"Special Andy"

by Social and Economic Developers Association (SEDA)

On behalf of Andy, SEDA would like to thank all of our donors who contributed to her treatment and rehabilitation. Andy continues to make great strides toward improvement. We will continue to oversee Andy's treatment, and are currently seeking a caretaker to accompany Andy so she can receive full-time treatment at the Rehabilitation Treatment Center (RTC). For more information on this caretaker position, please visit our listing on Idealist.org below.


SEDA is continuing with its nutrition and medicine supplies to Andee, and last year she received a second wheelchair. She has been so happy with her new wheelchair since receiving it that it has been hard to get her out of it! With the ongoing medicinal support, and now this wheelchair, we are seeing real progress in her mobility and general well-being. The wheelchair was donated by a Japanese foundation, which SEDA sought support from in coordination with ARR. The wheelchair has a fold-down tray that Andee can use for drawing and other activities, such as learning English and eating. It came in her favorite color, pink, and all those close to her have been really pleased to see her progress with it. Despite this, we are still in dire need of a back brace and therapeutic bed for her to use, so please donate and help give Andee the quality of life she deserves. Please contact SEDA to show your support for this project.

Special thanks to ARR Japan for providing a new wheelchair to our Andee. Andee is getting physically stronger as a result of the medicinal and nutritional supplements provided by SEDA, she needed a wheelchair that could help her posture and maneuverability. Her new wheelchair is padded unlike her previous metal chair, giving her more comfort and back support, and also comes with a desk that she can rest her arm on. She is no longer confined to her room, and often goes outside to enjoy her afternoons in the sun and fresh air. While her new chair greatly improves the quality of life for Andee, she still depends on your support to maintain that quality. Andee requires a constant supply of dietary supplements, traditional medicine remedies, diapers, and daily necessities that she is otherwise unable to access without your help.

Fortunately, Andee is currently listed under the GlobalGiving UK’s Christmas fund-raising challenge, with prizes up to 2,000 GPB awarded to the most successful participating projects until the end of December. There’s still two more weeks to show your support for SEDA and Andee during the GGUK fund-raising event.

Help make this holiday season the best one yet for a special girl who needs your help. Visit:

http:// http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/2219


This is Clare Rutz reporting from Vientiane in Laos.

As an In-The-Field traveler I was able to see a side of Laos that most backpackers wouldn’t. I was able to talk to the people, visit their homes, and catch a glimpse of their daily lives. SEDA, a small non-profit that reaches out to many different communities with a thoughtful approach to each, gave me the opportunity to ask what it was the people of Vientiane and the surrounding villages needed. Their response was often exactly what SEDA was determined to help them with.

Some projects help thousands of people, while others help just one, but when given the chance to see the smile that comes from that one person in thanks for what was given to them, you do not question the importance of such philanthropy. Andee is a twelve-year-old girl who was completely paralyzed until six months ago. With physical therapy and medicine that helps rejuvenate her nerve cells given to her by SEDA she is able to show some movement. When asked to move her arms she did with a proud smile immediately following her accomplishment. I was fortunate enough to come on a day where Souly, the founder of SEDA, was delivering a surprise to Andee. We had brought a full set of sheets and a bright pink blanket for her bare mattress. Her simple joy for such simple amenities could easily ground anyone. With the right funding another surprise will hopefully make its way to Andee. Souly is currently looking for a hospital bed that will help her with physiotherapy and exercise!

Jumping back into the car we head towards another project of SEDA’s. We are visiting a woman who is apart of the microfinance opportunity that SEDA provides. When we arrive the first thing I notice is the spinning wheel. It’s the main attraction of the tiny building the family resides in. “Without the spinning wheel there would be no building”, was what I was told after I asked how their lives changed since the microfinance program. It provides them with a job that pays for the necessities. The microfinance project gives three to four hundred women loans in order to start spinning. The women collect old collars and bits of cloth from the factories and spin it back to useable string. SEDA provides the loans and helps the women with marketing. They are required to set up a group of five to ten women with one accountant and one secretary, and as a team they are responsible for repaying their loans. The interest rates compared to the local banks are extremely low, which allow the women to take the risk and begin working. The program provides a sustainable income for these women, and sustainability is a large component to the path towards self-reliance, the greatest goal of SEDA.

Our last stop is a once abandoned house that was previously owned by a USAID worker. The swimming pool is empty and weeds burst from the cracks, but something remarkable is going on in the backyard. A greenhouse full of potted plants is the beginning of a huge step forward for the farmers of Laos. SEDA is researching the most effective farming techniques that can be taught to farmers to increase the quality and quantity of their agricultural goods. They are also researching “cash crops”, which are the crops that are in high demand. Agarwood is the leading product in this field, and SEDA is making long strides to grow this special wood used for medicine and cosmetics, distribute the seedlings, and train farmers on how to tend to the crop. The difficulties of the process include the transportation of the seedlings, which is very costly and the training. Agarwood needs to be grown in a very specific way in order for the quality to be adequate enough to use, therefore, the training process will need to be long and thorough. With each great idea come obstacles! Follow the progress of SEDA on their page on GlobalGiving at: www.globalgiving.com/2219 to check up on Andee and to support the women in the microfinance program go to www.globalgiving.com/2504. To read about the agricultural program that completed its funding goal go to www.globalgiving.com/2012.

When asked what she would tell her friends about this project, Clare said: "Great: They are making a difference."

It is Andee’s 13th birthday next week, and SEDA is preparing a birthday party for her. Andee’s family will be there, alongside SEDA volunteer, Scott, who has been teaching her English for three months, and Souly QuachAngkham, the founder of SEDA.

“I hope this will be a very special birthday for Andee, and with donations through Global Giving, we might be able to make it really special by getting Andee a therapeutic bed so that she can do exercises to make her stronger,” says Souly. “If any of our supporters have a second hand bed, or have contacts that could help SEDA obtain a bed, please do let us know; we can arrange shipment to Laos.”

Last week the Laos Wheelchair Handicap centre visited Andee to measure her so that they can build her a custom wheelchair, as she has outgrown her old one. Scott is leaving SEDA in October, and is sad to be saying goodbye to Andee: “teaching Andee has been a highlight of my time with SEDA. She is a very special and bright girl.”

Scott will be replaced by a new volunteer in October, so Andee’s lessons will continue.

Please donate to Andee: her caretaker family is very poor and they need help to provide her with basic care, such as special foods, medicines and equipment. Andee needs the help of Global Giving supporters to help improve her condition and become strong and healthy.


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Organization Information

Social and Economic Developers Association (SEDA)

Location: Vientiane - Afghanistan
Website: http:/​/​seda-laos.org
Project Leader:
Souly QuachAngkham
Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic

Funded Project!

Thanks to 25 donors like you, a total of $1,419 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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