TdS’ mission is to combat the phenomenon of poverty in rural areas of Laos.
While respecting the ancestral values perpetuated by ethnic minorities and the Laotian people as a whole, each of the Association’s projects is based on the request of the villagers, who are involved in all the preliminary discussions and determine their own priorities. We hope that they will take ownership of the actions carried out and become bearers of them through their involvement and participation.
Our vision and approach focus on the essentials: water and sanitation, health, education, the economy, the environment and the sustainable prosperity of the communities we target.
Access to safe drinking water is the most urgent need of rural communities. More than 7,000 villages (85% of the population) do not have access to drinking water and suffer significant health and food consequences. The surrounding water points are, for the most part, dangerous and polluted by the presence of heavy metals. The monsoon period also has an impact on living conditions and contributes to the precariousness of rural communities.
The subsoil is rich in heavy metals (arsenic, lead, mercury, copper) that contaminate groundwater at levels well above the maximum acceptable limits.
The rainy season further aggravates the problem by increasing bacteriological and pesticide contamination (organophosphates and pyrethroids).
The first objective of the pilot phase of our “Lao Aqua Empowerment” project is to meet this primary need by setting up water kiosks and validating a concept for large-scale deployment. In parallel, a feasibility and viability study for a sustainable sanitation system (Eawag – Blue division toilet) must be carried out.
The villagers are aware of the importance of education and appreciate the importance of their children’s schooling and education.
Our project “Lao Aqua Empowerment” aims to establish regional academies with access to digital technologies, computer skills, languages and MOOC-based programmes. Training in organic farming is also part of our objectives.
Rural populations do not benefit from nearby medical centres. In cases of extreme emergency, they have to travel long distances ranging from 10 to 30 kilometres to reach the only “hospital” in the region, which is often in poor condition. Otherwise, as is customary, they turn to the village healer.
Indeed, during our visits to the few medical centres in the region, we were able to see the state of these establishments. In response to this sad situation and the growing demand from the population for access to health care, the TdS Association wishes to respond to these needs by creating regional health centres in order to strengthen local and rural health systems.