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April 2008 - Seratel Helps Sponsor a Book Party

How to set up a library for children in a Lao village.

Using a party to start a mini-library

Most children in Laos have never seen a book, other than a textbook, and perhaps not even that. There's no system for getting books into rural villages, some of which involve a day or two of travel from the nearest road. That's why Big Brother Mouse invented book parties.

At the end of a book party, each child present can choose a book that they will own. This becomes an object of real pride. 50 more books are left with the school teacher, as a "Swap Box". Later, children can trade their book for a different one. Essentially it's a mini-library, making books available without the record-keeping and overhead requirements of a library.

To learn more about a book party, click on the picture at the right.

Here is what Big Brother Mouse wrote about a recent party sponsored by Seratel

"Thank you for helping us get books out to more villages in Laos. We used your donation for a book party in Ban Huana, in the Nambak district, about 3 hours north of Luang Prabang, is much larger than most of the villages we go to. A typically school has 80 to 150 students; it has 821.

"We had to skip over it when we went up there a few months ago, but this time, we combined large donations from three people or groups, and were able to go there. Then we did 3 separate parties during one long day, on Saturday, 26 April 2008.

"At the end of the party all the kids got a free book of their own, nearly always the first book they've ever owned. Then we left more books with the school, so they can trade their book for a different one after they've read it. We left a total of 971 books."

Some background to our sponsorship

Each Christmas, Seratel sends electronic greeting cards to all our customers. The money that was previously used to send physical cards is given to charity instead. To date, we have mostly chosen charities helping children.

Having seen the results of our previous donation to Lao books, we supported them for a second year. Through their Big Brother Mouse operation they bring books to Lao children who might otherwise never read a book except for school textbooks.

When we sent Christmas cards in the post, each card probably cost US$2 plus US$1 postage. For US$3, Lao Books can print three copies of a book.

To visit the Lao Books web site – click on the link below.     To learn more about book parties – click on the picture above.

Big Brother Mouse – Helping to get children reading in Laos


Click to learn more about a book party
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