Nobody operates in a vacuum. People have gone before you, and people will come after you. There is only one ‘first cause’ and so even inventors stand on the shoulders of us ‘lesser mortals’. This post is to thank people and it is also to ask. The case at hand? Stopping the brain drain, empowering kids, supporting a missionary from the Philippines, and hopefully enabling you to contribute.
The first time we heard about Jen was in Hawaii, some 10000 km from here, and likely as far for you. She touched my heart and I told God: I would love to support her. God responded: I already do that.
Jen is a missionary with a degree in education from the Philippines. She lives and works in Poi Pet, Cambodia and works with rural children: she travels to their (remote) villages, educating them best she can. Most of these children have nothing except the desire to learn.
Sometimes, other people come to these villages as well and promise the parents good jobs in the city for their children. Often those “good jobs” turn out to be prostitution. A combination of shame, violence and other evils will prevent these kids from returning to their villages.
Jen is not paid money by the government (development of rural areas is not a priority), nor is she paid by the parents (as most are absolutely dirt poor). Instead she is motivated by her heart. The work she does will prevent some -and hopefully many- of these kids to end up in prostitution.
One of my customers in Norway (thank you, you know who you are!) donated a dozen Android phones. I installed two games from code.org (thank you, you also know who you are) which enables kids to learn how to program without them even knowing it. The games are designed to introduce basic concepts such as giving instructions, repeating, calling functions.. Even putting yourself in the position of the main character in the little game is a skill that you can practice: your “going left” is different from the character’s “going left”, so you have to think hard.
We met with Jen the other week, explained the idea with the phones and software, and let her test it. The phones and games are now “deployed”, so some kids are now learning the basics of programming. In time we will see if this actually helps them. I believe it will, even though we might not be able to easily measure the effects.
It is my hope these kids will be able to do decent work for their money and earn an honest living.
It is my hope these kids will stay and transform Cambodia, that they will build solid families, that they may discover their gifts and will be generous with it.
This all starts with their education.
Jen is one of many people that help with this. She has some needs such as visum renewal (90$), a power bill to pay (60$), a place to rent from where she can teach (220$). If you would like to contribute, please let me know.
A bank transfer, Vipps or PayPal.. anything works: she lives close by for now, as we are staying in Poi Pet ourselves for now, so we can give her cash.
Update November 9th:
A close friend (you know who you are) sponsored 500 NOK.
We gave her an additional 40 USD and Jen was able to renew her visum.
Update November 11th:
Good friends of ours gave a donation for Jen, and her immediate needs are now covered. Thank. You. So. Much!!
We shared this good news with the people who we live with, and their response was that it was so good to see her needs met: “If you give her a million dollars, she would spend that wisely too”.
One of the sweetest sides to this story for me personally is that Jen only knows about this blog post because we tell her we wrote it – she is too hesitant to advertise about what she does.
Bank transfer: 32013451809
This is a story, told by people who care, about people who care for people who care.. This is what love can look like. :-)