Chelsea's Volunteer Fund for Cambodia
Organized by: Chelsea Vale O'Hara
EVENT DATE Jun 08, 2014
This summer, I am traveling to Siem Reap, Cambodia for 6 weeks to intern at the Ponheary Ly Foundation (PLF). The PLF (http://theplf.org/wp/) is a non-profit organization that promotes increased access to formal schooling and improved quality of education for young children in northern Cambodia. During my time abroad, I will have many responsibilities at the Foundation. My work will primarily be split between aiding instructors at the Tchey Primary School (20 minutes from Siem Reap) in the English and technology curriculum (helping with arts and crafts field projects with the students at the Tchey School) and working with students in the Media classes as a technical assistant. I am raising money here to offset your expenses for the trip as itemized below.
My motivation to make this journey is twofold. The first part is a broader motivation fed by the desire to be challenged and inspired. This is why I am thrilled at the opportunity to be traveling to Asia, an area previously unknown to me. In an article on leadership, New York Times columnist David Brooks eloquently states the importance of traveling and becoming a stranger in a new land. He writes, “Immerse yourself in the habits and daily patterns of that existence and stay there long enough to get acculturated. Stay there long enough that you forget the herd mentality of our partisan culture. When you return home, you will look at your own place with foreign eyes. You’ll see the contours of your own reality more clearly.” His words perfectly illustrate the potential value I see in this trip.
My second motivation is guided by the specific work I will be doing for the PLF this summer. As I talked with Lori Carlson, the founder of the PLF, she described to me the foundation’s mission to arm their students with a personal narrative. The PLF students have not been given the similar nourishment to feed their curiosity as I have received in my education. As I create projects for students at the Tchey School, I am motivated by the opportunity to help them begin to ask questions and create their own narrative. This is why I came up with the idea to create scrapbooks with the students. My goal is to enable students to put onto paper their family history, short stories we write together, and future goals. It is my hope that this will be a fun and creative experience, and help students appreciate life as a journey of constant reflection. As I strive to equip the students with knowledge and confidence, I am aware of how much knowledge I have to gain from them and the people of Cambodia. I am going into this experience thankful for the opportunity to expand my horizons and be welcomed into a culture of warm people.
Accommodations: $100/week for 6 weeks $600 Total
Transportation: $75/week for 6 weeks $450 Total
Food: $15/day for 60 days $900 Total
Visa: $60 $60 Total
Scrapbook Materials: $550* $550 Total
* Total costs include memory cards for the cameras, scrapbook materials for 20 students (polaroid camera + film), paint for mural projects, other arts and crafts materials plus shipping.)
I appreciate any contribution amount you are able to provide. No amount is too small. All contributors will be added to my summer email list and receive regular updates from me this summer. Thank you very much.