Category Archives: Education

Almost Married off at 16, Now She Needs Our Help to Study for a Degree

The leaders of the Living Hope in Christ Church in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, have brought to our attention the need of a young woman (whom we shall call TS) for help in going to university. This is her story.

TS is 19 years old and has five brothers and sisters, but she is the only one who has a strong commitment to study and the only Christian in her family. At the age of 16 her parents urged her to marry a young man and go with him to work in Thailand. TS attended a teaching session at which a pastor warned children and young people about the dangers facing Cambodian migrant workers. TS refused to marry and to emigrate, and as a result her mother has not spoken to her since. She left home and went to live in a church building in Baray, Kampong Thom province, where her father visited her and brought her food. She has been helping to run the church’s Sunday school.

TS has completed high school and has secured a place at the University of Commercial Law. She has saved $150 (£125) towards the fees but her father is unable to contribute anything. The fees are $480 (£400) per year for four years and the first year’s fee must be paid by 19 November.

The Associate Pastor of the Living Hope in Christ Church describes TS thus: “She has a strong commitment to serve Christ and she completely trusts the unfailing love of our mighty God.”

If the Holy Spirit leads you to help support the education of TS you can do so through Cambodian Communities out of Crisis. You can make a donation online by PayPal or through Stewardship or the Charities Aid Foundation, or send a sterling cheque to us at 32 Springfield Way, Shrewsbury, SY2 6LW. Please contact us if you would like to send a regular gift by standing order or would like to increase the value of your gift by 25% through Gift Aid.

Children of Cambodia

Original dumpWe started the Dump Kids project nine years ago with the aim of rescuing 15 children from scavenging for recyclable materials in appalling conditions on Phnom Penh’s rubbish dump. We sent them to school, gave them some basic healthcare and provided a daily cooked meal for them in order to improve their standard of nutrition and remove some of the pressure on their parents to force them to work in order to get enough money to pay for their food.

Some of the children have completed school and found employment or are in vocational training centres. Some were placed in orphanages following the death of both parents from AIDS. Some families’ level of income has risen sufficiently to enable them to provide for their children without our help. None of the parents now has to work on the dump (so we renamed the project Children of Cambodia) but all are still desperately poor. Every time a child has left, another needy one has taken his or her place.

HomeThe dump was filled up and has been replaced by another in a different location. What used to be wasteland just outside Phnom Penh’s city limits is now part of the suburbs. The standard of living of people in the area is rising, but the families whose children we support are an exception to this. Some of the parents work in Thailand and their children are living with grandparents in little more than shacks. Support for their education and the daily meal are still vital.

In December, I spent a morning with the pastor who manages the Children of Cambodia project for us, and some of the children whom we help. Because of the shortage of teachers, Cambodian children go to school either in the morning or in the afternoon; these were due to go in the afternoon. Those cared for by our project cross over at the pastor’s home where his wife cooks their daily lunch that we pay for.

HomeTen years or more ago, the pastor planted a church near the then Phnom Penh municipal rubbish dump, located just outside the city’s built-up area. His vision was to make disciples among the dump scavengers and their families. Since then, the dump has been filled to capacity and the city has expanded. Much of what used to be waste ground is now heavily built up. The pastor bought a modest house in the area and the church now meets on its roof under a metal awning, but the church members, most of whom had to find other sources of income after being excluded from the replacement dump, have been displaced by the new development and have had to find new places to live outside the ever expanding city.

AlleyThe pastor told me his calling is to preach the gospel to the poor, so where the poor go, he will follow. He anticipates that when he retires from his job he will move to a poorer area to plant another church and serve the people there. I admire this humble man, who could have done well for himself out of the corruption normally associated with his job but has instead decided to serve the kind of people that Jesus delighted in spending time with. He even pays for food for the children out of his own pocket when CCC has insufficient funds to send to Cambodia.

After our meeting, the pastor took me in his dilapidated car to visit some of the children’s homes. As I trod gingerly along a path of scattered bricks and stepped over a rivulet of something unpleasant I offered a silent prayer of thanks that this was the dry season and the area was not under a foot or more of water. As you look at some of the photos of these homes that the pastor took, please pray for the children and their families.

Myers Cooper

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Bachelor of Laws Degree Awarded

Degree certificate
Mr MS’s degree certificate

The first CCC-sponsored student to study law has been awarded his degree.

CCC started supporting the education of Mr MS in 2003, initially helping him to attain a good standard in the English language. He was then ready to embark on a law degree course delivered in English. For seven years MS has persevered in part-time study while working as a freelance translator to support his family. More recently he has been employed by an international non-governmental organisation working to end sex trafficking in Cambodia.

As MS neared the end of his course, the university made various changes to its procedures making it harder for students in the faculty of laws to pass, prolonging the course for MS and other students. Finally, the school was forced to organise a final exit-exam and score the completed theses from students whose work they previously did not accept (or was regarded as ‘out of date’).

Mr MS wrote:

CCC started supporting me when I was single, about ten years ago. Now there are four of us. While Daddy is joining in the upfront army fighting against the social injustice of Modern Child Sex Slavery and Mommy is working as an accountant head for million-dollar projects of an NGO, our children are receiving one of the best educations in an International School in Cambodia.

He added:

Moreover, all of us are committed disciples of Jesus, and are taking His Words seriously daily. Anyway, by looking at what I currently have, I truly appreciate and value [my sponsors’] support for me. It has meant a lot and I can see that that meaning will never stop! May you all know that I have been thanking them every day.

MS graduated on 18 March 2014 and will receive his degree at an award ceremony in June.

A Hope and a Future for a Young Student

Since 1996 we have been providing funds for young Cambodian men and women to get a high-quality education. As well as sponsoring students at colleges and universities we have enabled selected children to go to private schools and receive a far higher standard of education than they could expect to receive in the state system.

One young student who shows great promise will be completing his secondary education in a couple of years’ time. His mother is a widow who works part-time as a cleaner. The family could never have afforded to send the son to a good school and still struggle to afford basic necessities.

We believe this young man should have the opportunity to go to university. He could even benefit from studying in the UK (which is his heart’s desire) or the USA. His mother can contribute nothing to the cost and is anxious that her son may fail to fulfil his destiny because sufficient funds are not available. He is already being encouraged to consider where he would like to study and make preliminary enquiries.

Recently two people shared independently the promise of Jeremiah 29: 11 with the young student:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

We are convinced that El Shaddai, Jehovah Jireh, our all-sufficient, gracious provider will make available the resources for this young man to go on to university.

But we also believe that it is our responsibility to pray. “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4: 2).

Will you join us in believing prayer for this need? Please also pray for the young man himself and his mother and sister, that they too will trust in the goodness of God and not doubt His willingness or ability to provide.