Send Chanleas Dai Residents to Camp

Posted on: April 3, 2009 Posted by: Manin Oem Comments: 0

Send Chanleas Dai Residents to Camp

Most of our projects at PEPY are about incremental change. In trying to change attitudes towards education, health behaviors, teacher training, and community participation, most changes are slow, simply because they must be understood and realized through life experience, not simply “told”. I believe in slow change, not because of any developmental theory, but because I can see with my eyes how much more behavior and attitude shifts take hold when they come from experiences. Telling a teacher how to use books in the classroom hasn’t worked. Showing them by example what’s possible in classrooms where books are used effectively does.

One of our biggest goals in Chanleas Dai is empowering children to be problem-solvers in their own families and communities. This is the goal of our Child Clubs, our environmental clubs, and our education programs. Our hope is that by understanding their own power to create change in their lives, children can help break the cycles of poverty in their village.

We have the opportunity right now to take a huge leap forward in this goal — to supplement our incremental change with something ground-breaking. Camp Sangamon and Camp Betsey Cox, sister boys and girls camps in Vermont, have offered us an opportunity to send four students from Chanleas Dai and two PEPY staff to their leadership camp for three weeks this summer.

After weeks of discussion with staff and the community weighing the pros and cons of selecting four student leaders to attend the camps, we all agree that this is an amazing opportunity for both our students and teachers to learn creative teaching/teambuilding techniques, and to bring leadership and social change to Chanleas Dai. Our hope is that this camp will introduce the students to a wide variety of life skills including leadership, decision making, communication, and cultural awareness.

We will need committed funding before we can offer this opportunity to any student. There are several students who we know would excel if they were given this opportunity and who we hope would be able to take the English skills and confidence they gain there to go on and do some great things in Cambodia. We truly believe that it will be a life-changing experience not only for one child but really for the entire community. Students and their parents will be required to do volunteer work in the community in order to receive the scholarship and will be encouraged and supported to share their experience in as many ways as possible, bringing back the skills and ideas they’ve learned to their peers/community. Can you help us send two boys, two girls, and two PEPY staff to camp this summer? Know someone who can? We estimate the cost to be 2,800 per person including all expenses, airfare, passport/visa costs etc, and all sponsors would have the opportunity to meet their student/staff in New York this summer. If you can help, please email today.

More information about Camp Betsey Cox for girls and Camp Sangamon for boys is available online.