I heart Cambodia…

I am very interested in social justice issues for women and children, particularly in Southeast Asia. I’ve done fundraising and awareness nights for a ministry called Agape International Mission (AIM) that works to take little girls out of brothels in one of the worst slums in Cambodia. Their work means the world to me and I’ve fallen in love with Cambodia even though I’ve never been.

Recently I’ve also gotten involved with World Vision, one of the largest charities in the US. They do child sponsorship in dozens of countries. I am generally skeptical of big charities like World Vision, but I’ve done my research and I feel like WV is the real deal. They try and lift entire communities out of poverty with grass roots efforts that  “teach a man to fish” versus handing out a fish.

I found out that World Vision has projects in Cambodia and that children were available to sponsor there. Because of all the child sex trade problems in Cambodia, they don’t put the children’s pictures on the website. (I think that’s awesome and shows that WV is in it for the kids.) I called and the customer service rep helped me find a little girl in Cambodia close to my daughter’s age. I wanted someone close to Elle’s age so that she could have a Cambodian “sister.”

I am now sponsoring a little girl named Sok who is four years old. She will turn five on October 15th. All I know about her right now is that she comes from a farming village where both her parents are subsistence farmers. She has one sister but I don’t know how old the sister is.

I can’t post her picture on here for privacy reasons, but let me tell you, she is so cute! Just a sweet little girl with beautiful eyes and little pigtails.

Her profile also says that she is not in school. I don’t know if that’s because her parents can’t afford to send her, or whether she isn’t old enough. I sent an email to try and find out why. If there is anything I can do to get that kid in school, you better believe I will do it! I’m a firm believer in educating girls!

World Vision allows you to correspond with your sponsored child and send small packages. Today I sent her first little package- a set of colored pencils, a sharpener and a large coloring page. It will take 3 or 4 months before I hear anything from her, but I can’t wait to learn more about her and her family!

WV also lets you make additional donations for birthdays, Christmas, etc… They sit down with the family and decide how best to use the gift. It could be school uniforms, a bicycle, farming equipment, etc… I would like to send a birthday and Christmas gift to her family. 

I am so excited about connecting with a family in Cambodia. I think it will be just as beneficial for my family as it will be for hers. My kids will get to see that other kids in the world don’t have nearly as much stuff as we have and hopefully that will foster an attitude of thankfulness. Elle is already “getting it.” Sok’s profile says that she likes to play with dolls and when Elle heard that, she said, “I could send her some of my dolls. I have a lot of dolls.” That made me sooooo happy and proud!

Stay tuned to see how our relationship with Sok develops!

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