While I am a big advocate for volunteering, activism and fundraising for a cause that you believe in, I believe that simply isn’t enough.
We need to dig deeper and ensure that we truly are making a difference and not unintentionally inflicting harm emotionally or physically.
There’s a handful of companies, entities, and people who creates a compelling story and say that their intention is to build awareness and bring light to the UXO issues.
It is our responsibility and right as consumers to gather all the facts before showing our support by making a purchase.
Where did the goods come from? How did you get it? How’s the staff treated?
What are you doing to give back?
Laos, daily life, a mixture of old and new, nature and city.
Anyone operating in Laos or taking any piece of the country and its people has a responsibility to the community that they are profiting from. In addition to this simple civic duty, I would also urge anyone who is currently thinking of doing business, writing a story, making a film, painting or other ideas to consider the following questions below.
Is this your story to tell? Why are you telling it?
How will this help the people of Laos? What type of help is needed?
Have you researched the history? Spoken with the people?
How will you give back to the people and the country?
Today, about 80 million cluster bombs litter the landscape of Laos - right underneath the land where people thrive.
My views on businesses in Laos: both UXO related and non UXO related has evolved in the 3 weeks stay in Laos.
Is it right to use a weapon of destruction as jewelry or other items? Are we glorifying it? Are we glorifying war? Are we encouraging people to collect scraps and be in harm’s way?
The answer is not so clear cut. There’s so much to consider.
Although it is not Legacies’ role to police each business. I cannot help but have this protective instinct towards Laos, its people and its interests. I also want to be clear that I encourage business there. It just has to be done respectfully and do right by the people.
Sera sharing candies with the children of Thamee village