In March of this year GoPhil recently visited LEOT, its partner program in Luang Prabang, Laos offering scholarships, free English schools and computer classes to students in the area.  It was impressive to learn they have successfully hit all their desired targets for the year, alongside some key new developments in community projects outside their main center.
The scholarship program now has 5 graduates students, with 11 more in the process.  LEOT Director Peter Banwell explained that they will focus on selecting those with the highest grades and the most potential.  In order to do this, they will need to develop a thorough evaluation process.  GoPhil currently has 3 sponsored students– we were able to receive very positive news on their progress.
The computer lab was complete with 25 computers (a huge bonus for the students).  Their classrooms are now offering free English classes to 220 students, compared to 175 last year.  LEOT continues to provide Saturday English class to 20 orphaned children from the local community.  Peter explained that LEOT hopes to plan a vocational center for both motorcycle repair and sewing– to be built by LEOT or a local business person, and designed by their own students.
Over 200+ Laotian students, some of whom are monks, are offered free English classes in LEOT's main center
One of the most exciting developments at LEOT involves their recent efforts in providing water, electricity, repairs and teachers in some the poorest of villages along the river.  Our group were guided down the Mekong in a boat to visit a rural primary school (Ban Puklang) where GoPhil hopes to collaborate with LEOT in funding electricity, water pipes and some much needed repairs at the school.  The new water system will help provide a water supply for the school’s toilets which will help with sanitation and hygiene issues for the 70+ students.  Electricity will offer lighting and fans for 3 classrooms.   See below for You Tube video with footage on the proposed project.
LEOT Director Peter Banwell, GoPhil Linda DeWolf and travelers Cassie and Sherri Lauver