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Big Brother Mouse in Luang Prabang

Big Brother Mouse - Books that make literacy fun!

Volunteering at Big Brother Mouse in Luang Prabang, LaosIn 2006, after three years of planning and preparation, Big Brother Mouse began operation in Luang Prabang, with the goal of publishing “Books that make literacy fun!”. Over the last five years, they have published 170 different books.  Big Brother Mouse books are:

 - Fun and easy books that help children learn to read.

 - Books that also help adults learn to read.

 - Advanced books introducing subjects such as history, science, and nature.

 - Quality-of-life books providing valuable information to villagers about health, nutrition, safe water, baby care, and other immediate concerns.

 - Traditional stories with lively illustrations, such as the Xieng Mieng tales, which are read and re-read by all ages.

During that time, Big Brother Mouse also began work on an even more difficult challenge: Getting these books into rural villages, where they will be read, and used, and will improve people’s lives.

Volunteering at Big Brother Mouse in Luang Prabang, LaosThe project’s #1 method for this has been book parties in primary schools. For three hours, their young, energetic staff reads from books, leads children in games and songs. Then every student gets a book of their own, usually the first book they’ve ever owned. The school also gets a library of 80 books.  Big Brother Mouse do the same in high schools, but with a schedule adapted for the older ages.

They have held book parties at nearly all of the primary schools and high schools in Luang Prabang, and now they also go to adjoining provinces. In addition, they’ve set up home-based reading rooms in 170 villages, where volunteers make books available for everyone in the village.

Now, Big Brother Mouse is ready expand their outreach and are looking for you to be a part of this, through book sponsorships. Sponsorships pay some, but not all, of the cost of printing, and help keep book prices low, in a country where the average annual income is only about $1,000 per year.

At any given time, about 8 to 12 books are listed on their website. Each book needs a sponsor, before it can go to press. Sponsors are thanked in the book, and on the Big Brother Mouse website. For details, please see www.bigbrothermouse.com/literacy/books_to_sponsor.html

If you are interested in volunteering with Big Brother Mouse, they hold local English lanaguage sessions whereby local people can come in and learn to speak and practise their English through conversational practice with you - people from around the world looking for give a little back and make a difference in the lives of local people.   This runs 7 days a week, twice a day: mornings 9 -11am; and in the evenings from 5 to 7pm.