LaLa Laos began several years ago when I received the Kindness from two women who came to Luang Prabang on holiday. We became friends and they gave me the great gift of sponsoring my college education. This changed my life. After graduating, I started this business so I can pay it forward.
So many children in Laos, especially in the countryside where I grew up, don’t have access to schooling past grade five. Boys have the opportunity to become a novice monk and receive an exceptional education at a school offered especially to the novices. I had the privilege of being a novice at the beautiful Wat Xieng Thong, here in Luang Prabang. My parents left me at the temple when I was just 12 years old. At first I didn’t like it. I wanted to go home, but now I am so grateful for the many gifts I received and the exposure it gave me to a bigger city with tourists from all over the world. Such a difference from my village where there was no electricity and only 300 people, most of whom are my family.
I left the temple when I was 18 to get a job and save for college. I began working as a server in a restaurant overlooking the Mekong River. This is where I met the two women, who I now call my American Mamas. Together we are on a mission to expand secondary education opportunities to girls living in the remote areas of Laos. We have created a dormitory in Luang Prabang where currently two girls are living who we have recently sponsored (seen in the photo above), along with my 15 year old neice, who moved from my village. My wife’s sister lives with them to care for their daily needs. My wife and I make their meals, buy their school uniforms, books and school supplies and have purchased a motorbike they use to get to school and back. We also adopted my 4 year old niece, the daughter of my older sister, who sadly passed away last year. And we have a son of our own. LaLa Laos is funding the support of many children, and each year we hope to add more and more opportunities, but we really need help to do this. It costs around $1,000USD each year to support each child. Right now we are supporting five children and hope to have 12 girls living in our dormitory by 2020.
We promise that every donation made will go toward helping create a brighter future for these deserving kids. We are truly grateful for any assistance in helping our special children grow and thrive.