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Poverty Alleviation Projects

April 30, 2008

Dear Friends:

Welcome to your April 2008 report for The $10 Club.

The modern history of Cambodia is one of great tragedy. During the Khmer Rougeís systematic decimation of the Cambodian people, children often were separated from their parents and put into labor camps. They were not educated and not taught even the most basic life skills. This left the country with a new generation of adults in deep poverty, lacking the fundamental knowledge about simple daily routines such as washing their hands, brushing their teeth, or understanding basic nutrition and healthcare. They donít understand AIDS prevention and birth control. They donít know why the water in their wells makes them ill or why many live with chronic diarrhea. And because of rampant illiteracy, sharing written information to educate them is fruitless.

But there is hope for the next generation.

The government charges for education and although itís a small amount Ė about five dollars per month, plus the cost of their uniform Ė most families still cannot afford schooling. Caring for Cambodia (CFC) believes that by educating one child at a time today, they can make a difference for Cambodiaís tomorrow. They currently operate five schools (four primary and one secondary) serving nearly 5,000 students in the Siem Reap province of Cambodia. The students come from some of the poorest villages in the country where most families survive on less than $1US per day.

CFC provides everything a child needs to succeed: transportation to school through a bicycle program, school supplies, uniforms (required in Cambodia), nutritious food, trained teachers, classrooms, and books. When these pieces are in place, each child can have the most positive, enriching, worthwhile educational experience possible.

The Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has put health, hygiene, and AIDS prevention into its curriculum at all levels. Unfortunately, they have not given their teachers all the tools necessary to impart this information to their students. The teachers often do not understand these basic issues enough themselves to teach them properly and completely.

Caring for Cambodia would like to teach health, hygiene and AIDS prevention to the students in schools at their age-appropriate levels. They have access to high quality, interactive DVDs on a variety of basic health and hygiene issues, which are produced in Khmer, so the target audience learns in their own language, increasing the likelihood that the message will be absorbed.

This month, 370 of us joined together to donate $3,700 to Caring for Cambodia to help disseminate these educational films. We will fund the acquisition of three portable DVD players, three extra batteries, three projection screens, three LCD projectors, and fifty blank DVDs. As a result of this project, health and hygiene information will be passed on to some 5,000 students, 85 staff members, and student siblings and adults in the community making our possible reach for this project more than 15,000 people. Thank you.

Because of our support, the organization will be able to start programs in all five schools simultaneously. They will show the videos in the classrooms using our portable DVD players; will load the videos onto the few computers in the schoolsí language labs (for those schools that have them); and will have volunteers who visit the schools work one-on-one with the students to further explain the issues involved.

The videos use an interactive format with simple, clear messages and incorporate basic questions about the specific life skill being taught. It works in a loop: information is given; a question is asked; the user answers the question using the arrows on the DVD player/remote. If answered correctly, the video continues with more information. If answered incorrectly, it loops back through the information and asks the question again.

In addition to helping the children, principals and school administrators will take the videos into the villages for adult viewing at festivals and community meetings. There is a significantly greater likelihood of reaching more people if the program is brought directly to them. While kids are taught about good health in school, parents donít always understand the importance of hygiene, so it doesnít always happen at home.

When children learn to take care of their health and hygiene they are ill less often and can attend school more regularly. They are less likely to get severely sick, including contracting life-threatening or life-taking illnesses. A little information, delivered the right way to the right people could make a world of difference and save lives. Thank you for making that happen this month for thousands of children and adults in Cambodia.

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,

Adam M. Roberts
Founder & President

PS. Thank you so much for your ongoing support!! Please make sure you spread the word about our good work together...

The $10 Club is a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia.
Contributions are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The $10 Club 2040 Tunlaw Rd., NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 337-3123 adam@thetendollarclub.org