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September 16, 2010

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September 16, 2010

In March of 2010, I traveled with Jennifer Kinberg Leahy and Carrie Garber to Cambodia. In Cambodia Jennifer and Carrie took me on tours of the various orphanages where their scholarship recipients lived and the schools they attended. I was able to see the children in their daily lives and routines. I saw their living conditions, and their learning conditions. I was also shown the living conditions of the general population in Cambodia, and the condition of a public school in Cambodia. By seeing both the public schools and the private schools in Cambodia, I was able to see how truly amazing the gift Jennifer and Carrie give to those children really is. They are given an opportunity to attend excellent schools that they would never be able to attend under ordinary circumstances. They are given a superior education, far above what they could receive in the public schools. Cambodia's Children Education Fund seeks out children with potential who can one day lead successful lives. Jennifer and Carrie's organization changes the path of those children's lives. They begin their lives on the streets fending for themselves, or in orphanages abandoned by their family, or all alone in the world. Without those scholarships, the children would continue to live on the streets, or continue to live an dreamless lives. With the scholarships from CCEd Fund, they can be properly educated. Their job opportunities will drastically increase. They no longer have to live in survival mode, they can begin to envision a future for themselves. While in Cambodia, I met several children who touched my heart. One teenage girl was so confident and comfortable at her school that she participated in the school singing competition. She has big dreams to study medicine with a singing career on the side. What is amazing is that she is able to dream about an amazing future. A nine year old boy seemed quiet at first, but he quickly warmed up to me, and was eager to have me look through his school notebooks at all of his great work. He went from not speaking any English when he first met Jennifer and Carrie to sharing entire stories he wrote in english only a few years later. I also met a nine year old girl who is very bright, and has a huge heart. Her mother is a prostitute. Her path could have led her to return to her mother, and then slowly learn what living on the streets was really like. However, with the scholarship she received from the CCEd fund, she is already living a brighter life. She attends a wonderful school where she is constantly challenged. She lives in a nice orphanage where they value the education she receives and support her. She is allowed to focus on her education and herself rather than having to neglect her education to make money for her family. Jennifer and Carrie put a lot of work into finding schools that are just right for the students. They research the best schools, but also make sure the schools they pick are a good match for those particular scholarship recipients. If a student is not finding success at the school they find an environment where they will be able to meet their full potential. They are sensitive to each recipient's wants and needs. The children I met while in Cambodia not only are bright potential leaders, they all were kind and compassionate. Each student looked out for the others. They care about Jennifer and Carrie as much as Jennifer and Carrie care about them. One girl even used what little money she had to buy thank you gifts for me, Jennifer, Carrie, and the other people went on this trip with us. Jennifer and Carrie are also two people with huge hearts. They frequently travel to Cambodia with their own funds to interview and select the perfect scholarship recipients. They ensure that their recipients receive proper education but they go above and beyond that. They see to it that the recipients receive proper nutrition and health care as well. They make sure they have school supplies, and that they are happy in the both orphanages and schools they good to.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen the school work produced by the scholarship recipients. I also observed the excellent schools the children attend. I have seen the children participate in class and they really are beginning to meet their full potential.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish the organization would expand and provide scholarships to children in other countries as well. Although that would be very hard to maintain and find appropriate recipients.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

meeting the wonderful children. They are bright, happy, grateful, kind and just all around good kids.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

teachers, people in charge of the orphanages, the founders of CCEd fund.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change a country. Cambodia suffered greatly during the Khmer Rouge. Many educated people were killed during the genocide. If they could provide more scholarships to Cambodian children, they education so many young people.

Ways to make it better...

I had more time to spend with the children.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding. They have regular funding for the children who are current scholarship recipients, but it would be great if they got more funding and could expand.

One thing I'd also say is that...

it would be great to see what these children one day become.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Spread the word about CCEdFund's work and expand the support base so that we could provide more scholarships. Sending a quick email to friends, posting on facebook, or volunteering to help produce materials or review students' academic progress would help us greatly! Volunteer