I discovered my passion four years ago. At the time, my passion revolved around cooking so I started a charity dinner. I wanted to prove to my friends and peers that community service is fun. My 2006 dinner raised $6350 to build a playground and provided school supplies to a school in Cambodia. My 2007 dinner raised $ 7, 666 to provide medical and dental supplies to a clinic in Africa. This year, however, I took my passion on step further. I decided to help locally and globally.
. For the Battambong, Cambodia part in 2008, I established the English curriculum, purchased English books, and taught English classes during my month stay. I used my wealth of language knowledge to teach the disabled children the language. The language barrier was quite trying so my creative imagination kicked in to convey a meaning. I had to think of multiple ways to teach children. At first, most of the children did not understand me so I approached a word from a different angle. I realized that they heard me and that they did not understand me. Before my trip, I had a tendency to just speak louder and slower if someone did not understand. I had to keep a room full of disabled children at bay while I taught them. Furthermore, I learned to stick to my intuition in deciding upon a curriculum. Most adults overlook young adults’ ideas, and I confidently showed that I know what I am talking about. Obviously, I also had to listen to the suggestions of the teachers since they are native to Cambodia while I will always remain a foreigner.
The Rebuilding Together part of my project tested my physical strength. I helped gut an entire bathroom. I am pretty strong from athletics so I put my abilities to use outside of the field. Also, I will put my leadership skills to work by managing the project.
The funding for my two projects came from a dinner i hosted to raise money and awareness for my projects. I constructed a letter to invite members of the Oklahoma City community and Rebuilding Together. I asked ten of my friends and fellow girl scouts to help. Along with the free help, all the food, flowers, and beverages will be donated by contacts that i established. My friends and I prepared, served, and hosted the dinner. During the function, I gave a presentation about my Cambodian Language Project and Rebuilding Together, testing my public speaking skills.
My volunteer activity involved my ten friends, New Leaf Florists, Ben E. Keith, Earl’s Rib Palace, Chef Ryan Parrot and my brother, George. I had thirty-six guests at my dinner and forty-seven other couples donated money to my volunteer activity. The school has three teachers. Mounh Sarath is the NGO of Cambodian Vision, which is where my school is located. Daniel Rothenberg was my friend who introduced me to the Sarath in the first place. The school has three hundred ten students currently enrolled. I fixed one elderly women’s house who takes care of two grand children. Rebuilding Together in Oklahoma City has a board of five people who helped me with my volunteer activity. Therefore, two-hundred and twelve people were directly affected. However, the school will continue for many years so hundreds of more people will be directly affected. Also, the Battamgbong community will indirectly benefit from the school because a new class of leaders will emerge.
My Cambodian English Language School provided the Battambong Community with hope. People with English can get better jobs and go to universities in other countries. Most people make $.60 a day. With English, people can work in hotels and big businesses which would cause the average income to increase. The whole economic structure would strengthen. The people in the school range from 6 to 23 years of age. They are Cambodia’s next generation and with English, they can become Cambodia’s next leaders and lead the country out of an economic and political drought.
The renovations on the elderly women’s house completely changed her life. She takes care of two grand children and does not receive a salary except from social security. The renovations made her house safe. Now she can safely leave her grand children at home and it fixed her horrible cock-roach problem. She can now also feel better about herself and her grand children can live a better life.