If your plan is for one year, plant rice.
If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children.
Supporting Cambodian children in their quest for knowledge
A small group of Lake Macquarie people had one thing in common – we had all been to Cambodia and witnessed the country’s poverty and lack of education – a literacy rate of 77.2% is still a poor statistic in the 21st Century.
Although Pol Pot was deposed in 1979, his legacy lives on. The country lost a whole generation of doctors, nurses, teachers, small business owners, anyone who had a westernised education, all the people who are the backbone of any civilisation.
In 2008 this group began raising funds to support small village schools around Siem Reap, the tourist town that services the world famous Angkor Wat temple complex. At these free schools the subject taught is English with the aim that students can eventually obtain employment in the hospitality industry. If they are successful they may be the only wage earners in their family.
Seven village schools later we have learnt that, simply, pens, paper and textbooks are not enough. We realised that we needed to:
- Ensure each school has access to computers that are updated with the latest
- Ensure that all the schools have access to electricity eg battery, solar etc and that
these systems are maintained
- Supporting the schools in their endeavour to provide food of nutritional value to
enhance the child’s learning abilities
- Support the schools in any projects that will result in better facilities for the
children ie clean water, toilet facilities etc
- Support schools by supplementing teacher’s salaries, if this means the
school will stay open
The group aims to find self sustaining ideas that will assist further development of the schools. The group’s next venture is to fund self-sustaining projects at the schools.
It is for all these reasons that we seek your support.
In Australia we are asked – why support overseas people when there are charities here needing our donations for their causes, doesn’t charity begin at home?
The answer is yes, however, the difference for Australians is that we have access to social security, good public education, medical and hospital facilities – Cambodians have none of this support.
Australians are renowned for their willing generosity be it of an in-kind or
financial nature and the group has gratefully accepted many of these generosities over the years.