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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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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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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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ABC Educational Materials Drive

For children attending our Believe in Me schools in Cambodia, learning English is an essential piece of their education. English proficiency is a power tool in gaining access to higher education and future sustainable employment, thereby helping to break the cycle of poverty. One way to gain fluency in another language is by hearing it spoken frequently. […]

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Reggie

It didn’t take long for little Reggie to capture our hearts. In  March, Reggie came into LWB care when he needed help with his ankle and leg. He had an accident and suffered a broken ankle, but his family was unable to afford the medical care he needed, and he never healed properly.

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Looking Sharp in School Uniforms

In Cambodia, school uniforms are very important. They impart a sense of pride in one’s school as well as a sense of belonging. The students at our Believe in Me schools in Cambodia recently received their new school uniforms, and we love the proud looks on their faces as they model them for us!

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Safe Haven Foster Care in Cambodia

LWB has provided family care to thousands of orphaned children since we first launched our foster care program in China over a decade ago. When we decided to begin working with orphaned and vulnerable children in Cambodia, we knew that foster care would once again be an essential part of our work. What we didn’t know at the time was that we would be called upon to help some of the most vulnerable children in that country:  those who had been victims of child trafficking and severe abuse.

As this week’s blog series by LWB Board member Bob Spires explained, Cambodia remains a prime source country for the trafficking of children. Many are taken across the border and live through things no child should ever experience. Read more

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