Our references: "Can I trust this mouse?"
You may be too polite to bluntly ask, "Why should I trust a chubby mouse with my donation?" But you wouldn't have anything left to donate, if you didn't have some healthy skepticism about what you read on the web. It's hard to prove anything from thousands of miles away, but these facts may help.
* Big Brother Mouse is a 100% Lao-owned and -staffed project. Sasha Alyson, the retired American publisher who acts as a full-time advisor, is an unpaid volunteer. All paid staff are Lao people. (The mouse works for free.) We keep overhead low, and much of our budget goes right to the printer.
* Bill Clinton thought we're important work in the field of literacy. At the first meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in Asia, in December 2008, Big Brother Mouse was one of three projects in Asia selected for special recognition at the opening plenary session. Bill Clinton spoke about the project during a presentation to Khamla Panyasouk and Sasha Alyson.
* The Lonely Planet guidebook thinks we're doing a good job. If you're coming here you may well have that guidebook, and you can see for yourself.
* The founders of the Lonely Planet, Maureen and Tony Wheeler, have generously contributed to our efforts to get books into rural schools and villages through their foundation, Planet Wheeler.
* The World Bank thought we're worth supporting. When the World Bank (International Finance Corporation) published a booklet Stay Another Day to encourage sustainable tourism in Laos, Big Brother Mouse was the first project featured, right after the information center in Luang Prabang. One of our books, with an absorbed young reader, was on the cover of the first edition.
* We're accountable. Every donation of $250 or more is linked to a specific book or event sponsorship. If you're not able to attend it, then we'll report to you after the event, with photos, or send you a copy of the book if you sponsor a book. Sponsors are listed in the book, and on our website. (If you prefer to remain anonymous, just let us know.)
* We now have friends and supporters in many countries. If you're considering a large donation, such as a book sponsorship, we can probably put you in touch with someone in your country who has some first-hand experience with us.