Part Two - From Scholar to Success: Continuing the Vision of Community Development

Part Two - From Scholar to Success: Continuing the Vision of Community Development

By
Jeanne Crump
Staff Cambodia

Keun recently graduated from the Leadership Academy with a BA in TESOL and now teaches English at the Academy five nights a week. But Keun’s ambitions extend far beyond this; between volunteer teaching at the local Chinese temple where a dozen of his cousins live, he is also working toward his goal of educating those in his village of Sre Chrab by organizing supplemental reading and writing classes seven days a week. He trained two of his cousins to teach literacy and math classes, taught in both Khmer and English, and raised money from villagers to provide them with small stipends. He built wooden tables and benches for the students to sit at. He even uses part of his modest SSI salary to purchase basic supplies for the makeshift classroom.   

The start of Keun's supplemental learning center in rural Cambodia
“Children in my village often cannot read or write, even going into the 5th or 6th grade,” Keun explained. 

Very low literacy rates is a pervasive problem in rural Cambodia due to teacher absenteeism and lack of quality instruction.

Growing up, Keun faced extreme poverty and when he wanted to attend school, had to walk several miles alone to do so. Some days the river waters were too high to cross, so he returned home. Keun’s lack of access to education instilled in him the desire to improve the public education system by encouraging community members to take action and by offering quality education to those in his village.

“By getting a scholarship with SSI, I have been able to pursue my dream of having my own learning center in my community so I can help give others the opportunity to access education. I also learned a lot about leadership when I was President of the Rotaract Club at the Leadership Academy.” 

Keun is determined, selfless, and inspiring. He is a true change-maker and leader. His dedication to improve his community and the lives of others through education is apparent in his everyday actions.

Through your support, you not only helped educate Keun, but are now helping educate an entire village.

"What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it." ~C.S. Lewis

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