Learning English is Pathway Out of Poverty for Village Children
Aviation is a big part of the humanitarian work that we do, but not every effort involves an airplane. This is the case in Cambodia, where we support an education program for students from middle school all the way through college.
In Cambodia, knowing how to speak English is the key to social and economic mobility. Unfortunately, Cambodia ranks last of all Asian countries in English language proficiency. Our program focuses on teaching middle school students from poor, rural villages English and computer skills. The students, currently about 600, meet one hour every day after school. Then we train a select group of 8th graders to be volunteer teachers in high school. After four years of teaching English to the younger students, we reward these student volunteers with scholarships to attend university. All of the university students work full time while attending classes.
Our director of development, Laura Helling, recently traveled to Cambodia to meet with our partners at John Givonetti Giving and talk with students in the program. Laura was particularly impressed with the students’ work ethic.
“These students commit themselves entirely to getting an education,” says Laura. “They get to school early, stay late and work hard. They understand education is the most powerful tool they have to lift themselves out of poverty.”