There are several local organizations whose humanitarian work around the world goes unmentioned. One is called the People to People Project, based in Northcentral Wisconsin, and it has been educating and saving lives in Southeast Asia.
Sunrise 7 Anchor Bao Vang recently traveled with the group to Laos to check in on four water projects and two schools they helped fund to determine how else they could help.
In the two years since the last project was completed, the organization had gathered enough money to do more work. But before any digging occurred, members of the group were sent over to check in on the previous projects and then meet with village chiefs and officials to determine the immediate needs of the villagers.
The journey began on Thursday, February 24, 2011. We arrive in Laos on Saturday afternoon, more than 48 hours after takeoff. It takes a day and a half and several stops around the world to reach the tiny country of Laos.
Among the original group of people who created PTPP back in 2001 is Tim Mero of Wausau. He and wife, Kathy, are traveling together. This is his second trip to the Luang Prabang area. It would be his first time seeing any of the projects he helped create.
Our visit to the primary schools in Nam Thuom and Ban Xang were welcomed. The administrators greeted us warmly with water and snacks. The children were just as excited to talk with us as we were with them.
Our stop at a village with many Hmong families, called Huoylad, was just as nice. Villagers couldn't stop thanking all the people who made the water project possible. They told us they no longer have to walk down to the river to bathe, wash their clothes and take back buckets of water to boil to cook and drink. Spigots containing clean, purified water now are just a few feet from their homes.