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My goal when I turned 60 was to run a half marathon and the raise some funds for a worthwhile cause. On Sunday October 7th 2018 I will be running the Oxford Half Marathon to raise funds for Community Learning International, a small NGO in Laos which supports children by running library boats on the Mekong river. Are you willing to help me? Please read on…..

“Believing education is key to ending poverty, CLI has been providing education based aid projects in Laos since 1997.


The library boats ply the Mekong, visiting riverside villages where there are only rudimentary or no schools and certainly no books. They carry Lao language books, staying a day or so, bringing stories & activities and leaving a bag of books until the next visit.

From a personal email received from Bob Anderson, CEO, this week:

The book boats continue, perhaps more effective than ever as the staff has continued to learn how best to bring not just books but various learning activities to these more remote schools -- where they are received with as much enthusiasm as ever. The Learning Centers continue. In fact we have added a significant increase in outreach this year, sending staff by motor bike with book bags to many more, and much farther away, rural schools. And we continue building classrooms, girls dorms, toilets and water systems for rural schools when we find sponsors.

As a one time school librarian and English teacher, I have been closely involved with this NGO since we came across the children’s library boats when on holiday in Luang Prabang, Laos in 2010. I took a group of senior students on a community service trip that year from Renaissance College, Hong Kong; the partnership with the school continues with annual visits. CLI’s library boats have featured in the BBC Mekong tv series.

If you, like me, have reservations about the amount of funds given to large charities which are used for administrative costs and also about the value of the top down approach of some organizations, this is a great NGO to support: it has few overheads, the organization employs almost entirely Lao staff and has a deep understanding of the real educational needs of Lao children, working to support the rudimentary government education provision.

I will be running 21 kilometers…..I would be so pleased if you would support me with an amount per kilometer or a lump sum. On behalf of Community Learning International, THANK YOU!

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    Page last updated on: 9/23/2018 3:33 PM



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