MiVAC worked in the Xieng Khouang Province in Lao PDR in 2009 and 2011 clearing minefields and liaising with the village and provincial heads in an area located at the western end of the Plain of Jars. Following the clearance of 2 minefields financed by MiVAC (who also paid for the training of selected Ban Xai villagers to be qualified as Minefield Clearance Operators), in October 2010, MiVAC, working with the Provincial Government, carried out an extensive needs survey in the area and determined that it needed to address the living standards, poverty, and the development needs of these communities.
During 2014-2017, MiVAC provided the technical direction and funding for the materials, with which the villagers constructed to supply running water via gravity-fed systems to 14 villages in the same area – representing some 8,500 people. The systems we installed have minimal maintenance needs, and no mechanical parts (apart from taps). Following heavy rains and major flooding to another village, MiVAC funded the replacement of water supply pipes, as the previous pipes were washed away in the floods.
MiVAC also succeeded in obtaining a grant from the Australian Government’s Aid Program, which enabled us to build a school dormitory at Ban Xai. Many of the school children had to walk up to 2 hours to get to school, which was near impossible in wet weather due to flooding in creeks. The dormitory enabled children to stay at the school during the week – so enabling their schooling to continue, which in turn would give them a better opportunity of gaining a later job, and hence income for their family, and thus a better standard of living.
MiVAC also funded major repairs and an extension to a hospital in the Province, and one of our members privately funded the total rebuilding of a 2 classroom school at Pong Hor.
To ensure sustainability, while MiVAC provides technical advice and secures all materials, the villagers contribute by providing the workforce. This enables them to better understand the construction and maintenance aspects of the system, but also gives them a much greater “ownership” of “their” system. MiVAC also coordinates training of the villagers in such aspects as health and sanitation (eg handwashing after toilet use and before eating), as well as how to conduct inspections and maintenance of their water system. MiVAC also advises villagers on how to set up simple maintenance funds in each village – wherein each household contributes a small cash amount each month.
MiVAC have provided materials for a fence to be built around the perimeter of a school, which was bordered by a minefield. This enables the children to play safely without straying into dangerous areas.
We provided tools to a workshop and built a waste disposal storage area at the Sunrise Children’s Village. MiVAC members, with the Ranelagh Community Group, raised enough money for 12 wheelchairs to be built by a Cambodian landmine survivor. He then distributed these wheelchairs to other amputees in the Siem Reap Province.
We also conducted a rural development project in a remote former refugee’s land-mine affected settlement in North West Cambodia.
A donation from the Royal Commonwealth Society (Tas) was forwarded with an equal amount from MiVAC to assist with the re-building of a school after a demining project in the area had been completed.
MiVAC also undertook the construction of Batticaloa Orphanage community buildings after the devastating Boxing Day Tsunami.
In 2009, MiVAC partnered with the East Meets West Foundation to build a causeway over a tributary of the Dak Bla River near Kon Tum to provide all year access to markets and medical facilities for local villagers and the six orphanages in the vicinity. In 2011, MiVAC returned to the Kon Tum area to undertake various projects at the Vinh Son Orphanages, including the construction of a fish pond for breeding of fish for food and sale (self sustainability), a toilet/shower block for the boy’s dormitory and a well.
In mid 2021, MiVAC will be commencing a water supply project in Ba Tang, Vietnam. The project objective is to supply running water and toilets to 41 village groups including 10 schools – beneficiaries total around 4,300 people.