Horizons Week Activity Name: Laos Service
Staff Leaders : Mark Lewis
Brief Description of the Activity:
We provide part of an infrastructure which will prepare the 14 villages of the Seuang
River Valley in Laos for creating its own sustainable income through eco-tourism
and improving the standard of living.
It is a long term project run by Buffalo Tours which is already in its 4 th year. Mr.
Lewis has been travelling to Laos with WIS for the last three years and have made
a personal commitment to the village leaders of 5 years worth of service from WIS.
We are well known and well respected in the community having already
successfully completed a kindergarten, part of a suspension bridge which is now
linking many communities and finally last year we made the foundations for a septic
tank and toilets/showers for a school of 800 students. Previously the school had just
one individual toilet and no showers.
Key Highlights of the Activity:
Construction work aimed at improving the infrastructure of the valley – at this time
our current project is unspecified and depends on how the overall valley project is
progressing. We have committed ourselves to the support of this project to its
Other activities include Temple Visits, Lessons in Laos language and culture. Home
stay at Suang River Valley village. Teaching local children in their schools,
Traditional Basi Su Khouan ceremony, Mekong River boat trip, Pak Ou Buddha
Caves, Paper manufacturing village – hand made, Elephant Park and a cultural tour
of the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang.
Maximum number of students: 10 (Year 11)
Maximum number of student leaders: 14 (Year 12 & 13)
Brief explanation of how the CAS experience meets C, A, and/or S requirements:
Creative – Understanding the engineering concepts behind the projects we are
building. Learning skills such as basket weaving, cooking, creating lessons for
school, and understanding the needs of the valley and coming up with ideas to
create a self sustaining income for the valley. Creating activities which can be
enjoyed by both the students and the locals – this is challenging since the locals
speak no English.
Action – Construction work – collecting resources such as sand, stones, cement.
Making cement. Creating moulds from wood and filling with cement. Creating the
metal work for structural support members. Digging, preparing a safe construction
Cultural – learning about the language and speaking it. Learning the history of the
country and the local area, customs and religion.
Care of elephants, understanding the effects of eco-tourism on the local people as
well as the country as a whole.
Service – Providing part of an infrastructure which will prepare the valley for
creating its own income and improve the standard of living. Providing the local
children with basic resources such as paper, pens, toys, toothbrushes. We use
money raised by the school to pay for the resources we use on the construction
Importance to the school’s mission, aims, and values:
The Laos Service trip promotes enjoyment in learning motivating students through
individual and group achievement. Students are challenged in a culturally diverse
environment through a holistic approach. Students learn to approach the world with
confidence and curiosity
The trip is certainly full of collaboration, team work and unity of purpose. Compassion and
Service in the Seuang River Valley allows our students to recognise their place and
responsibilities within the communities in which we live.
Name of Organisation that you are working with: Buffalo Tours – Volunteer &
Educational Travel in Vietnam Laos Cambodia & Thailand
Organisation’s web-site: www.educationaltravelasia.com
Estimated Price in Hong Kong dollars: HK$10,500.-