Residents Help Out In Cambodia

Alameda residents Elaine Farge (left) and Marlene Getz took the Alameda Sun with them to Cambodia and Vietnam recently to participate in a multi-faceted mission trip planned by a non-profit called Cambodian Child’s Dream Organization (www.cambodianchildsdream.org).

Alameda residents Elaine Farge (left) and Marlene Getz took the Alameda Sun with them to Cambodia and Vietnam recently to participate in a multi-faceted mission trip planned by a non-profit called Cambodian Child’s Dream Organization (www.cambodianchildsdream.org).

The recent goal of CCDO was to sponsor a literacy mission.  Marlene worked to expand two pre-school programs and Elaine established an English library for students in rural schools outside Siem Reap, Cambodia.  In addition, 12 students from the Social Welfare Dept. of UC-Berkeley led a successful fund-raising effort to provide money for solar panels for one of the schools. 

Both Elaine and Marlene come from education backgrounds.  Marlene is a retired pre-school teacher, having worked in Berkeley for 30 years.  Elaine, after leaving teaching in North Carolina, has worked with educational publishers in northern CA.  The pre-school and library supplies and materials were taken to Cambodia in dozens of suitcases and duffle bags and came from donations from publishers and pharmacies.

The need in Cambodia is huge. Many families in rural areas that endured genocide during the Khmer Rouge era earn less than $2.00 per day and cannot afford to build water wells, nor have electricity or money to send their children to school.  Children need to supply their own uniforms and school supplies, both of which have been supported by CCDO.

CCDO was organized in New York and the Bay Area in 2003 to address these needs from a grassroots level.  Since that time, over 800 water wells and Tippy Taps have been provided for over 30,000 people.  Hygiene and clean village workshops instruct everyone on the importance of hand-washing using soap and running water.  

The January 2014 trip that Marlene and Elaine participated in was the first one organized around literacy.