My trip to Laos would not be completed without making a visit to Akat Elementary School and to see how our Lao Book Box Fund is making a difference in their lives.
So, on November 18, 2008, I made a surprise visit to Akat Elementary School in Vientiane to check on the status of the Book Box Library we provided to the school in the early part of 2007.
I first went to visit the preschoolers and they started their lunch at 10:30 AM. They eat early so they can play and take a nap at noon. The preschool building was built by the Buddhist Order Tendai Shu through BAC Japan a few years ago. Members of the Buddhist Order Tendai Shu were on vacation in Laos and after visiting Wattay Yai they walked across the street to check out Akat Elementary School. Having seen the sad state of preschool building they decided to build a new preschool for the little ones.
After spending a few minutes with the preschoolers I went to visit the older students before they take their lunch break at 11:30 AM. The teachers and students are very happy to have their own library or reading room with our book box library. They are making good use of the books provided in the box and hope to add more books to their collections as time goes by and to get reading materials for the preschoolers.
At the moment they are in need of a fan for the reading room and more mats so students can sit on the floor during their activity period. They also need more tables on the school yard so students can sit and eat their lunch or hang out during break time.
They now have clean drinking water set up outside the Reading Room which has been donated recently by Nang Manyvanh from Wattay Yai. A couple of tables have also been donated to the school recently by a company in the area so they are grateful for what they have. They can see many schools around them not having as much as they do, especially a reading room for the students. They hope to be able to build a real library in the near future since a couple of NGOs have approached the school and mentioned about their desire to build a library on the ground for the benefit of the children in the area.
Thank you once again to all the supporters of the Lao Book Box Fund for giving the power of knowledge to the students at Akat Elementary School.