Looking Back: Favorite Moments from our Education Program in 2016
This week we’ve been focusing on our favorite moments from our Education program in 2016. The end of 2016 brought many new developments and initiatives, and today we want to share them with you!
Our CEO, Amy Eldridge, traveled to Cambodia this month to look into starting some new programs there to benefit orphaned and impoverished children. We had heard of a young man named Leng who was doing wonderful work in the countryside and getting so many children access to education. Amy’s visit was the beginning of several new programs for Love Without Boundaries in this part of Cambodia.
For our education program, we have made a commitment to the children in two rural villages to help them have access to school, and we already have almost 100 children enrolled.
In 2011, Tim volunteered to help on our 2011 Cleft Medical Exchange. It was during this trip that he met Dr John Ness. At the time, Tim was studying dentistry, but meeting Dr Ness encouraged Tim to become a doctor himself.
He studied so hard, and we’re very proud to say that he achieved his goal. How amazing to think that a boy who grew up in an orphanage was able to beat all the odds against him to become a physician.
Tim has taken a job as a doctor in a new province, and we wish him all the best for his future!
In Cambodia, many children have to give up their education at a very early age to get a job to help support their family. During her visit to Cambodia, Amy met some teens who are part of a group known as Mercy Youth who are working hard to stay in school and mentor younger children in similar circumstances. Despite very difficult backgrounds, this group of teens really want to succeed in life, get a good education and escape poverty. Not only do these teens study very hard for themselves, but in the evenings and at weekends they tutor the younger children in the surrounding villages. They also teach the younger children about the value of a good education, the dangers of trafficking, and also about good hygiene.
Some of the oldest teens are now also helping us with the reporting for our programs as well.
Mae will be helping with our foster care program and also accompanies children to the hospital for medical procedures, tests and operations.
Megan will be helping with our medical program.
Nancy (seen above) and Danna (seen below) travel together to the villages in which our Believe In Me Rangsei and Sokhem schools are located. They help tutor the children and also help collate data for reports.
We are in total awe of these incredible teens!
At the close of 2016, LWB transitioned five of our six Believe in Me schools to full support and administration by the local governments. This was, of course, very bittersweet to us all, as we had followed the children in these programs often for many years and loved seeing their progress each month.
However, one of the goals for any charity should always be long-term sustainability of its projects. In these five locations, the local governments now have enthusiasm for special education and the financial ability to sustain it, and we felt that this meant it was time for them to take full ownership of the projects.
While we sure will miss seeing the children’s beautiful faces regularly, we also celebrate that, thanks to your support of our Believe in Me school model, these orphanages now have incredible and creative teachers in place who understand the importance of special education and including ALL children in the joy of learning. You made that possible, and what a success story that is!
We are so grateful to everyone who supports our education projects for orphaned and vulnerable children. We hope this look back allows everyone to see just what can be accomplished when we work together. Here’s to an amazing 2017!