Founders


With the help of many other friends and family from the local Lao-Hmong community, Kajsiab Family was founded by Lara and her husband, Nzoua.


Lara


Lara was born in the Netherlands and has been living in Northern Laos since 2004. Between 2003 and 2007 Lara was involved in the development and expansion of a project that sought to protect the forests of Bokeo province. It was the aim of this project to achieve this by providing alternative earning opportunities to the local inhabitants, other than deforestation. And it was during this time that Lara lived with the local people and met the man who later became her husband and the father of her three children.

During her time in Laos, Lara has enjoyed the richness and benefits of cultural exchange, but she has also become aware of the communication gaps and cultural misunderstandings that often exist between local people and foreign travelers, volunteers and aid workers.  Lara has experienced the needs of the local people at first hand, living with the local people for nearly a decade now she has experienced them as a local person. As a result of this she is intrinsically aware of their need for access to basic healthcare, their need for a more extensive education and their need for alternative modes of income.
It was with this background and these concerns in mind that in 2008 Lara and Nzoua started work on Kajsiab Family.

Nzoua

Nzoua was born in one of the mountain villages of Northern Laos. Nzoua is from the Hmong ethnic group and grew up in one of poorest districts of Bokeo Province. Much of the area is mountainous, and many villages can only be reached on foot or by river.

In this area children, especially girls, face many difficulties. Only a minority of children complete primary education and educational quality is low.  Nzoua was one of the best in his class, but like many others he had no choice but to quit school and work for the family in the fields of their small sustenance farm. Nzoua has 7 brothers and sisters, of which he is the oldest, and who he took care of, until the next sister was old enough to do this task.

On September 14th 2004 Nzoua's younger sister died as a result of a curable case of appendicitis. She was 13. She would not have died had she been born in Europe, or had her family had the money required to take her to Bangkok for treatment.

On the day that his sister Kajsiab died, Nzoua, knew that this was wrong, that her death was a grave injustice of the world and ever since that day he has dedicated his life to changing the way things.

Today, he is determined to make sure no-one else in his community shall have to go through the avoidable pain that he, his family and his sister were forced to go through. It is the vision of Lara and Nzoua that they can achieve this by ensuring health education for the local community, by building and running a shelter in one of the poorest villages in the area and by providing traineeships and workshops about health issues for the community in which Kajsiab lived.