Over 150 high school students from Ho Chi Minh City will travel to Siem Reap, Cambodia to teach English, ICT, Arts & Crafts, Science, and PE in local primary schools as part of a global outreach program known as Volunteer Cambodia.

Cambodia Angkor Air is the official sponsor. The students of the American International School, HCMC are the lead organizers of the annual goodwill event. The idea came from the 2011 Japanese drama film, We Can’t Change the World But We Wanna Build a School in Cambodia, which documents a group of university students trying to help a rural farming community rise above the poverty line.

Students recognize the importance of helping young people change their lives through education. Donations of school supplies will be provided to the Porbonteay Chey Primary School and local community. The program seeks to enrich the quality of education and improve the standard of living of Cambodian people.

Volunteer Cambodia began as a simple effort to do something positive in the global community. In the planning stages, the students realized the stark contrast between their privileged lives and the abject poverty of their peers in neighbouring Cambodia. Students felt the need to address the unfairness, and make a significant change in the lives of others. Sending shoes, clothes and books just wasn’t enough. The goodwill effort evolved into a meaningful humanitarian project with an active social conscience and commitment to help one small corner of the world. The program mantra soon shifted to empowering young Cambodians to change their condition and one day become self sufficient by giving them a proper education. A mission for young people, by young people.

The Vice Principal inspired the students with a heart wrenching story about an 83-year old long term care resident who survived the Khmer Rouge regime. This struck a chord with the Student Organizing Committee. Students appreciate that they cannot change the world overnight. However, they can help a community change for the better, one project at a time.

For more information or to get involved in Volunteer Cambodia, please contact Mr. James Joubert, Vice Principal of the American International School, HCMC at james.joubert@ais.edu.vn.