Coins for Cambodia
Human and Hope Association in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is a unique NGO in that they are entirely run by locals. Over the past few years, with the assistance of former Rotaractor/Rotarian, Sally Hetherington, they have been building up their grassroots organisation into one which focuses on alleviating poverty through training and education.
Human and Hope Association is headed by Thai San, a 24-year-old Cambodian who graduated high school just two and a half years ago. He is a founding member who went from volunteer part-time English teaching, to being a community liaison to being promoted to Director in 2015.
Thai says, “By working as a director at HHA, I gained a lot of knowledge and skills through training and working which I have no worry about my future anymore. I also understand that the responsibilities to develop our community is the local staff.”
It costs approximately $5,300AUD to run Human and Hope Association each month, providing more than 150 villagers with sewing, English, preschool, Khmer and art classes, access to their library, microfinance loans, a family farm program, community workshops and university scholarships. To help the team at Human and Hope Association fund these crucial costs, Rotaract Australia Marketing and PR Director, Holstein Wong, is advocating a campaign called ‘Coins for Cambodia’. Individuals and clubs can sign up at http://www.humanandhopeassociation.org/coins-for-cambodia/ and download a tin cover. They can then make their own money tin using recycled milk cartons, shoeboxes, bottles or cans and start saving their loose change.
To put things in perspective, here is what your loose change can achieve:
- 5 cents – Print a community announcement
- 10 cents – A pencil for an opportunity scholarship
- 20 cents – A paintbrush for art class
- 50 cents – Provide a villager with a toothbrush after partaking in hygiene workshops
- $1 – A kilogram of rice and vegetables for a sewing student stipend
- $2 – A packet of seeds for participants in the family farm program
This is a great project for Rotaract Clubs to take on, and there are handicraft packs available for the highest individual and club fundraisers. The loose change challenge officially begins on June 1st, however you can register and start saving now!
“Although it is small amount of money but it really does make a BIG difference to our community because our villagers will gain a good knowledge and skills, resulting in them moving out of the poverty bracket.” – Thai San