The People to People Project, Inc. (PTPP) began in 2002 as a way for Wausau’s Hmong community to help improve life for family members and friends in Laos. What began as a grassroots humanitarian effort has grown to include volunteers from other regions of the United States, as well as civic organizations and worldwide foundations.
A nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization run completely by volunteers, we work with the Laotian government and village leaders to provide potable water, adequate schools, and basic health care to the Hmong, Khmu, and Mien peoples of the Luang Prabang province of Laos.
We are not people to government. We are not corporation to people. We are People to People, reaching beyond our borders to make a difference in the lives of others.
Board of Directors - 2010
President: Bob Weller - Wausau, WI
Vice President: Doug Wohlers - Victoria, MN
Secretary/Treasurer: Jim McIntyre - Madison, WI
John Kaufman - Wausau, WI
Project Coordinator: Zong Lee - Laos
Father Steve Brice - Wausau, WI
Wameng Cha - Corning, CA
Carol Compton - Madison, WI
Lin Compton - Madison, WI
Cheryl Falkowski - Wausau, WI
Jennifer Karaken - Wausau, WI
Choua Lo - Wausau, WI
Sean Lo - Wausau ,WI
Kao Lee Lor - Wausau, WI
Tim Mero - Wausau, WI
Chad Monot - Mosinee, WI
Bill Schmelzer - Wausau, WI
Mary Ellen Schmelzer - Wausau, WI
Wang Dao Vang - Wausau, WI
Mary Weller - Wausau, WI
Xeng Xiong - Wausau, WI
Xao Yang - Wausau, WI
People to People Facts
Sean Lo of Wausau and Wameng Cha, now living in California, form a group to help impoverished Hmong living in Laos.
Saint Anne’s Parish in Wausau, Wis., begins fundraising to help impoverished relatives and friends who were unable to escape Laos after fighting for the United States in the Vietnam War.
People to People becomes a 501(c)(3) organization with a volunteer Board of Directors led by Bob Weller as president.
An exploratory trip to Laos by a PTPP team reveals grave needs for clean water, decent schools and adequate medical care for the village people of Luang Prabang Province.
Negotiations with the Laotian government result in mutual, positive goals of undertaking two water projects and one school project in Nam Bak, a district of the Luang Prabang Province.
Hmong field personnel begin to prepare sites and hire workers for building a school and bring water to a village. Fundraising in the U.S. raises enough money for the water and school projects.
Water and school projects are completed using local manpower and products. A PTPP team returns to Laos to celebrate completion of the new school.
With these initial successes, mutual goals increase to eighteen water projects, fifteen schools, two clinics, one small hospital, and a university exchange program between the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Souphanouvong University in Laos.
“Piece by Piece for Peace” Fundraiser in Wausau yields $22,000 to begin the second school project.
In January, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point students and faculty travel to Laos to meet with with Souphanouvong University to develop future collaboration, and students gather data on local needs for People to People projects.
Bob Weller and Prof. Eric Yonke of UW-SP and UW-SP students present “Making a Differency by Promoting Self-Reliance: People to People Laotian Project” and PTPP hosts a booth at the 14th Annual Hmong National Development Conference in Appleton, Wis.
PTPP submits grants to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Kiwanis for assistance with building, equipping, and staffing medical clinics and a hospital.