25 September 2008


.If you are interested - here, here and here are some of my past correspondences with Savong.

"There's a piece of advice that says if you want to help somebody in your own country, give time. If you want to help somebody in another country, then give money."

Here is another compelling story about someone who helped Savong achieve his dreams.

My name is Duncan Stuart, I live in Auckland New Zealand. My own involvement with the school began in late 2004 after a visit to Angkor Wat. I met Savong when he was running a small school at his father's house, near Siem Reap town. He asked if I'd volunteer teach for a few afternoons, and during that week we became friends, and I learned of his dream to open up a school further out in the countryside where children are less advantaged. (And I thought these town kids looked less advantaged!) It was a moment in my life when I thought, well, why not help?

That photo of Savong on the boat was taken the afternoon he told me about his plans – and I think it sums up his gentle way of thinking about the future, literally looking at the horizon.

Three other supporters were also contributing to Savong. Yoshikazu and Makoto in Japan, as well as a guy from San Francisco – Malcolm – and between us, and from other New Zealand supporters too, we helped Savong take the current school from being a dream to becoming a reality. Yoshikazu and Makoto were quite inspiring.
What appealed to me was the fundamental simplicity of the story here. Local children are going to enter working age without many prospects. Languages will give them an opportunity to get work in the burgeoning tourist industry. Education, as always, can help give people a future.

When Savong first told me of his plans, my immediate reference point was Ed Hillary, who really set us a great example. For a middle aged Kiwi guy like me, the idea of helping build schools in less advantaged countries is just something we've grown up with – a practical thing we can help do.

At all stages of the project, Savong sent progress photos and emails and there has never been any doubt that this has been a worthwhile project on a personal level. Visiting the school in March 2006 was one of the best moments in my life.

.Secretly, i hope Savong wouldnt trump Angkor Wat. That will really be something.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

My Adventures Underwater and On Land Copyright © 2009 Cookiez is Designed by Ipietoon