David Mahony - Managing Director
+353 872028792 (Ireland)
Howth Junction, Kilbarrack , Dublin 5
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave was a guide with Ziptrek Ecotours in Queenstown, New Zealand where Project Laos began. He continues to run this today under the organizational name of Sustaining Communities from his hometown of Dublin in the Republic of Ireland.
Pairoth “Pike” Lotakoun - Project Coordinator
Vang Vieng Primary School, Laos PDR
Pairoth “Pike” Lotakoun, was born on September 26th 1973 in the country town of Housai, Northern Laos. Housai is located on the North Western boarder of Thailand and Laos.
This was a difficult time for Pike and his parents due to the bitter conflict being waged in the region during this period. Pike and his growing family left war-stricken Laos and were welcomed to their new home country of Canada.
In 1973, Pike’s father, Mr. Loy Lotakoun was a military medical volunteer in the War against Vietnam. With 2 young boys and another child on the way, assisting troops from both sides of the conflict was the only thing he could do. Mr. Lotakoun sustained bullets wounds in a brutal attack and was hospitalized. His courage and mighty heart is what inspires Pike to this day.
In 1979 his family made their way over the border to Thailand and were placed in one of the many refugee camps where they stayed for 3 years. With the daily struggle of finding food, clean water and stimulation they made do hoping that one day we would be in a better place. That day came and in July of 1983 we were sponsored to go to Toronto, Canada.
The start of Pike’s life in Canada was difficult, arriving in a new country at 10 years old with a totally different culture and speaking no English. Pike finished school at grade 11 and took a business course that landed himself a job in a Car Manufacturing warehouse where he remained for the next 10 years.
Pike knew that he would someday return to Laos and in 2005 he made his dream a reality and continued to visit his home country every 2 years. These visits made him realize that this was where he really belonged and in 2010 a business opportunity allowed him to open his own riverside bar in Vang Vieng where the infamous activity of “tubing” has attracted backpackers from all over the world. The easy-going Laotian lifestyle and the beautiful back drop of Limestone mountains on the Nam Song river made him understand that this is where he belonged.
It was here that Pike met his wonderful Australian girlfriend, Alicia and after 2 years they welcomed their baby daughter Skyla Jade into the world. Skyla was born in the Vang Vieng hospital and they hope to one day send her to the Vang Vieng Primary School. They therefore have a genuine interest in ensuring their daughter and the other children of the community receive a proper education in a school with adequate educational and recreational facilities.
They believe in the goals of Sustaining Communities to eventually have a quality school that shows the importance of sustainability through the introduction of appropriate technologies and equipment and are enthusiastic about helping us achieve this goal. Pike agreed to be our Project Coordinator on the ground in Laos and helps mediate between the school and us to address their needs and the needs of their pupils so we can make this dream a reality.
We are very excited about the future and what we can hopefully achieve here in Laos.