During the Khmer Rouge (1974~1979) an estimated 3 million Cambodians died.Schools closed.Most educated people were killed.By 1980, only 50 university instructors remained,the rest deceased.Illiteracy soared to 40%.Today,40% of Cambodian students finish middle school and just 27% finish high school.Teachers often lack training; many have not completed high school.College is a dream beyond the reach of nearly all, except the elite. We have High School grads who need tuition to attend college.
Funding the college education of these hardworking students helps these students break the cycle of inherited poverty. Our students have goals: accountant,nurse, translator and business management and they have dreams of a middle class life instead of a hard life of poverty. They have dreams of helping their families. Education will help students to achieve those goals. They are willing to work hard to complete their college degrees and achieve their goal of having a professional job.
The students will also continue the rebuilding of an intellectual and professional base that had been destroyed in the Khmer Rouge years, something that is essential to building a stable foundation for a free democratic society in Cambodia. These students will also be encouraged to serve as mentors and examples to inspire other students to reach for and build their dreams.
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