We went looking for a project in the streets of Laos, and came across a small public library. Books were scarce, but the librarian had some great ideas but needed help to get books to the rural areas - we found our project in Laos!
Inside the library we were shocked at how few books there were. This library covers the entire region along the Mekong near Luang Prabang, and we decided to make it our project to get more books in the library, and more to surrounding areas as well..
After a chance meeting with a librarian in Laung Prabang, we learned of the challenges regarding literacy of the entire country.
This amazing woman had a plan to get books to the rural areas, but just needed help. She had started a program to fill pockets in large canvass sheets (BookPacks), roll them up, and strap them to a volunteer's back so they could be hauled into the surrounding villages - serving as a mobile library.
She stated, "The children don't have school books - let alone a book they can read for pleasure - and that's what I'm trying to change." She also had an idea for "BookBoats" a type of mobile library to travel up and down the Mekong to start a book exchange in the rural areas.
Needless to say, our favorite projects usually involve finding a local with an idea to help their community, but they just lack the resources to get it done. We have been so proud to work on and help expand this project, and our next step is to address some of the needs of the public schools.