Deak Kum Pa Orphanage is situated in Luang Prabang, a town of 40,000 residents in the centre of the northern regions of Laos. The orphanage was built in the 1980s by the Lao government and remains a state run orphanage and school to this day. It is home to over 550 children, between the ages of 6 to 17. The orphanage functions as a school as well as a home, older students sometimes stay on, unable to find elsewhere to live.
Deak Kum Pa is supported by a limited fundraising drive within the Lotus Villas hotel in Luang Prabang, run by Australian Andrew Brown who is also together for charity’s trusted man on the ground. Andrew is a dedicated supporter of Deak Kum Pa and has over the years built up a professional relationship with the government directors enabling a co-operation where Andrew can focus efforts where it is most needed.
Why Deak Kum Pa Orphanage?
We believe that Deak Kum Pa fits well with our vision. Firstly it helps children who would not have a great chance in life, without the orphanage. Secondly it operates as a school which is in line with our view that education is key to get out of poverty. Thirdly, we know that Andrew Brown has a strong commitment to helping and improving the situation for the children in the orphanage.
Laos is a very poor country and children who have lost one or both parents have a very bleak outlook for the future. For them the orphanage provides a ticket to a better life. It is these children’s best opportunity to stay healthy and get an education hence a shot at providing for themselves and their families. For some it is their only chance of survival.
What has been achieved to date:
Food & Hygiene
Nutrition was one of the first concerns for the orphanage, with only one meal a day with rice and soup the children had limited ability to grow and learn. Today the children enjoy meat, fruit, egg and bread on a regular basis.
Soap and toothpaste are provided every 3 weeks. 2 new dormitories and a toilet block have been built. Recently a new water filtration system has provided the children with much needed clean water.
With the help of visiting foreign doctors the children have been examined and medical records established. A medical program has been designed with a long-term view on managing the children’s health. All children have also seen a dentist and follow-up visits are under way.
The teachers at the school are Lao, but young volunteers are working with the school on a regular basis to support the English teacher.
A scholarship project has been initiated for the children leaving the orphanage so that they can go to university. The scholarship includes food, accommodation and education. Regular meetings with the students enable monitoring of health and educational progress.