To reduce the burdens of poverty and illiteracy for the people of in developing countries by providing access to clean water, quality education and community development workshops in an effort to provide sustainable solutions while actively encouraging participation of the people.
Our organization is a non-denominational, not-for-profit which connects community service volunteers from around the world with youths and families in need of support, working together on cooperative projects throughout the country. The resulting interaction and genuine friendship between the volunteers and the local children and families builds long term bonds and mutual understanding.
Working To Make A Difference In The Lives Of People Around The World
When you are poor poverty governs every aspect of daily life. Villagers subsist from meal to meal, their water supply makes them ill, and "lights out" is whenever the sun goes down in most areas. While government education exists, it barely makes a dent in illiteracy in rural areas. In rural schools there are no books, and teachers have no insight into the outside world, most people never leave their villages. Families with a dozen or so children work to survive on less than $200 per year income, they have little hope and making plans for the future, often planning is not part of their lives.
In a most rural houses the animals sleep on the floor, while the families sleep on wooden tables above dirt floors. Homes are often made of wood or woven grass, but usually from whatever is found in the area. Two or more generations often share a single room with little or no furniture.
Contaminated river water is the only source of water for most people. And in most villages at least one member of each family suffers silently from diseases caused by any number of the many contaminants found in local water supplies. In other villages water must be fetched from wells contaminated with pesticides and human waste. New water treatment systems and deep wells can provide clean water in the immediate vicinity of their homes.
Only through these simple improvement projects can lives be improved, though the projects themselves often seem simple to us, they significantly change the lives of the people living in these areas. Their gratitude is endless; they thank you with smiles and praise.
Education is one of the third world's weakest institutions. Government facilities and resources are so limited that little is accomplished. A dozen or so children eagerly cram into chairs made for two. Providing new classrooms, teaching aids and books to teachers help in an effort to release the children from vicious cycles of poverty and ignorance.
People's needs are so basic that most children are forced to drop out of school by the 5th grade because they are needed to help work the family land or tend to the cattle. Young boys do not suffer the same fate as young girls and often boys are allowed to complete post secondary education while girls remain at home to cook and clean. To improve living facilities for the elderly, something as basic as a single light bulb brightens their often dismal surroundings brings comfort and allows them to perform worthwhile activities into the evenings.
My experience in Battambang, Cambodia is my most valued single experience of my life. The children are the most loving, accepting and willing people I have ever come to know. Despite our teaching the children English, American games, and how to braid hair they definitely taught us so much more. They showed me so many lessons about compassion, courage, living simply, and appreciating what you have.