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How to request a book party in a specific village

We sometimes hear from people who know a particular village or school in Laos, and would like to sponsor a book party there. This may be possible, but it's more time-consuming and difficult. Even identifying a village can be a challenge. We encourage you to let us choose a worthy school, in the area where we're working at the time. That let's us get books into as many schools as possible, as fast as possible.

Children at a rural book party as they discover the fun of readingHowever, we understand that personal ties to a school or village may naturally make you eager to help it. When possible, we would like to accommodate such requests. However, this does involve more time and effort, and we are not a travel agency. We do not a staff to research a particular request, if nothing may come of it. So we have set up the following policy:

1. We ask you to decide that you will sponsor a book party, regardless of whether we can do it in the village you request, and to make a $500 donation for it, through our "Donate" page.
2. Soon after doing that, please send whatever information you have about the village. The following may all help us identifying it:
* The name, in English. However, there is no consistent way to convert Lao names into English. An English name alone is not enough for us to identify a village.
* The name in Lao, if you have it, for example, in a photo of a sign. In most cases, the name of a school includes the name of a village, so a school sign can help. Please understand that even this is not always enough. Many different villages have the same names; some villages have more than one name; and names are often misspelled on signs.
* The district and province, if known. We need at least the name of the province, or a nearby larger city.
* Longitude and latitude, if known.
* The telephone number of someone who lives there, or who is from the village.
* Distance from a major city, and whether it is on a paved or unpaved road, or a river, or requires walking to reach it.

We will then research it, and decide if we can do a book party in that village. Some of the reasons we may not be able to accommodate your request are:
* we cannot identify the school or village;
* we do not have permission from the appropriate officials to go there;
* or that we have done a book party at that school within the last 9 months.

Your $500 donation includes enough to cover the time involved in this research, and some additional travel to get to the school. If additional travel expense would be involved, we'll let you know and you can decide whether you'd like to pay that, or would prefer that we go to a school that's closer. Destinations outside of Luang Prabang Province will usually require extra travel costs, unless we will soon be in that region anyway.

If we cannot go to the school or village you prefer, or if it would involve more additional costs that you wish to pay, then we'll use your donation for a school that's closer, and we'll send a report and photos afterward.

We realize that this may seem a bit complicated, but we find it is the best way to consider such requests, while being sure that our time is used productively. Thank you for your understanding!