We give the poor a working chance and are addressing poverty holistically through the @buildacity project to break the poverty cycle
People for Care & Learning is a non-profit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization that cares for the poor by combining training with opportunities that give the poor a working chance toward a brighter future.
We have two mottos that we live by—“We inspire hope and empower potential” and “We give the poor a working chance.” We have many life giving efforts taking place both domestically and in SE Asia. Our major project this year is through our Build A City campaign. This is a project based in Andong, Cambodia. This village was displaced in 2006 and we have been working with them for the last 8 years. In July of 2011 our director was in Andong and was frustrated with slow progress of development and had the idea of building out the entire city. This would include 1500 homes, a market place, a school, a health clinic, a police station, a transformation/development center, proper sewage system, and much more. The goal is to attack the poverty cycle in a concentrated location. We hope that the next generation of residence in Andong will be able to break free from the poverty cycle as we help meet their most basic needs.
We hope to give the people of Andong, Cambodia a better life through practical, hands-on training and by providing them with a more proper settlement.
I won’t spend countless paragraphs rambling about the individual experiences, seeing as I have already done that in previous writings. However, a couple of experiences do need to be further expounded upon. The first of these was visiting the Hope Children’s Home in Phnom Penh. I know that I discussed it previously, but the weight that I felt slam into my chest the moment I saw those children was almost tangible. It was as though, in that moment, I suddenly saw need, brokenness, and poverty perfectly blended with pure, childlike joy….all in one place.
More than that, I knew that after seeing those children, I could no longer live my life ignorant to the fact that those children existed. Even now, as I soar through the air a million miles away, I am responsible for helping them-somehow. As humans, we forget this. We go, we visit, we see, we experience, we cry….and then we forget. I can’t forget, though…I won’t. I can’t dislodge those beautiful faces from my brain, nor can I forget the love that flowed through their tiny hands and arms as we played games and laughed. By meeting them, I will choose to become a part of the solution by choosing to act, or a part of the problem by continuing to ignore their existence as most of the world does.
The second experience that stands out from the trip was our visit to Andong. When Jake Stum showed me the video for the Build A City campaign, I knew that I was meant to go on the trip to Cambodia. The visit to Andong, during which I walked the same streets I had seen in the video, was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. This village lives in poverty that I can’t begin to describe, and that my pictures can’t begin to fully illustrate. Yet, just as with every place we visited, the people greeted us with smiles and even attempted to greet us with food. When I commented on this, it was explained to me that the village used to be a quiet, unfriendly place-especially toward Americans. What People for Care & Learning has been able to do, however, is to show the people the tangible, physical love of God. This organization is meeting the needs of the people in Andong-and all over Cambodia-and are therefore changing the culture forever.