“So how much do you need to send Lina to Beltei for one term?” I asked Nick, my Cambodian personal chauffeur, friend and little brother.
“It is $190USD for fees. I will pay for her uniforms and books.
A great project that is a joint effort; a supplement rather than a dependency.
So I get on the Internet to my friend, Iris, in Canada. “Hey, I just found a way to spend some of your money. Lina wants to go to Beltei – a much better school than she currently attends – can you cover the fees? For a mere $190 a term – $200 when converted to USD – you can change her life for the better.”
Iris was in. She often quips “God works in mysterious ways. You are a devout atheist who spends my money doing good works.”
Nick was glowing, “Lina is so happy to be going to a good school and everyone in my family thanks you.”
“Tell them it isn’t me. I’m just spending my friend’s money, which I do very well. The long term plan is to hook up the two of them us on the Internet. Then we will send lots of photos of Lina in her uniform and scans of her marks and such. I want Iris to put her through university. Does Lina know how to use email?”
“No, not yet, but she is very smart and will learn quickly.” In the course of the conversation my former tablet with all my Spanish lessons sort of disappeared so the girls in Nick’s family could become computer savvy. But who can argue with that?
As expected the younger sisters were jealous that the oldest was going to a good school. Fair enough, I would be too.
Next, I contacted my high school friend Dennis, who is also financially stable. While he wasn’t quite willing to commit for the rest of his life – which it might take to put six-year old Panni through university – he was more than happy to go one term at a time and zapped off a cheque to my Canadian bank account. Akun – thank you in Khmer – as we know he is likely in for the longer haul.
So that left Nita, the middle child. I figured nobody would be concerned if slid some cash out of Down in the Dumps to cover her fees. Then my friend The Nurse – as we call her because she is one – and her partner Andrew came to visit in Cambodia. When I told her about my latest project she said, “Hey, Andrew and I will give Nick the money for Nita’s fees this afternoon.” Done and dusted. The Nurse is moving to Cambodia at the end of April as she got an impressive job as the Medical Manager at a private hospital. She will take over Educate a Girl project and I will concentrate on Down in the Dumps.
If you want to get involved with educating a girl and changing the world, all donations – no matter the amount – are greatly appreciated. Lin, Nick’s youngest daughter starts school next year. Twenty year old Thea desperately want to study English at the Num and Pahhasasra Univerity. She looks after her elderly grandmother and is doing a non-paying internship at the Ministry of Education in the hopes it will lead to a job. The tuition is about $600 a year. If enough people give us $10 we can cover it. There is no shortage of girls who want to go to school so it won’t take long before there is an extensive waiting list.
The research about educating girls in the third world is well documented. Limited resources are more likely to go to the boys and girls suffer. Educated girls are more likely to marry later, have fewer – and healthier – children. Further, they are less likely to be abused or get HIV/AIDS. Their earning power also increases exponentially. In short, educated girls have better lives.
Every riel will be accounted for and the books will be open as they are for Down in the Dumps. The parents will cover the uniforms and the books so it isn’t a free ride.
If you want to contribute please send money to Paypal (email@example.com)
Thank you and akun.