Monday, October 10, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

We hope all is well with you as many of you gather together with family and friends to appreciate what we are grateful for in our lives.

 We recently received an email and photos from our friend and Smart Kids project manager Hak. Six years ago we started this program, which sponsors elementary school children living in poverty and working in brick factories to get an education. We now have 33 students in this program.

Original Sponsored Students
The first eight of those kids has recently moved to the city of Siem Reap where they will go to school for their last year of high school. K.I.D.S. helped to create a dormitory and classroom on the top floor of Hak's house and Hak, his wife and two small children have welcomed them into their home, an admirable act of generosity.

The students are living 3 to a room 3 to a bed but they are thrilled at the chance to further their education. We decided to move them to the city to give them access to better schools and more exposure to english, with the hope that once they graduate they can get jobs and help themselves and their families break the cycle of poverty. They are a very committed, hard working group of young adults and have taken full advantage of the opportunity to receive an education.

Being Thanksgiving we wanted to give thanks to our terrific and supportive community of donors, foundations and friends of K.I.D.S. It is hard to put into words how the amazing gift of an education, that you have brought to these first eight Smart Kids as well as the other 25 who are still studying in their rural village, has changed their lives for the better. The families, although sorry to see them leave, are proud and hopeful that they can have a better life and not spend the rest of their lives working in brick factories for next to nothing.
Below is a message from Leakena, one of the girls:
"Hello, I am Leakhena. I am fine. How are you? Thank you for your support. I want your hope for me to become true. I must study harder than before. Now I have good feeling and I have enough time to study. because I don't have to work. I will get a lot of experiences. For moving to study in Siem Reap it makes me to know a lot of situation for living and study. I also can share my knowledge with each other. My listening and speaking are better than before. And I also can share my love to you and others that help me. I am very happy. Thank you for everything. I wish you have a good health and good luck every time."
 As Confucius said:
 If your plan is for 1 year, plant rice.
If your plan is for 10 years, plant trees.
If your plan is for 100 years, educate children.

With Gratitude and Best Wishes,
Adrianne and Rick