Charity, Laos

Preschool Gives Children Fresh Start

This is an interesting article from my local newspaper.

Nonprofit raises money to support education centers in remote, poverty-stricken areas of Laos.

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By Jennifer Menster, record staff writer

Dori Shimoda went to northern Laos with intentions of backpacking through remote villages. He came back from his December 1999 trip with a newly discovered life project.

Out of Shimoda’s desire and passion to help children, Give Children a Choice was up and running by 2002. The nonprofit raises money to build preschools in poverty-stricken areas in Laos.

Give Children A Choice has completed 15 preschools since 2003. The preschools have one to three classrooms and bathrooms. The nonprofit also provides teachers’ salaries, where necessary, and equipment, such as desks, cabinets, books, playground equipment and mats for napping. All preschool tuition is free.

The nonprofit also launched a hygiene and immunization program in 2006, believing that healthier children are better learners, says Debbie Davis, executive director of Giving Children A Choice. The organization provides health fairs as part of the preschool opening, offering health and hygiene education, free medical checkups and childhood vaccinations.

“We do this because we feel every child deserves an opportunity,” Davis said. “Many wouldn’t have that opportunity if we didn’t help out.”

The Organization’s next project is building a preschool for a Hmong village called Na Nan Village. There are approximately 75 preschool-aged children in the village. Donations help make the organization possible. To learn more or make a donation, visit givechildrenachoice.org