Living with a disability is always difficult, anywhere in the world. In developing countries such as Laos or Cambodia, however, the affected person is completely without public support or social network. There is no lobby at all, no place to which people with disabilities can turn. So it is all the more beautiful and important that there are people like Chaah. Chaah is a young woman in Vientiane/North-Laos. She has a physical disability from birth and can only move with difficulty. She is embedded in an intact family life, has two healthy children and a husband who also guarantees the stable financial situation of the family. Chaah has only one motivation. She wants to help people with disabilities to lead a self-determined life. She knows that living with a disability in Laos in a community is much easier and more worth living.
We got to know Chaah and her work during a fundriding tour in 2018 and with the donations of this tour we were able to expand her home for the disabled in Vientiane.
Now Chaah wants to expand. As an affected person she has the necessary knowledge about what people with disabilities need in Laos. She knows how to set up a center that meets the diverse demands of the most diverse physical limitations and can finance itself in the shortest possible time. For this she needs help with the construction. Help that she can’t apply for anywhere, but without which it would never be possible. The new center is to be built in a small village about 21 km east of Luang Prabang. The location, which is still unsuitable but ideally located, will be made available to her free of charge and some of the local people, m.B., are already staying there on a daily basis. Unlike the centre in Vientiane, it will not become a permanent home, but a training centre for people with disabilities who live in the surrounding, often completely isolated villages. The production of souvenirs and other commercial things is individually learned here and according to the physical limitations. Later, the former pupils are provided with all the necessary materials so that they can pursue their new activities at home in their villages. The finished goods are then picked up at regular intervals and distributed in the centre. Payment is regulated very fairly and benefits everyone.
Every day about 100 tourists come through this small remote village. They are “delivered” there by boats and picked up again in the evening. There is no cafe in this place and certainly no overnight accommodation option. Some of the tourists have already asked if you could spend at least one night somewhere in the simplest surroundings and return by boat the next day.
The new center is supposed to “occupy” these tourists in the center for some time. Besides a few dollars for a cafe and homemade cakes, the simple Dorm will help to finance the center financially as well as create social contacts. It is very likely that the guests will also take a souvenir with them and be interested in the interests of the disabled residents.
We want to help and 100% trust in the commitment of Chaah, who has only one thing in mind: Help to self-help for people who would otherwise be completely left behind and would have to endure their guiltless existence alone. She has already achieved this in her first center, the residents are happy and satisfied, working and living among like-minded people. The community gives them what they so urgently need – security and meaning in their lives.
We, kleine Hilfsaktion e.V., are very proud that the “German Sustainability Award” considers the project to be worthy of funding and has made the necessary budget of € 10.342,50 available. The construction work has now been completed on schedule.
Since, contrary to the original budget planning, the choice fell on higher quality materials, the café and the dorm could not yet be fully equipped. The center will generate the missing financial resources from the shop’s already started sales and use them in a targeted manner.
Date: June 21, 2019
Project coordinates: 20.003857, 102.230309