With only a population 6.5 million people and 5,086 sq. km., Laos is a sparsely populated country. Even though the country is developing it is still quite rural with the majority of towns and villages being connected by waterways and dirt roads.
4 months ago I shot an assignment for the Sydney Morning Herald covering what Carol Perks and Save The Children are doing to help improve the lives of the people in Laos. The article ran in their weekend magazine, Good Weekend, this past week. Seems it can only be read online via SMH’s iPad app which is a little bit of a shame.
This was such a great assignment which brought me to Luang Probang and Sayaboury to document the operations that Save The Children are doing there.
Carol made quite an impression on me. She is highly driven, speaks Lao, adventurous, strong minded and has accomplished just amazing things to help improve the lives of the people of Laos in her 17 years working there. After spending 3 days with her and seeing all the programs they have implemented for mother and child welfare, hospitals and water and sanitation development in these areas I couldn’t help but leave impressed.
Since the global crises funding for much needed projects like hospitals and medical equipment has dwindled for the Laos Program. If you would like to make a donation to help Carol and Save The Children to continue their amazing work in Laos please make a donation to Save The Children and specify that your donation should be made for the Laos Program.
Here are some outtakes with captions from my shot so that you can see more about what Carol and Save The Children are doing.
Carol Perks lived and worked 17 years in Sayaboury, Laos for Save The Children.
The large rivers like the Mekong River stops the continuation of roads connecting provinces. The Laotian government is building a bridge scheduled for completion in 2014. In the mean time, the only other mean of crossing the river is by ferry.
Children at the Bong Village Elementary School in Sayaboury do their daily studies. Most schools in Laos are basically equipped and have little or no text books and rely on the students to copy everything they are taught.
At the Namphone Village, Save The Children and local government partners have organized a mobile clinic. Even in the rain more than 200 Lao and Ethnic Minority people came to get their children immunized.
(Left) A small child waits for her checkup At the Namphone Village Mobile Clinic. (Right) A small child with large Stye a waits for her checkup at the Namphone Village Mobile Clinic.
(Left) Local clinic staff administer vitamins and routine immunizations to the children at the Namphone Village Mobile Clinic. (Right) Carol Perks talks to local clinic staff as they administer children with vitamins and routine immunizations.
A woman waits with her sleeping baby to receive immunization shots.
(Left) Carol Perks and local staff help make final preparations for the opening day of the Phongesaart Clinic. (Right) A pregnant Ethnic woman accompanied by her mother-in-law is the first patient to receive an examination at Phongesaart Clinic.
A pregnant Ethnic woman accompanied by her mother-in-law is the first patient to receive an examination at Phongesaart Clinic.
(Left) A local man receives a check up and his wife sits on the floor while people outside wait patiently for their turn. (Right) People’s sandals lay outside in the mud of the Phongesaart Clinic as they get their examination.
(Left) A young mother has her baby checked as Carol Perks makes sure everything is running accordingly. (Right) The patient ward of the Phenang Hospital. This hospital is in dire need of updated facilities in order to adequately serve the 55,000 people relying on them for medical treatment.
A child waits for her checkup at the Sayaboury Hospital maternity ward.
People waiting outside the Sayaboury hospital for treatment.
Medical staff check up on their patients status at the Sayaboury Hospital.
A baby lies in the last of the working Sayaboury Hospital’s incubators which was purchased with funding by Save The Children. The other two incubators are in need of repair which is difficult to come by due to the remote location of the hospital.
(Left) Dr. Phoutionesy is in charge of the Sayaboury Hospital’s Maternity Ward. She is close friends with Carol Perks and is a local government partner for Save The Children.
(Left) Mrs. Manibanh, a midwife in Sayaboury, often helps deliver babies at the hospital and has been repeatedly asked by Carol to join the hospital full time. (Right) A Laotian woman’s child is receiving an IV drip at the Sayaboury Hospital.
(Left) Old broken equipment sits in the hallway just outside of the Sayaboury Hospital Maternity Ward. (Right) The delivery room at the Phenang Hospital. This hospital is in dire need of updated facilities in order to adequately serve the 55,000 people relying on them for medical treatment.
(Left) Save The Children and their partnership with local governments and organizations has all but eradicated Malaria in the area. Even this gaol has been reached, Save The Children provided training to local hospital staff for routine testing of Malaria to make sure it stays under control. (Right) Malaria test slides sit out after being washed.
(Left) Children wash their hands and face with fresh and safe water in the newly built bathing area built by Save The Children. (Right) A Khmu Ethnic boy stands in the middle of his rural village. Carol and Save The Children provided water sanitation in the form of safe latrines, irrigation and bathing areas for the village.
(Left) Two women in the rural mountain area of Laos clean their vegetables in a stream. In the rural areas of Laos with no running water, people normally come to streams and rivers to take baths and clean their vegetables. (Right) Carol Perks travels in a Save The Children 4×4 to cross a river and visit the remote Khmu Ethnic Village.
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