Thursday, June 21, 2007

..think about it...

I am going back to Cambodia in November and will start some fundraising, in autumn, to pay for three friend's education.

A young man, Nakry 27, who is already spending an hour every day to teach his friends english, which he taught himself. (That is after 12 hour working days, and perhaps a day off every 10 days. He does not get time off every week... After all of this he has not got enough money to eat more than rice and soya sauce on many evenings. He uses whatever money he has to help with his younger siblings, so that they don't have to leave school at the age of 7-9-10, but hopefully have a future)

A young girl, Raksa 17, whose family was too poor to keep her, and she had to be sent to an orphanage in a distant town for several years. At the moment she is earning half of the wage of Nakry. It gives you an idea of her economical situations and current outlook for her future..

And a young boy, aged about 11, who misunderstood me, when I proposed an exchange of postcards, he thought that I wanted to help him to go to school. Now I do. It was heartbreaking to think about not trying to make a difference after he thaught that it is what I offered him.

For each of these I will need about £1000 per year.
With that I can pay for good education, some that is of high quality and helps them learn as much as possible in as short a time as possible. It will also provide some money for healthcare, for healthy food, not much else.

I will post photographs of these three young people soon.

Nakry could improve his earning potential dramatically with an improved command of the english language. However I would propose to help him become a qualified english teacher, with a TEFL or CELTA qualification. This would impact an entire community around him. As currently Tourism is the way to earn a relatively secure living in the aerea where he lives. With a good job and much better wage he could then take care of any further vocational training himself.

Raksa, I would like to help her attend school and university, everything that improves her life can make a drastic positive impact on her family, immediate community and give a tremedous opportunity to more than just this one girl. Raksa is close to my heart. I really hope we can help improve her life and future.

The little boy.
Again, financial help, so that he doesn't need to work full time but can instead go to school, learn a trade, pass on what he learns, improve his future prospects. I would engage with this boy and his family on the understanding that instead of working full time he would go to school, I would cover the loss of income plus enough financial support to cover some important aspects of food and healthcare. On the condition that the boy spends an hour a day passing on what he learns to the girls in his village (literacy and some basic maths primarily).
Girls are extremely disadvantaged and often don't get sent to school if the family is poor, which most are... This illiteracy makes makes them extremely vulnerable to exploitation, not just sexually, but that too of course...

So keep in touch with me, I will be handing around a collection hat in september and october. It is worth remembering that even £2 can help pay towards this plan of mine. If everyone would manage to give from £10 upwards then it would not take much time to start sending one of these young people into a much more secure future..
Any cost that I incure going out there, I pay for in full. Not a penny of this money will go anywhere except towards changing 3 lives and easily a few hundred lives connected to these...

It is really amazing what difference it is possible to make. What an amount of hope just one person can give.. Please help me make the plan a reality. I know Nakry and Raksa especially well, and I know that whatever we give them they will use and share in a way that will affect many other lives, too.

Birgit. xx