Newsletters 2018

May 2017

Dear Friends and Partners,

This month is a rather emotional month for myself and my daughter Miriam. Miriam graduates from school on May 20th and 10 days later leaves Cambodia for a new adventure in Canada. Yes, my girl is moving on to University – she has been offered and accepted an Honors BA in Women’s Studies and Sociology at the University of Ottawa.  

How can it be that this scrap of humanity – 1.1 kilo at birth- HIV positive- lactose intolerant with a dim future turn out to be such a lovely young lady, ready to prepare herself to – as Miriam says it – I need to give back, mama!

I remember moments – at the age of 4 - she was very disillusioned with life – that you could not take a goldfish out for a walk – what use are they, she demanded as we buried yet another one. I remember the day she snapped a pencil in grade 1 in a moment of frustration and then cried for hours because she had disappointed a teacher. The day in grade 6 when she was selected to be part of a varsity soccer team – she never played soccer before.  The day in grade 9 she played Othello in a school play and brought the house down with her performance. The day in grade 12 she finally got an A- in chemistry – this girl who struggles with math.
I remember her first laugh, her first step, her first boyfriend, her first drink, her first communion, so many things – and now it’s time for another first – a time to spread her wings – to leave the nest and start a new phase of her life’s journey.
I will miss Miriam’s zest for life – her insatiable appetite to learn new things – her sparkling eyes when she shares another moment of discovery – her tears in moments of disillusionment – her hugs and her pokes as she reminds me of my privilege of being her mama!

Yet I will see Miriam when she is gone – I will see her in the faces of children in our projects who just got a new school – of a teenager so determined to learn that he will sit with the grade 1s to begin the process. I will hear her laughter in the laughter of children playing in the school yard,, of children showing me their work in their school books. I will feel her presence when the children hold my hand and give me a spontaneous hug in the joy of the moment. I will see her wonder as children gently touch my skin – so white – or pull the hairs on my arms. I will see her beautiful presence as children give me a shy smile or a high five. I will rejoice as children here begin to spread their wings in the knowledge they will gain in their new school.

This year is a year of unforgettable blessings – we have completed 5 schools; we are in process of building 5 more schools and we have 5 more schools that need to be built. More than 4,000 Cambodia children are spreading their wings – more than 4,000 Miriam’s are excited about learning new things, thinking in new ways, children whom are thirsty for knowledge – children who need to give back.

December - Nokor Tep
June - Nokor Tep
March - Nokor Tep
January - Nokor Tep

Newsletters 2017

This month I praise my God for the gift of Miriam, I praise my God for all of you who have made schools and education possible – I praise my God that although my girl is off to Canada – I still see her in the children of Cambodia. How good that is!!