Hel, a Cambodian man from a rural village, used to run with a disreputable crowd. Back then, he worked mostly in secret under the cover of night. But all that changed in 2014 when he attended a Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation health education and literacy (HEAL) training project with a bunch of his buddies.
When Hel was growing up, the school near his home only offered classes through sixth grade. Because of this, he never had the opportunity to attend high school. But the new information he suddenly learned about health and sanitation through the HEAL project felt exciting to him. He believed the new information was vital for the future welfare of his village, and it completely changed his perspective on life. He soon decided to earn his living in a completely different way and began working for local NGO’s toiling to improve his own community and increase the level of child literacy.
After several years of steady service for his community, Hel is now 38 years old and serves his village as the Sunday pastor. No longer wanting to conceal his activities under cover of night, he now farms cassava during the day to support his wife and three children. It’s amazing to see how one educational opportunity can transform the trajectory of someone’s life for the better!
We’re thankful for Hel, his heart for service, and all that he’s doing to empower his own village community in Cambodia. And we’re thankful for you and your generous gifts to the HEAL program! HEAL project participants develop awareness and receive training to serve as health advocates in their own communities. The HEAL program also provides needed infrastructure, such as water filters and water wells, along with hygiene education for the whole community.
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This story was written by Kanhchana, Director CWEF Cambodia, with April Chiasson, Communications Manager.