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Cambodia National College Exam

On Monday and Tuesday in Cambodia, graduating high school students will be taking the college entrance exam that will determine the course of their futures.  For teens from the rural countryside, graduating high school is a remarkable achievement. Intense poverty causes many to drop out at an early age in order to work full-time. Families often can’t afford the costs required for high school, as low teacher pay has led many educators to charge their own “extra fees” in order for a student to get access to the full curriculum. As if these challenges weren’t enough, hunger and chronic malnutrition are very common in the countryside and harm a child’s development, stamina, energy, and opportunities to learn.  All of these difficulties can explain why only a very small percentage of rural students ever receive a high school diploma.

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Bring Water, Bring Hope

Without water, there is no life. All humans need it to drink, cook, wash, and grow food. Can you imagine having to work for literally every drop? Since beginning our work in Uganda, we realized that improving access to water is key to transforming the lives of the kids who attend our Believe In Me Kabale school. Children as young as four years old spend anywhere from two to four hours a day on treacherous mountain paths to reach the only natural source of water. Many leave their homes before it is even light with a yellow jerry can on their head to begin the trek to get water, having to turn around and do it all again in the afternoon before the sun goes down.

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Journey to Cambodia 2017: Hope in the Slums

About a quarter of the world’s population live in slums, officially defined as “squalid and overcrowded districts inhabited by people in poverty.”  In the region we recently visited in Cambodia, that definition was sadly accurate. We passed shanty after shanty built right along the railroad track, metal shacks thrown up by squatters, with dangling electrical lines I was told were illegally and dangerously spliced in. We came to this slum in Cambodia in search of a baby girl whom Leng, our LWB Cambodia Director, first met at a border crossing between Cambodia and Thailand. Leng had been extremely concerned to see how malnourished and sick the little girl was.

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Journey to Cambodia 2017: The Landfill

Last year I posted a photo on our blog of a little boy I’d met living inside a Cambodian garbage dump. In the blog, I shared how difficult it was to learn how many children around the world work as trash scavengers each day (estimated to be in the millions). I was a bit stunned at some of the comments I received back after sharing this boy’s picture. People told me that the photo looked staged or that the child didn’t look very needy since he had on a silver necklace and obviously had food (which I had just handed him five minutes before).

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Journey to Cambodia 2017: Sokhem Village

The second day of our time in Cambodia was spent along the border region, and it certainly was an exciting journey to get there.  This is the second year in a row I’ve traveled during monsoon season, and the moment you turn off the paved roads to get to the rural villages, your tuk tuk rides becomes more exciting than any amusement park attraction. Then you finally just give up once the motorcart gets completely stuck, and you take off your shoes to walk the rest of the way.  Mud, glorious mud!

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Journey to Cambodia 2017: Siem Reap

Last month I got to spend time in several of the rural villages in Cambodia where LWB is making a long-term commitment to help orphaned and impoverished children. Since none of our projects here would be possible without your generous support, I’d love to take you along on my journey by sharing some of what I experienced.

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Selena: Our First Medical Case In India

As part of our expansion to help children around the globe, LWB is thrilled to announce a new collaboration with the international NGO Khusi Hona. We would like to introduce the first child we are helping medically in India:  Selena. Selena’s parents both work as manual laborers. When she was two years old, Selena had a boil on her foot. The boil became severely infected and damaged the tendons in her foot, causing it to contract.

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A Helping Hand To Rural Families: Our Unity Initiative

One-year-old Sharmaine lives in a rural village in Anhui province, a region known for growing traditional Chinese herbs and medicine. When she was born, however, she needed far more than the ancient healing methods available. Sharmaine was quickly diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that required surgery.  Her parents and aging grandmother were sadly unable to pay for the life-saving operation she needed. 

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2017 Cleft Bottle Campaign

Babies who are born with cleft lip or palate often have difficulty gaining weight. This leads to babies with cleft being diagnosed as failure to thrive and even sadly passing away. We are hoping to prevent this problem by bringing cleft bottles to children in Asia.

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Ella

Ella came to our Mukono Baby Room when her mother abandoned her family last fall. The only source of income for Ella’s father is burning charcoal at night, something that made it very difficult for him to care for his infant daughter. He desperately wants to parent his daughter and be a part of her life.

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