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Charity: Helping Those Poorer Than Me!

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?

[50% Off by YouTube user tomate1990]

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:

Raise money with ChipIn

(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.

9 responses to “Charity: Helping Those Poorer Than Me!”

  1. Traciatim

    Lets take a step back for a second, if the GDP of Cambodia is 8.3 billion according to and the sex trade and human traffic brings in 500 Million according to the video, that’s 6% of GDP.

    There are fears in the USA because the economy may contract by a few tenths of a percent over a couple quarters causing a recession, imagine what would happen if it contracted by 6% suddenly.

    Now imagine instead the legalize and regulate prostitution worldwide, and suddenly you convert a degrading illegal activity in to a worldwide industry. It’s very obvious that there is a HUGE market for it. The only reason it’s illegal is because of the crime rate increase involved, but the only reason there is crime involved is because it’s illegal.

    Maybe people should get a clue that no matter what you do this will happen as long as there is a market for it. Since the market has been around almost as long as there has been goods to exchange for it, why not get it out in the open.

    For the record, I have never exchanged money for sexual favours. Unless you count presents for the spouse . . . which is basically the same transaction I suppose if you really look at it, except with someone you know instead of a stranger.

  2. Bethany

    Yay Cambodia! This is a great cause, but the person above me is right. As someone who has lived in Cambodia, the government will not shut down one of the country’s biggest earnering industries. In order to really stop trafficking and the sex trade, one needs the help of the gov’t, which will never happen under Hun Sen.

  3. Peter Mottola

    I’ve got a friend who got very involved with the human trafficking issue up at Brown. Terrible stuff, that.

    On the financial side: keep track of your donations for tax time. Jesus said “when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”, although he was a little fuzzier on the subject of Uncle Sam. Apparently places that accept clothing donations will give you receipts and whatnot … hey, why not, right?

  4. Trent Hamm

    #4: Look at it as a way to get Uncle Sam to donate more. If you donate $1,000 and get a $250 deduction, why not then donate that $250 after you file taxes? Then, the next year, you have a $62.50 deduction … and donate that.

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  6. Cabe

    I like charities and think it is great when there is awareness raised about them. It is important that we help other humans and maybe give them the same chance we have to be successful. Thanks for sharing that video!

  7. Jegatheez

    This article touched my heart by watching the video itself.Though I am from India,I am some what aware of the human trafficking in Cambodia.The awareness should be created to people.And Some social groups like -American Assistance for Cambodia have initiated good task towards helping the poor,yes poorer than us,of course poorer than me!I encourage building schools.Making others happy for a minute is great one while comparing to earning thousands for his own living.Let us spread this and make others happy!

  8. Upperatus

    Good on you for seeing the beauty of helping others. And I completely agree – without doing good in this world, money is just tough paper.

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