A group of our Club members are each walking 100 miles in May to raise £800 so that Chanta Savey, a 19-year-old Cambodian student, can pursue her dream of a university education.
Chanta lives in one of the villages around Siem Reap in Cambodia, supported by the Cambodian Community Dream Organization Cambodian Community Dream Organisation (CCDO), a charity making a huge difference to the lives of impoverished families through education and empowerment. On a visit to the CCDO in February, one of our members – Carole – spoke to village women who are turning their lives around and raising themselves up out of grinding poverty. She saw their children attending school and witnessed the pride, new-found confidence and sheer joy in the women’s faces as they described their achievements and future hopes.
She spoke of how moving and humbling it was, and she was also very impressed by the dedication and commitment of the all-Cambodian CCDO ground team. She wanted to help and SI Chester was immediately supportive. Women and girls’ education being a top priority for Soroptimists, we asked CCDO about sponsoring a young woman through higher education and they soon found a deserving candidate.
Chanta is a bright, promising high school student who desperately wants to go to university. This is completely out of her reach since her widowed mother’s only income to support the family is from selling mangoes at the market. Giving a girl like Chanta a university education will have a knock-on effect throughout her community. Not only will her future and that of her extended family be financially secure. The skills she learns will be passed on to others, she will be an inspiration to other young women and potentially open up new opportunities in education.
We will be carrying out a range of fundraising activities over the next few years, and the first activity is a walking challenge – a range of members, plus their friends and family members, have challenged themselves to each walk 100 miles in May. The participants range in the 50s, 60s and 70s, fitting in long walks around work and other commitments. We have set up a JustGiving Page and it would be wonderful if you could sponsor us, and help make Chanta’s dream a reality.