Bounniew “Niew” Somesak led the Luang Prabang LEOT School’s effort to directly deliver aid to the neediest victims of the Attapeu dam collapse.
The school had raised $10,000 from its supporters, and this week Niew completed his most challenging task by travelling to the devastated Sanamsai District by plane, bus, truck, and boat to present villagers with much needed food and clothing.
His rescue mission, with support of the Department of Education and Sport, began by slogging his way to the scene to determine the villagers’ needs. He then worked with local officials to purchase the goods.
Niew soon discovered that no boats were available to transport the aid. Being resourceful, he scrambled to find a vehicle and obtained a 4×4 truck.
The dangerous journey forged through deep mud and crossed rivers, where bridges had been washed out. Eventually Niew reached several of the neediest villages and spent the day delivering the goods to the people.
Aside from being a hero, Niew is the young community support manager at the LEOT school in Luang Prabang. His normal role is to manage projects to repair rural schools, install electricity, and provide clean water to primary and elementary schools.