April Chiasson

No More Night

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 HEAL (“Health Education, Advocacy & Literacy”) training session facilitated by Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation.

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 training 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 participants develop awareness and receive training to serve as health advocates in their own communities. The HEAL program also provides needed community infrastructure, such as water filters and water wells, along with hygiene education for the whole community.

Receive more updates about your donation impact by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

Help change more lives like Hel’s by donating to CWEF programs here.

This story was written by Kanhchana, Director of CWEF Cambodia, with support from April Chiasson, Communications Manager.

No More Night Read More »

Let Love Spill Over

Hello everyone! My name is Qiu Qiu.

Thanks to Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation, I was able to finish high school and meet a lot of caring people. These people have shown me that there is no lack of love in this world and that love is always around us!

Among the many caring people I met, the one who impressed me the most was Dolphin, CWEF Program Director for scholarship recipients in Guangdong at that time. Dolphin was like a bright light for my heart, showing me the way. She was like a big sister who always encouraged me and the other students and helped us solve our problems. When I was in college, I learned that Dolphin was a social worker. So I vowed in my heart that I want to become a person like Dolphin and help more people. But although this dream is very beautiful, it is very hard to achieve.

In the end, because of my college entrance examination scores, I chose a university that did not have a social work major and ended up applying for the English major. I wanted to speak English fluently like Dolphin. But things didn’t turn out like I hoped. The year that I applied for the English major entry was very competitive, and I was not accepted.

I was down for a long time knowing that I would become a teacher instead rather than a person like Dolphin. I didn’t know if I had what it took to become a teacher. But Dolphin told me once, “Haiyan will be a loving and energetic teacher. I believe the students will like you very much!” After she said this, I was so happy. Because of Dolphin’s encouragement, deep inside I was sure that I would become a loving, energetic and popular teacher someday. It was Dolphin’s affirmation that gave me direction for my future.

Sadly, these days I rarely participate in charity activities. This is because of the nature of my work and the travelling distance. Although I can’t participate in charity activities like I did with Dolphin in college, I have slowly realized that my love has still never stopped spreading. This is because I am focused on my work as a teacher.

Now my goal is to educate my students well, cultivate their good habits as well as their love for others from childhood.

Now my goal is to educate my students well, cultivate their good habits as well as their love for others from childhood. I can help them to grow up in a loving environment, and then they will have the ability to help more people in need. Let love spill over; let love warm the earth; let love flow forever!

—–

Thank you for your generous giving to Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation scholarship fund for Chinese girls!  Because of you, young women like Qiu Qiu have received the love and support they need to achieve greater heights! And more than receiving an education, these young women also learn the beauty and power of love and are giving back to their communities.

Read more about the impact of your giving here on our blog!

See more videos and snapshots of the work you make possible by following us on Facebook!

*This letter was originally written by Qiu Qiu in Mandarin. It was translated via software into English and then edited by April Chiasson, CWEF Communications Manager.

Let Love Spill Over Read More »

a recent photo of a young Cambodian scholarship recipient, Ruth

It Was Just Like a Dream

“There’s no use studying. Your family will never make it out of these rice fields. But if you go study in the city, be careful not to come back pregnant.”

Ruth, a young Cambodian girl, heard these words from her neighbors more than once. They pierced her heart every time. But she is strong. “I am going to prove them wrong,” Ruth said, believing that God would provide a way. 

Ruth was born on an island without enough teachers. To get a better education, her parents sent her far away to live with her grandparents and three of her uncles, who often drank too much. Through tears, Ruth still recalls nights when her intoxicated uncles did things like smash through their household door with an axe.

Grabbing a bite to eat

Ruth’s father works in farming and construction as well as selling fish, snails, and frogs. Still, resources were few. “I didn’t have books to read,” Ruth admitted, “or enough study materials for my schoolwork…” 

But eventually, through your generous donations to Concordia Welfare & Education Foundation, Ruth received a scholarship to attend university in Phnom Penh, and her life completely changed: 

Ruth teaching other students

“Honestly, it was just like a dream…” she said. “I could get away from the cursing voice of my uncle. It is just like freedom and peace. Now I can go to university and live in a beautiful dorm. God is so amazing.” 

Ruth studies and serves God diligently. In the past, she taught free classes for children and served at her church. Today she plans to major in biological engineering and hopes to inspire her community with farming technology to raise livestock and produce healthy canned foods. In the future, she hopes these agricultural initiatives will support higher education for children in her community. 

Thank you for your generous giving! You are an integral part in breaking the cycle of poverty and helping students like Ruth experience a brighter future! 

Learn more about your impact through CWEF!  Read Phanna’s story.

Connect with a community that’s passionate about supporting young scholars like Ruth!  Follow us on Facebook: @cwefhk

—————-

Article written by Panhary Port Puth (Cambodia Education Programs Director) with April Chiasson (CWEF Communications Manager)

It Was Just Like a Dream Read More »

Scroll to Top