This is a guest post written by KEF Volunteer, Amgad.
For the past 3 years, I have assisted in establishing a relationship between Kapadia Education Foundation (KEF) and Cambodian Organization for Research and Development in Education (CORDE) to support students enrolled in University for Education and Development (UniED). UniED is located in Battambang, Cambodia, and is operated under the umbrella of CORDE, a non-government organization (NGO)--a partner organization to KEF. CORDE’s mandate is to educate Cambodian and other rural Asian youth to become resource people for development when they return to their home villages. The program of study includes education, agriculture, health, and social service.
A few weeks ago, I observed the remarkable spirit that exists in young people currently studying at UniED.
A few weeks ago, I observed the remarkable spirit that exists in young people currently studying at UniED. This past rainy season brought unexpected torrential rains that devastated many parts of the country. Over 30,000 hectares of rice fields were lost and thousands of families had to flee their homes to survive. Many could only seek higher ground on the rural roadways. Many families from villages around Battambang city were without food, shelter, or clean drinking water. I was present at a gathering of many of the UniED students one evening during these challenging times. I listened to them discuss ideas about how to spend the next few days off due to a holiday, where their classes (albeit via Zoom) would be suspended. Again, the majority of these youth who are here studying at UniED in Battambang, are from other areas and other countries. The non-Cambodian students have not seen their families in over a year due to the pandemic and taking a few days off to unwind and have some fun with their friends would have been an expected and accepted activity. I was humbled to hear them, without adult intervention or prompting, choose to take this time off to go to these nearby villages to fill bags with dirt to dam the washed-out roads, take clothes for the stranded families, and bring some hope to those displaced by the heavy rains.
[The KEF Scholars chose] to take this time off to go to these nearby villages to fill bags with dirt to dam the washed-out roads, take clothes for the stranded families, and bring some hope to those displaced by the heavy rains.
As a senior and retired educator, my heart is cheered by the spirit of young people who continuously inspire their communities and reject society’s negative judgment of this generation, by their selfless actions.
Kapadia Education Foundation has for years been working, raising funds to support students in developing countries to study and share the benefit of their education with others. “Pay it Forward” has been their mantra. During these extraordinary global times with COVID-19 casting a dark shadow, here is a glowing example of who KEF has supported to benefit communities and our world.