Bridging the Gap Mekong Trust is a not-for-profit, New Zealand Government registered charity. Its prime purpose is to improve the education and potential employment prospects of underprivileged, isolated, village children along a stretch of the Mekong River between Pak Beng and Luang Prabang in Northern Laos.
They live a subsistence lifestyle in isolated villages sandwiched between the river, jungle and karst mountain peaks and have only river access to the outside world. There are no roads, no cars, no phones, no internet and no distributed electricity. They’re self sufficient growing rice, vegetables, pigs, chickens and catching fish in the river.
They live in close knit, extended happy family communities that are rich in care and affection but have little or no cash. Once they become young teenagers they head off to the towns to find work with an inadequate education, few skills, and with limited employment prospects, further eroding the social fabric back home.
Our objective is to have better educated children who will now have a choice about their future, further enriching and enhancing the living standards of their local village communities, as once they leave the villages to find work, their income flows back to their families.
By supplying essential education resources we can raise the standard of education in these villages, so that these children learn essential life skills.
They become self empowered in their choices and are better equipped to survive and prosper once they leave the protection of their villages.
The Trust has no religous or political affiliations. The trustees draw no pay or management fees and all money raised goes directly to the purchase of building materials and teaching aids. (Our only operating expenses are river freight and some translation services).