All posts filed under: Nonprofit

5 years later: Reflections on Laos, Bombs and the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions

In 2010, I was part of a delegation from Legacies of War that joined 1,200 other participants in Vientiane to attend the first meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It was the most significant international disarmament agreement in decades and it was unexpected – that this dynamic and fast-moving international process, initiated in Norway, and negotiated in Peru, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland and Uganda – would enter the important phase of implementation in Laos. On the one hand, it made perfect sense. Laos was the most affected country per capita by cluster munitions, but on the other hand, Laos was one of the smallest state parties to join the convention, and historically did not play a key role on the world stage. But under the bold leadership of Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith, of the Lao PDR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and with support from other governments and civil society members of the Cluster Munitions Coalition, Laos had the honor of hosting the historic gathering. As I joined in the celebration with other …

Sahtu Press Celebrates First Year

This week, Sahtu Press celebrates its one-year anniversary as a Lao American publishing company. Established by author and illustrator Nor Sanavongsay, Sahtu Press is based in Dublin, California, an hour away from San Francisco and the Bay Area. “The publishing industry is a slow moving giant,” Sanavongsay said. “I want to be able to get us into a position where we can help move it quicker especially in regards to books for the Lao Americans by Lao Americans.” However, to maintain the quality they have going, Sanavongsay said “time is of the essence. It’s been a difficult balance to undertake, and from what we’ve learned this first year, we’ve got a long road ahead of us.” It’s been a busy year for the press, whose mission was to “publish and promote enduring contemporary Lao American literature and to create academic and grassroots learning opportunities.” That’s a tall order. To that end, Sahtu Press acquires, publishes, and markets high quality, imaginative work from emerging and established Lao American writers. Part of their process was to organize …