Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Saving children from Cambodia's trash heap

If we could all be as bold and courageous as Noun. To turn an emotional response into action is very admirable indeed. Here's a bit of her story.

Walking down a street in Cambodia's capital city, Phymean Noun finished her lunch and tossed her chicken bones into the trash. Seconds later, she watched in horror as several children fought to reclaim her discarded food.

Noun stopped to talk with them. After hearing their stories of hardship, she knew she couldn't ignore their plight.

"I must do something to help these children get an education," she recalls thinking. "Even though they don't have money and live on the sidewalk, they deserve to go to school."

Six years after that incident, Noun is helping many of Phnom Penh's poorest children do just that.

Within weeks, she quit her job and started an organization to give underprivileged children an education. Noun spent $30,000 of her own money to get her first school off the ground.

It is no easy task. Hundreds of them risk their lives every day working to support themselves and their families.

"I have seen a lot of kids killed by the garbage trucks," she recalls. Children as young as 7 scavenge hours at a time for recyclable materials. They make cents a day selling cans, metals and plastic bags.

Noun recruits the children at the dump to attend her organization because, she says, "I don't want them to continue picking trash and living in the dump. I want them to have an opportunity to learn."

Read the rest of Noun's story here.

Or, visit the People Improvement Organization website to see how you can get involved.

What stirs your soul?

What gets your fire burning?

Act on it!

1 comment:

  1. Wow; what a sobering a touching testimony of what one person can do, if they only will.
    Sad sad.