Arun’s Orphans

JHH continues to support the orphans and abandoned children whom Arun is helping. There are now 49 orphans in his program. Their foster families receive $12/month so the children can go to school and not be sent out to beg or work for money. They also receive two sets of uniforms, study supplies and a bicycle. In this way, they will be like everyone else. All of this costs just $168 a year and gives a child an education and a future.

Our goal is to enable them to complete high school and continue on to college. They can do this only with our help and support.

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As Arun says: “Mainly the plan of the project is to provide education to the orphans and abandoned kids in my village at as high a level as possible. At least we want them to know how to read, write and do basic math for their life skills in the future, according to the United Nations’ Education Policy of 9 years at school in Cambodia.”

Sreynak

Sin Sreynak

 

“Hello everyone! My name is Sin Sreynak. I study in grade 11. I go to school by bike – maybe 80 minutes just to arrive at school. I sometimes have to walk because the way is so bad when there’s rain. I’m an orphan. My parents pass away from me when I’m in grade 1. I have only one younger brother who was 2 at the time. I was so sad and felt so lonely. In 2008 I started to study again and I was glad. I want to be a designer. I hope my dream comes true.”

 

 

As the years pass, more and more of the orphans graduate. Many are ready to continue on to college. They need our continuing support for their education.

In 2013, there were 3 graduates. Two, Veasna and Ramorn, are now interns with Jeremy Hockenstein’s Digital Data Divide and receive college scholarships. The third decided not to continue her education.

In 2014, there were also 3 graduates who are at the Global Children facility. One, Kanha, who is interested in becoming a nurse, is sponsored through JHH. ($2200 per year)

In 2015, there will be 2 more graduates going to college if we can support them. For each of the next 11 years, there will be on average 4 graduates. It is a great challenge to give them a decent future. Like all children, they surely deserve one.

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Arun’s Story

Sothea Arun was four years old when the Khmer Rouge, a communist guerrilla force that ruled Cambodia from 1975-1979, entered his village and forced its residents to leave at gunpoint. In the work camp, Arun was forced to collect animal dung for fertilizer.

The Khmer Rouge enforced obedience. To disagree, to scavenge for food, to cry at the death of a loved one – these offenses could result in death. Arun survived several weeks in a Khmer Rouge prison as punishment for picking fruit from trees.

When the Khmer Rouge left, Arun began walking in search of his village. One hundred fifty miles later he arrived home, only to learn that no one from his extended family remained. Thirty-six members had died or disappeared.

Arun survived the next years by exchanging his labor for shelter and food. He made his way to the capital city of Phnom Penh, where he joined other youth living on the street. They organized students and monks to clear garbage from the city and, later, to plant trees. They studied together, learning English and business skills, and discussed how to heal their country.

Whenever Arun sees orphaned and abandoned children, he is reminded of his own past. He does not want other children to experience what he did.

Arun made a promise to himself: if I can survive, I’ll go back to my village and make sure no orphans will suffer as I did. He has kept his promise, and we are helping him to support his precious orphans. Their foster families receive rice money so the children aren’t sent out to sell trinkets and can attend school. The children receive two sets of uniforms so they are not stigmatized and a bicycle to ride to school like everyone else.