This blog post comes to you courtesy of Clare.
Big Brother Mouse’s motto is ‘Books that make literacy fun!’. It is a organisation that supplies books to children in Laos, that otherwise would never get a chance to read, or would only read dull textbooks. Laos used to be a country where many people were illiterate, and because there were hardly any books published in the Lao language, many children in remote villages had never even seen a book. By writing, publishing and distributing books written in the Lao language, Big Brother Mouse has changed people’s ideas surrounding books and reading.
We first heard about Big Brother Mouse on an episode of ‘The Mekong River with Sue Perkins’. During the episode, we saw Big Brother Mouse distributing books to children in a remote Lao village. During our stay in Laos, we heard more people mentioning the organisation, and their program in Luang Prabang that gets tourists to help students practice speaking English.
During our first morning in Luang Prabang, we decided to go visit Big Brother Mouse and help some students practice English. We were quite surprised when we arrived by the number of novice monks that were there. After some conversation with the monks we learnt that many of them had come to Luang Prabang from remote villages to get a better education, as there was no school in their villages and becoming a monk meant they got to be educated.
We visited Big brother Mouse each morning, and talked about the differences between Lao and Australian life. We would introduce ourselves, and sometimes stop there if the student still had limited English, but continue share information about ourselves if the student was capable of doing so. I learnt a lot about the education system and culture in Laos, and the students enjoyed listening to my dad explain complex concepts, and learning about different ways of life. It was a very interesting, educational and enjoyable experience.
For further information about Big Brother Mouse and their literacy programs – and how you can help – see their website here.