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Friday, July 11, 2008

New high school will bring new hope to families in Pursat, Cambodia

Above is a picture of a high school currently being constructed in Pursat Province, Cambodia, by HOPE International Development Agency.

The new school is an incredible addition to the region and it will provide young Cambodians from surrounding villages with the opportunity to further their education.

In the rural areas of Pursat Province, investment in education falls terribly short. A place of learning, built specially for communities and their families, is a marvelous, unexpected gift.

When families begin to rise above the most severe levels of poverty, they send their children to school. But when families are constantly ill, constantly foraging for water to drink and food to eat, their children’s time cannot be spared.

The poorest children are rarely healthy enough to attend school because sickness and malnutrition make them far too weak to make the trek to the school.

When people are too poor, too sick, and too hopeless, a school building is just a lifeless husk. In fact, it would be pointless to build one. But thankfully, in Pursat Province, the families that have clean water, better food crops, and income-generating opportunities – provided through the support of HOPE International Development Agency donors - have progressed to a point where they can make education a priority. This is the “tipping point” for these families, all of whom were once stuck in an intergenerational rut of mere survival. These families now have choices, investments, plans, and dreams. Pursat’s next generation is being born into a different kind of world – a world full of opportunities and hope.

So this photograph, in fact, depicts more than just a building. This new school is about Cambodians who have worked incredibly hard to be in a position to attend it.

But there is something else noteworthy about the new school - its construction is the result of one single individual’s generous gift. A gift inspired by the real progress made by the families of Pursat Province.

Ultimately, this school represents realized dreams: those of Cambodians who are doing more than just surviving, and that of a giver who is doing more than just sympathizing.

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