initiative which, in addition to providing local farmers with income and veterinarian support for their buffalo and cattle, also has an after-school program for children from disadvantaged local families. Worth checking out at:  .

April – May, 2019  Computer training.   The project sponsored our Laos coordinator Bounchan Her’s enrolment in a computer repair course which led to his taking over IT responsibilities at the Mekong Riverview Hotel where he and his wife, Noi, worked until the pandemic.

 February, 2019   Warm blankets. While Laos has a tropical climate, overnight lows in the village can drop to 9 degrees Celsius (48 degrees F). After a request from the village chief, 40 heavy blankets were delivered to the village.

 May, 2018 to January, 2019   Solar generators. The project provided forty 120 watt solar panels with batteries and inverters to convert to AC.

Additional information can be obtained at the site: , or on Facebook: laos village project  .

A wedding in the village November, 2018:

A patch of blue sky above the village:

Feeding the pigs:

Planting upland rice, May 2018:

Aerial view of Luang Prabang. The Mekong river is on the right, the Khan river to the left. Luang Prabang extends up the peninsula and to the left:

Kids in the old school:

View outside Bounchan's house in Phoumieng:


Additional information & photos are available at the website: 

The village Facebook page can be found by searching on :  laos village project .

[Main group photo taken by Ju Shen Lee, Singapore]


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