What better way to celebrate Lao New Year than by donating to a terrific org that improves lives in Laos? Legacies of War — an amazing nonprofit headed up by my tireless pal Channapha — has been working since 2004 to raise awareness about the history of the Vietnam War-era bombing in Laos and advocate for the clearance of unexploded bombs (UXOs). Legacies just partnered with World Education to establish the Hope Fund, ” a new way to bring healing and transformation to the people and communities in Laos affected by the wreckage of war”.
Two-year old Kayeng Yang was severely injured in January during an explosion from a fire that the family built to keep warm. (Photo: World Education, with permission from the family)
Contribute to the Hope Fund, and you’ll provide direct assistance to UXO survivors in Laos, as well as support programs to educate and mobilize the public to advocate for increased US government funding for UXO clearance, risk education, and victim assistance.
Here are some examples of what your donation to the Hope Fund can provide:
- $50 will provide a basic set of annual educational supplies (one uniform, textbooks, notebook, notebooks, and pens) for a UXO survivor in Laos, and help teach a new generation about the UXO issue by sending the Legacies of War curriculum to a classroom in the U.S.
- $100 will purchase 10 breeding chickens for UXO survivors in Laos, and ensure messages of healing and hope are shared with new audiences by allowing Legacies of War to do a community presentation or panel discussion.
- $200 will support a child UXO survivor’s return to primary school (including a backpack, two uniforms, shoes, and a bicycle), and help highlight the long-term impact of war by enabling Legacies of War to collect and showcase five stories for “Our Shared Journey”.
- $1,000 will cover the cost for a UXO survivor to attend college in Xiengkhouang for one year, and make it possible to conduct broader community outreach by supporting Legacies of War’s participation in a community event.
- $2,000 will cover the cost of a UXO survivor to attend college in Vientiane for one year, and contribute to increased knowledge and support among policymakers about the need to fund the clearance of bombs from Laos and assist victims by enabling Legacies of War to maintain its office and presence in Washington, DC
More info on Legacies of War and the Hope Fund here. If you’re like me, you just might feel better about yourself after spending your tax refund on this, instead of blowing it on She-Hulk comics and Hello Kitty jeggings in multiple colors…again.