Mondays are for dreaming: A school in Cambodia

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It occurs to me as I write this post that although I talk in great detail about the many places I take my children, I don’t often mention much about our home base. Despite the fact that I don’t write about it much, I try hard not to take it for granted that no matter where we roam, we have such a great place to come back to. Our house is comfortable and we have lovely neighbors – it is truly a pleasure to pull into our driveway after time away. Perhaps most importantly, both my kids attend fabulous schools that are just moments from our home – Teddy a Montessori preschool and Tommy a public charter elementary school with a strong liberal arts curriculum.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m thinking even more about the gratitude I feel for my children’s schools, for the abundance of books, music, art, and kind teachers in their academic lives. It’s true that traveling has taught my children many things, but it is also their schools have helped them to have open hearts and curious minds when we go adventuring. Their delight in maps, their keen interest in geography and history, their love of reading – all of these things make them a dream to travel with, and all of these things have been nurtured by their wonderful teachers.

So it is with a grateful heart today that I dream that children in a far away place can also learn to read and write in a safe, loving, and clean environment.

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I’ve never been to Cambodia, and don’t think I can therefore really describe it in a way that does it justice. Debbie Dubrow of Delicious Baby and Pam Manel of Nerd’s Eye View have both written moving posts that share some of the heartbreak that is to be found in a country suffering from both extremes of poverty and the after-effects of a repressive regime that did everything in its power to eradicate much of the culture. They both express a strong desire to help in a meaningful way.

And because they are travelers who are also humanitarians, they, along with Beth Whitman of Wanderlust and Lipstick and Michelle Duffy of Wandermom, have committed themselves to helping.

That’s where you come in dear readers.

You may remember that last year I, along with a number of other travel bloggers, participated in a program called Passports With Purpose, founded by the four energetic women I mention above. In about a month’s time we raised $7500 for Heifer International. This year we’ve upped the ante and are hoping to raise almost double that amount – $13,000 – to build a school in Cambodia. But we need your help.

Like last year, participating bloggers are each donating a prize valued at no less than $75. Every $10 that you donate gets you once chance toward the prize of your choice. And it’s up to you – you can donate $50 and split your chances among five different prizes or put all in one basket for the really killer prize of your choice. You can even make the donations in honor of a loved one (they make great holiday gifts!) Every donation receive will put us closer to that goal of $13,000 to build that school.

All funds go directly to American Assistance for Cambodia (AAfC), which is a non-profit 501(c)3 registered in the United States; this organization will oversee all aspects of building the school.

Here’s my tease: I’ve chosen the prize that I will be donating for the contest, but I’m not going to reveal it until next week’s Mondays are for Dreaming post. Since that’s the first day you can bid for prizes, I invite you to return and see if you’re interested in buying a ticket for my prize or would rather take your chances on one of the others (I promise not to be hurt if you don’t choose mine!). Since I’m going to invite all the participating bloggers to submit links to their own posts, you’ll hopefully be able to peruse some of the offerings here. You will also of course also be able to see them on the Passports With Purpose site, which is also where you’ll have the opportunity also to purchase tickets for the raffle.

I hope you’ll come back on November 30 to see the list of very, very cool products and getaways for which you can donate $10 for your chance to win. And I hope you’ll tell your friends, Tweet about it, and add it to your Facebook page. Mostly I hope that you’ll choose to make a donation and help make this Monday dream a reality.

What are you dreaming of on this Monday? Please feel free to share a link below, making sure you link directly to your post, not your site’s homepage and that you link back to this post. Questions? See About Monday Dreaming.

Black and white photo courtesy of  Ronn ashore via Flickr

Color photo courtesy of Flydime via Flickr

Reader Responses

6 fellow travelers had this to say

  1. Thanks Mara for the details of this fantastic program. I just found out about it last week and am excited to think of ways to contribute.
    .-= Lorraine´s last blog ..One Fine Day On The Golden Gate Bridge =-.

  2. Cambodia is as gut wrenching as it is beautiful.

    Passports with a purpose is a great idea and I too am happy to participate.

  3. How inspiring to see a group of bloggers ban together and use their power for a good cause!
    .-= Megan Regnerus´s last blog ..frat benders, fossilized hair and the morning routine =-.

  4. It makes you realize how lucky some children are compared to others. Thanks for the inspiring and informative post!
    .-= Sarah V.´s last blog ..Half a Day in Fredericksburg =-.

  5. I’m with Lorraine, just started thinking a couple of weeks ago about how I could contribute. Always here to support great ideas.

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