Winchester speaker presents ‘Eternal Harvest’ at library
Jim Harris will present “Eternal Harvest: Laos and the Legacies of a Distant War” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, at the Waupaca Area Public Library.
Free and open to the public, the program is hosted by Winchester Academy.
Since 2006, Harris, a retired Wisconsin school administrator, has worked in remote Lao villages clearing bombs, land mines and other unexploded ordnance.
For three months every year his team of Lao men and women assist villagers who wish to enlarge their gardens, expand their rice fields, dig fish ponds or do other community improvement projects that are delayed by the threat of lethal ordnance.
“There have been over 20,000 civilian casualties to leftover ordnance in Laos since the war ended 40 years ago,” Harris said. “Twenty-thousand men, women and children have lost lives and limbs, but millions more fear that fate.”
Jim and his wife Marty are the co-founders of the non-government organization We Help War Victims Inc. an IRS-recognized charity.
Harris will discuss their work on behalf of Hmong and Lao refugee people in America and tell how his dedicated team assists villagers in Laos who must live on land contaminated with explosive remnants of war.
Harris began his career as an educator in the Wisconsin Indian Teacher Corps where he taught children of the Ho Chunk Tribe living near Black River Falls. Students across the nation have received their initial social studies and science education from texts that he authored.
For more than 20 years Harris served as a school administrator and was a frequent presenter at conference and staff development workshops. Later in his career, he was named Wisconsin’s Elementary Principal of the Year.
The Wisconsin United Coalition of Mutual Assistance Associations recently honored the Harrises for their work on behalf of Hmong families. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has recognized them as Outstanding Global Educators.
Winchester Academy is funded through sponsors and tax-deductible donations. This program is sponsored by Pat and Mary Phair.
For more information about Winchester Academy, check winchesteracademywaupaca.org, follow the group on Facebook, or contact Executive Director Ann Buerger Linden at 715-258-2927 or email@example.com.