As some of you may know, my wife and I don’t like to spend money on gifts for friends and family, whether that is for Christmas or birthdays, and instead prefer to contribute what we would otherwise spend towards helping those that really need it.
This year, we have finally had the chance to go on our honeymoon, almost four years after we got married. During our stay in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, we met a very nice gentleman, Sombath, who had a small shop where he spent all the profits of his business towards realizing a dream of building a school for the children of his native village. The public school is severely underfunded, and the school building is hazardous during the rain season due to lack of funding for proper maintenance.
We were immediately fascinated by the project, and after doing as thorough research as we can at this stage (including a planned visit to the village that was cancelled when my wife got ill), we have decided to assist Sombath in realizing his goal.
Sadly, due to the economic situation in Cambodia, education in many rural areas suffer from insufficient funding and finding teachers who can train the children in ‘modern’ skills like English and computers is difficult. Sombath’s initial hope was that we could return to help teach the children such skills on a later date, but due to the cost of traveling to Cambodia, our efforts would likely be better spent on other work.
Because our ability to do further research is limited, we will not be donating money until we’re back in Norway, but we have planned several aspects of a project that can help the children get training that their public schools cannot provide.
Once we have completed our research to confirm our initial findings about the seriousness of Sombath’s plans, including learning and understanding much more about Cambodian education, we will help by soliciting sponsorship support for basic learning resources (books, writing materials) and maybe even some basic computers and software for the children.
We will also donate what we would otherwise spend on holiday gifts, so in a way, this is your gift as well.
We wish you all a peaceful break from your otherwise busy lives, to enjoy time with family, friends, alone, or however you prefer to spend your time. If you are feeling alone this season, know that our thoughts are with you as well.
Love from Lena and Bjørn
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