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31 August 2003 - 12:43
Danes Cross Bulgaria On Their Way To Laos
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On 23 August, a group of Danish doctors, organisers and executors of the Team Laos Project, crossed Bulgaria with two Toyotas, especially equipped for heavy conditions. The 8-member crew with the two land cruisers loaded up with medical equipment, had left Denmark a week before and are going to reach Laos by land and by sea. Once there, they will leave the cars and the entire equipment to the local medical authorities as free medical help. At the same time, they will carry out on-the-spot training courses which they hope will help in raising the level of medical service in this Far East country.

29-year-old Lars Heiselberg Jensen, ambulance driver and paramedic, who set up the project, explained briefly to the Auto [XT] team how the Team Laos idea was born:

"The Team Laos Project was launched in December 2001. I came up with the idea during a journey through Asia. Knowing that the urgent medical help services in my country had substituted new equipment and vehicles for their old ones, I decided that, as a private person, I could be of help to the people of Laos."

It was at that time that Lars Jensen visited the Mahosot Hospital in Vientian and had a talk with the Deputy Director Dr. Bounthapany Bounxouei who told Lars they needed more ambulances and equipment urgently. The talk left a deep mark in Larss mind, so he and Dr. Bounxouei met some more times before Lars left Laos, thus actually setting up the charity project.

"When I went back to Denmark, I got in touch with the local administration on FALK, the Danish Rescue Operations Company, in order to get second-hand ambulances. The people at the Company did not hesitate for a second and gave me two cars leaving me the whole responsibility for the documentation and for ensuring all the necessary charges and means for getting the cars to Laos."

Mr. Heiselberg Jensen also got in touch with the embassy of the Peoples Democratic Republic of Laos in Sweden and settled the formal side of the donation.

"There was a lot of work to do to bring the project to a successful end. Joining our efforts, we managed to find sponsors such as private companies and even private persons, and they provided the necessary means for transporting the container with the two ambulances, the wheel chairs, crutches and some other hospital and rescue equipment."

Thus, in December 2002, the first donation was already a fact. In March 2003 it was followed by a second delivery, and in May of the same year the Team Laos Project was officially set up.

This time Lars Jensen took up an even more interesting chalenge driving to Laos in two ambulances. After Denmark, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria the Danes, driving a Toyota Land Cruiser and a Toyota High Luxe hard-roof pick up truck, loaded up with medical equipment, will cross Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India. Then they will cross over to Singapore by ferry and via Thailand they will reach Laos. They are planning to cover the total distance of 16,000 kms. in about three months.

Lets wish them a safe journey and good luck in their mission!

For more details on the project, visit http://www.teamlaos.com


 

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