Cambodia: A School In Need

kngo: Khmer new generation organization

A village school for Khmer children in cambodia needs our help.  please watch our 5 minute video and help us raise funds for more teachers.  each teacher only costs $120/month!

We’ve been traveling through SE Asia for 7 months now.  We’ve seen poverty in various forms, but we’ve rarely seen people who look hungry, destitute, or miserable; actually, we’ve seen very few people begging at all.  I’ve been asked for money many more times on the streets of Philadelphia and New York City than I have in Bali, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam combined.   Granted, we are traveling with kids, so we’ve avoided the darker corners in the big cities for obvious reasons, but we’ve been through the poorer countrysides, the small villages off the beaten paths, and while people have much, much less than we do monetarily, they are eating and they are clothed.  In fact, they are napping in their hammocks under their small houses that they built themselves, or they are selling food on the street with their little ones at their sides.  What strikes me the most, what makes me do a double take each time, is that what looks to me like poverty, is often just a simple way of life here.

But a simple life, without education and opportunity for future generations, isn’t enough.  I can see that in the faces of children and their parents.  I can see it in the way they look at us with hope that we will spend a dollar or two on their wares.  Most are not hungry for food or for love (though of course some are starving for both), but they are hungry for more, for security, for advancement, for choices and dreams, FOR EDUCATION.

We spent two weeks volunteer teaching English at a village school in Cambodia.  I’ve been teaching kids for 20 years, and to say I thoroughly enjoyed those weeks I spent working with these sweet, vibrant children is the understatement of the year.  But, a few English conversations with me and my family is not enough to give these kids, not enough to give their parents, their community, or the rich Khmer culture, which has been through more darkness than most of us can fathom. We wanted to give them more than our time!  And since we are not wealthy people, we decided to ask our family and friends, and whoever else out there happens to read our blog, to help us help these children.  PLEASE, WATCH OUR VIDEO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE CHILDREN AND KNGO, AND PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING TO THIS SCHOOL.  ANY AMOUNT HELPS.

KNGO is located in Battambang, Cambodia, in the Bos Po Village.  The school was started by a local man, Mr. Sun Saveth, who put his degree in education to great use by single handedly creating his dream, a community school where Khmer children come bicycling in and out for their English lessons, and play jumprope and hide-and-seek in between classes.  They stand respectfully the moment their teacher steps in front of the class, they thank their teachers at the end of each class, they work hard in over 100 degree heat with only a pencil, a notebook and a wooden desk.  These children are as smart as my children.  They are more independent than my children.  They look as happy as (happier than?) my children.  Nobody monitors their playtime, nobody gets hurt, nobody argues (or if they do, they do it quietly and don’t require adult intervention), nobody checks which kids are arriving and which kids are leaving.  These kids have tons of energy, they have patience and focus. These kids have optimism, but without a better education (and English instruction in particular), they won’t have any more opportunities than their parents had.

KNGO provides free classes for over 400 village children in English, Khmer and Math, but the main goal is to teach English, which will offer the children and their families much broader employment and education opportunities.  The Bos Po Village is a charming, close community with strong family values, and for the most part, the families there are poor and can’t afford an education for their children beyond what the local government school provides, which is only a few hours a day in very basic conditions.

KNGO, unlike many NGO’s offering volunteer experiences for travelers, does not require a set donation from its volunteers.  Although it relies heavily on volunteer donations as a source of income, KNGO allows the volunteers to give what they are comfortable giving, and appreciates the effort and time that volunteers give.  I HIGHLY RECOMMEND volunteering here if you’re interested in this remarkable experience!  My whole family participated.  We were welcomed warmly and appreciated greatly.

Ideally, KNGO needs sponsors who will commit to making a donation on a monthly basis.  You can do this through their website  To contribute to our fundraiser, which focuses on raising money to hire more English teachers for the school, donate here: Donate Button with Credit Cards Thank you so very, very much for reading, for watching our video, for considering a donation, and for following Far Away Five!!!

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