TAMMACHAT customers buy books for Lao kids

For every textile piece we sell, we donate a brand new book to a child in Laos. But these aren't just any books. They're published by a vibrant and growing book publishing project called Big Brother Mouse, based in Luang Prabang, Laos. Entirely Lao owned, this project began when a visiting American retired book publisher noticed the lack of books in Laos. He sought out and teamed up with some bright and dedicated young Lao college students and continues to act as volunteer advisor to this day as part of the Big Brother Mouse team.

Because it's our customers who make these donations possible, we're eager to share the following email that we've  received from Big Brother Mouse:

"We recently held a book party, and set up a book swap (what we call a mini-library), using the donation you made to Big Brother Mouse, on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 in Ban Nangiu. Here are a few pictures from that day. At the end of the party all the kids got a free book of their own, nearly always the first book they've ever owned. Then we left more books with the school, so they can trade their book for a different one after they've read it. We left a total of 288 books.

"It was an exciting day for all of the children, and we expect many of them will always remember it -- both because they had fun, and for the magic of opening a fun book for the first time, and discovering the new world that opens up. Thank you for making this possible!"

TAMMACHAT's second book party this season was held Dec. 6th in Ban Kok Ngiu. In this smaller village school, a total of 202 books were donated.

We've seen for ourselves the bright and enthusiastic Lao men and women who animate the activities at these rural book parties. For the children present, it may be not only the first time they've discovered that books can be fun, but also shows a wider range of possible jobs that they themselves might hold one day.

For more on Big Brother Mouse's work, visit their website. Take some time and poke around. You can also sponsor your own book party (in honour of someone's birthday, to commemorate an event or just because it's a great thing to do to promote literacy in a developing country) or sponsor the publishing of a new book.

Read our blog entry from last year's amazing (and mountainous) cycling trip of Big Brother Mouse supporters and staff. And enjoy these photos from our first 2 book parties where the joys of reading are introduced, along with books to each child in a village school. Three more TAMMACHAT-sponsored book parties will be held in the coming months.

We thank all our TAMMACHAT customers for making this possible!

Ellen and Alleson