I spent a week last month running around like the proverbial headless chicken, managing a fundraiser for “Students for Cambodian Schools” – the club at my college that recently appointment me as president.
So, uh, what does this have to do with personal finance, exactly? Look, there’s more to money than hoarding it away in a high yield savings account or index funds. What good is money to you, if you can’t use it to do good?
So today, I’m here to shill for the charity of my choice. But really, I’d just be happy to know that you guys are donating to something that you believe in. And donations don’t always have to be monetary – clothes, time, effort… you can donate to a cause just by doing something that helps raise awareness.
That’s what I’m going to do right now: raise awareness for my cause. (The following was written with help from my good friend Sam, who founded the club at our school and was the president until I took over.)
What do you know about human trafficking in Cambodia?
For a text explanation, see theyoutubeproject page for the video.
Human trafficking may seem like a long-gone problem to those of us who live in developed Western nations, but it’s a problem that is all too alive and well, especially in places like Cambodia. Children sold out of their homes by parents who need the money for food. People tricked into believing that they’re getting a factory job… only to be kidnapped and sold.
The past century has taken its toll on the country; the effects of war, rapid changes in government, and genocide are still playing out on the people who live there. Children have little chance of advancing economically in their lives because they have so few opportunities.
I don’t want to be doom-and-gloomy – it’s not my style. I prefer to cowboy-up and jump into the “how can I help?” portion.
And you can help.
The Rural Schools Project
“American Assistance for Cambodia (AAfC)/ Japan Relief for Cambodia (JRfC) are independent nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing opportunities for the youth and rural poor in Cambodia.” One of the major ways AAfC and JRfC have influenced the Cambodian youth is through the Rural School Project program.
This program builds schools in some of the poorest areas in Cambodia and, in the areas they are built, has drastically cut down on illiteracy, long-term poverty, and human trafficking. In order for a basic school to be built, $13,000 must be raised. This money is matched by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank and goes towards a school, teacher, and well. Additional money raised goes towards school enhancements such as solar panels and computers, books, and extra teachers.
Our club, Students for Cambodian Schools, is determined to raise this sum of money to build, support, and name one such rural school.
We’ve raised about 6% of the $13,000 needed to build the school through the Rural Schools Project. It’s a good start. If you want to help out, you can donate directly to our club using the widget below:
(If you can’t see the widget, you can contact me to find other ways to donate.)
Your donation will help to fill out the bar a little (or a lot, if you so choose!). It might a lofty goal, but I am working as hard as I can to get the full $13,000 raised before I graduate one year from now – I really want to see us reach our this goal before I have to leave this school.
If you believe in this cause like I do, please tell someone about it. Whether or not you can find some money to spare for it, the real good you can do for any cause is just to raise awareness.