Hmong Village visit in 2011

Hmong Village visit in 2011
Windhorse visit to Hmong Village visit in 2011

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Youth Rock the Rebuild Joins Windhorse Foundation to Help Orphans in Laos

Youth Rock the Rebuild, the youth organization that turns garage bands into a force for good is hosting its next benefit concert at the Plaza in Mill Valley on May 19, 2012 from 11:30am- 3:30pm.

This time, Youth Rock has joined with the Windhorse Foundation, a volunteer non-profit which supports desperately poor communities in Southeast Asia, and helps them work toward a self- sufficient lifestyle. The organization is committed to preserving and strengthening the cultures of indigenous peoples. The May 19 concert will specifically benefit Windhorse’s work with the Deak Kum Pa Orphanage in Laos.
In 2010, Youth Rock raised over for victims of the Haiti earthquake. The goal for the upcoming concert is to raise funds to benefit the orphanage directly, and to increase awareness for the projects of the Windhorse Foundation. The Deak Kum Pa Orphanage currently houses about 550 children, and is expecting to take on 100 more in the coming year. To do that, they need to build a new dormitory and kitchen, as well as provide food, education, hygiene and medical care to the children.

The inspiration for the collaboration came from Sema Serifsoy-DiFalco, a performer at Youth Rock whose mother, Ipek, is on the Windhorse board. After hearing about their desperate need, Sema wrote a song about the orphans in Deak Kum Pa, and the two organizations came together.

“It’s a wonderful creative collaboration,” said Ipek Serifsoy, Sema’s mother. “This takes the giving character of our community and sends it out into parts of the world that few people hear about. It builds important relationships of caring between strangers, and shows our kids that they can make a difference to the poorest in our world.”

Sema’s song about the orphanage has become a rallying point for the concert. Members of several bands have come together to create a musical group who will perform the song at the event.

This is a free concert, though donations will be accepted, and 100% of the donations collected will go directly to the orphanage. Find more information about Youth Rock the Rebuild, or get involved with the concert at Information on the Windhorse Foundation can be found at
$45,000 for schools, shelter and medical assistance

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Windhorse Update about 2011!

Greetings! 2011 has been a very successful year for the Windhorse Foundation.

Thanks to the caring and generosity of Windhorse supportors, we began the year with multiple hosted fundraising events. As a result, we were able to fund our projects and make positive changes in the lives of desperately poor people in Laos.

Because of your generous donations, we provided much needed support for all our projects during our summer trip to Laos – Hmong Village, Deak Kum Pa Orphanage, and Lao American College. Thank you!!!

Hmong Village 

While in Laos this past June, we took another peaceful 2-day trip down the Mekong River from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang, stopping along the way at the Hmong village we have been helping since 2009. During the visit we provided the village a custom-built metal long boat which will be a tremendous help to the village, enabling them to sell their rice harvest, transport people to get medical care, send children to secondary school, and much more. Since there are no roads to the village, having a boat ends their isolation.

Your funds also enabled us to provide badly needed medical supplies such as first aid ointment, diarrhea and fever remedies, vitamins, aspirin, and other medicines. We also bought 2 cows and a calf for the village, as well as school supplies, a blanket for each of the 57 families, clothing, sandals, and tuition for the chief’s daughter to complete her 11th level schooling. The village still needs educational support, food, and livestock so there is much more to do in order for it to reach self-sustainability.

Deak Kum Pa Orphanage

Our stay in historic Luang Prabang included a visit to the Deak Kum Pa Orphanage, which we have been helping since 2010. During the visit we provided funds for food, health related assistance, school supplies, and other general maintenance for the orphanage of 550 children from poor local Hmong, Khmu, and Lao villages.

While at the orphanage we downloaded about 30 online learning modules on computers at the computer lab that will help the children learn English, Science, Math and other subjects. Thanks to the eLearning for Kids non-profit organization for donating the learning modules.

We are also now sponsoring 10 recent high school graduates who are currently attending their first year of college. A college education makes a huge difference in the lives of these children!!

These past months have also included fund-raising efforts in Woodstock, New York through a project called “One Voice for Laos." Our friends in New York have led multiple fundraising activities to help support the orphanage and are planning an end-of-year event to raise more money. In 2012 they will lead a group of high school students on a Laos trip to help with construction projects at the orphanage and to teach English.

For 2012 we are planning a fundraising concert with theYouth Rock the Rebuild organization in Mill Valley, California along with other community related fundraising activities to help the children.

Lao American College 

At Lao American College in Vientiane, “education is the key to a greater future.” This is done through two undergraduate degree programs – English and Business Administration – aimed at enabling students to build a better future for Laos. Windhorse has provided funding to buy desperately needed computers and peripheral hardware. We will also be supporting efforts to add a third degree and certificate program for Hospitality Management, which will help students gain employment with the increased tourism industry in Laos.

Another exciting project entails sending over a large shipment of textbooks. In partnership with Pearson Publishing, we will be sending approximately 10,000 donated textbooks by 20-foot sea container to Lao American College for distribution at the college and American High School as well as other schools in the Provinces of Laos. These textbooks are valued over $400,000…a big contribution for a country where books are in sparse supply. We need funding for logistical costs incurred in shipping the books so if you would like to help, please donate.

In closing, we’ve had a very productive year at Windhorse Foundation –
we met our goals to raise funds, support our projects, and partner with individuals globally as well as locally to help with our projects. Thanks to your donations and support this has all been possible! Your continued support is well appreciated.

Don Kraft
President, Windhorse Foundation

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Lao American College (LAC)

During our visit to Vientiane, Laos in July of 2010, the goals was to learn as much as we could about The Lao American College (LAC), which the Windhorse Foundation supports. Neither Don Kraft (the President of the Foundation), nor I, had ever been to the college, but we had heard wonderful things about the education that this school provides for the Lao people.
However, before we even managed to get to LAC we met one of its graduating students. We were staying at the Green Park Hotel, and we went to the front desk to ask for directions and transportation to the college. When a young man working there said, “That is where I went to college.” Don and I asked him when he graduated and he said, “I graduated this summer.” We asked him what his major was and he said business, and that it was his first day on the job. Don and I asked him what he thought of the college and he said, “It is the best school in all of LAO.”
         We were very impressed with the young man’s command of the English language and his professionalism. We were given directions and provided transportation and went on our merry way. We arrived at the college and we received a warm welcome by Ms Virginia Van Ostrand co-director of LAC. She said she would like for us to tour the college first in case we had any questions. She sent one of her assistant with us.
         We toured their classrooms, libraries, computer classes and study rooms. Then from Ms Van Ostrand we learned that LAC offers instruction in English, business management and computer programs. Courses are taught in Lao and English, with teachers from the UK, United States, Thailand and Australia. Ms Van Ostrand said LAC’s main goal is, “To shape productive citizens who can help to eradicate poverty and become leaders.”
         Don and I were very impressed with the school, the director and its statistics. LAC has a diverse student body and at present the students are fifty (50) percent men and fifty (50) percent women. The college provides financial aid to impoverished Lao students each year, and has a seventy (70) percent graduate student success rate compared to a fifty (50) percent success rate at all other LAO colleges.

By Patricia Perez

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hmong Child by Patricia Perez

In July of 2010, Don Kraft and I went to visit the Hmong village in Ban Houy nor Khoom that the Windhorse Foundation supports along the Mekong River.  We brought suitcases of clothing, shoes, glasses, school supplies, flip flops, antibacterial and medicated ointments, vitamins, soaps, shampoos, conditioners and lotions.
After speaking with the village chief about their needs, a woman holding her son on her hip tapped me on the shoulder and showed me her son’s foot. The foot looked awful! It was black and peeling. I grabbed some of the medicated ointment and put it on the little boy’s foot. I gave the tube to the mother, and had our translator ask her to continue putting it on her son’s foot. Soon after we left the village and headed to Luang Prabang.
We stayed overnight at the Lotus Villa Hotel. However, I did not sleep well, because I was worried about the little boy. I was afraid that he might have gangrene and without medical help he would loose his foot or his life. I told Andrew the owner of the hotel about the boy. He said he would be glad to follow up. We told him Windhorse would pay all expenses. He asked for the guide’s phone number and the directions to the village.
A few days after we left I received an email from Andrew letting me know that our guide had picked up the boy and his father. They took him to doctor and he was diagnosed with a staph araeus infection and put on an antibiotic. The boy was then hospitalized for three days where they treated his foot and then released him to go home. Andrew bought the boy socks and shoes and had the guide take them back home. I was relieved to know that the little boy and his foot would be fine.

By Patricia Perez

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Windhorse visit Laos

During a past visit to Laos, in 2009, Windhorse volunteers stopped to visit a Hmong village. From the conversation with village leaders, we learned that the village moved from the mountains down to the Mekong river banks. There are no roads to the village nor do they have a boat for transportation. They are isolated and their children cannot attend school, which is located across the river. Recently, Laura Nelson and Ben LaBelle, two Windhorse volunteers, went to the village and provided them a boat from Windhorse donations. The people were thrilled and told Laura and Ben that the boat will be used primarily for transporting children to school, getting needed supplies, and to take the sick to the hospital. More visits and assistance to help the Hmong people at this village are planned to help them build a sustainable future. If you are interested in donating to this project, please visit us: