Field of Dreams
For years, people have been misquoting the famous Kevin Costner film, Field of Dreams, by saying, “If you build it, they will come.” (The actual quote is “If you build it, he will come.”) But I just can’t resist misquoting it again because it fits so perfectly with our newest education project in Cambodia!
As we have written previously in our blog, Cambodia’s history under the Khmer Rouge was a brutal one, decimating the country’s education system and throwing millions into abject poverty. After the regime was overturned, the school system in Cambodia had to be rebuilt almost from scratch, and countless people grew up illiterate.
Impoverished families, struggling to simply survive day by day, began having their children work rather than get an education. When families don’t have enough funds for even rice or bread, they often can’t fathom spending money on school fees or uniforms. The truth, however, is that education is the only way any of the children living in the remote villages here will ever be able to escape the cycle of poverty in which they currently live.
The children of Sokhem Village have the added burden that trafficking in their region is a sobering reality. It’s just too dangerous for the younger kids to walk the 10 km to the government school without putting themselves at risk. That is a difficult thing to even comprehend, isn’t it?
LWB made a commitment to the children of this rural village this past fall that we would work with the community to ensure access to a quality education, regardless of family circumstance. We have been extremely busy since then purchasing land and building a brand new “neighborhood school house” that will begin helping all of the children in grades K-2 receive an excellent early childhood education.
We think the new building is absolutely beautiful!
In addition to teaching reading, math, social studies, Khmer, and English, we will of course integrate music and art. The children will also receive a hot lunch each day, as the vast majority of them are sadly malnourished.
When we first made plans for the Sokhem Village school, we enrolled 39 children, which soon grew to 46. Now as of this week, enrollment is up to 58…58 beautiful children who are very excited to get started!
When the government learned that a new village school had been designed, they built a brand new road to the village to make access easier, so we have a feeling that enrollment is going to continue to increase — which is just fine by us.
“If you build it, they will come.” I hope you will allow me to change that line one final time because that’s what we’re celebrating today in Cambodia.
Let ALL the children come who want to experience school, because a love of learning is what instills real hope and ultimately is what will change an entire community for the good.
We’d love for you to join with us! Sponsorships for the children in Sokhem Village are just $25 a month, and donors will get monthly updates on the exciting things happening at the school.
This is a true “Field of Dreams.” Thank you to everyone who believes in these children and wants their dreams to soar.
~Amy Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer