Volunteering in Cambodia

Beginning in January 2015, the boys and I will be spending 5 months in Cambodia helping students at the Leadership Academy in Phnom Penh develop a English as Second language school called the “English Zone”. The revenue from the business will pay for the education of these rural high school and college students in Phnom Penh.
The organization I will be working with is called Sustainable Schools, Inc. http://www.sustainableschoolsinternational.org/
My friend, Kari Grossman, has been working with rural communities in Cambodia to support and develop their primary schools since they receive very little assistance from the government.  SSI now is educating 34 of the brightest high school and college students from these communities in Phnom Penh in their "Leadership Academy" program.  The challenge has been to find ways to pay for the poor, rural students secondary and higher education.  The solution is to have the rural students develop and run a business called the English Zone that will provide the revenue necessary so that continual fund raising is not needed.

I am uniquely qualified to help develop part of the curriculum for the English Zone as I've worked with many international clients to improve their speech and language skills.  My speech/language pathology students at Oklahoma State University are also excited to have the opportunity to be "conversation partners" via Skype with the students in Cambodia.  My students will improve not only the Cambodian students' English skills, but they will gain experience as clinicians and a wider world view.

I need help in several ways:
1.  Assistance in spreading the word about the Leadership Academy current fundraising drive. “Crowd-funding” is needed to help pay for the Leadership Academy Cambodian students’ education and housing for the next year. We hope by establishing the English Zone business that less outside dollars will be needed in the future. Right now, outside funding is crucial to pay for their needs as well as support my family for the 5 months we will be there. All donations to the Leadership Academy drive will be tax deductable.  Please check out the site and share it with your facebook and e-mail contacts: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/leadership-academy-for-rural-cambodian-youth

2) While I will be paid some by SSI to provide for food and transportation in Cambodia , the organization does not have extra money to pay for the boy's education in an International School while we are there.  To my surprise, it is anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 to enroll the boys for a semester.  I'm asking for help educating my own sons during the 5 months we are there. (Brian - 7th grade - born in Cambodia; Jonathan - 3rd grade - born in Guatemala).  To donate to that fund, use the donate button above. 

3) Native English speaking volunteer (you) interested in becoming trained  “conversation partners” that can interact with the Cambodian students via Skype one or more times weekly.

This is a picture I took of Angkor Wat at dawn.  Brian and I had a wonderful time visiting his birth country several years ago.  Cambodia is also waking up to a new day in its history and needs our help to develop the leaders of tomorrow.

Thank you.
Donita Tefft
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Donita Tefft 
Stillwater, OK
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