Over the past 6 years our club has developed a close working relationship with the local people of Luang Prabang in Laos through Rod Fraser's charitable trust, Your Own2Hands Foundation and a local businessman, Somnuek Bounsa.

Our project this year involved the renovation of a primary school in the village of Ban Heutan in the District of Chomphet, in Luang Prabang. The project has taken longer than originally planned due to an extended wet season but is now in the final stages of fit out. The previous school was poorly constructed from bamboo and could not be safely used during the wetter months. The new school is suitable for all weathers having been built of brick and timber. We have also constructed a new toilet block for the school which will improve the health of the students and of the environment. The final cost was around $28,000 US dollars which was raised with the support of the District Managed Project "World of Difference", a District grant and private donations. Prior to the project starting we also applied for a grant from the Australian Government’s Direct Aid Program. Although we were not successful in the first instance due to Federal Government cuts to overseas aid I am delighted to report that we did receive $8,000 towards this project from the Direct Aid Program in April 2018.

One of our committee members, Dr Cecily Neil travelled to the village in April to use her expertise in sanitation projects to assess the training needs for the teachers, students and families in the use and maintenance of the toilets. A few households in the village do have their own toilets, however it is very common in rural Laos for the villagers to use the surrounding forest for this purpose which has obvious environmental and health risks.

The school is not yet complete but is in the final stages. We hope to have several members travel to Ban Heuthan in December 2018 for a formal opening ceremony.