Love Without Boundaries is a charitable foundation sponsored by Brother Rice Chicago alumni Mr. Paul Duggan. We are working through Love Without Boundaries to have each homeroom sponsor a child in their Believe in Me program.
Mother Teresa used to refer to the most marginalized, and most vulnerable in our world as “the poorest of the poor.” We have the ability to give some of the poorest children in the world the ability to rise out of poverty, and help provide a better life for children in small villages of Rangsei and Sokhem in Cambodia. Many of the children are often left alone while their parents are off finding work. By sponsoring a child in Ransei or Sokhem to go to school, we not only pay for the education, but give them a safe ride to school, and feed them lunch while there. For some of these children, the lunch we help provide for them may be the only meal they eat that day.
We have the ability to not only help a child’s present and future by giving them an education now, but we have the ability to change generations. With an education, many of these children will have the chance to better their lives and perhaps find better work when they grow up, due to their schooling. Then as grown-ups, they will in turn raise their own children to get and use their own education to better their own lives and the lives of those in their communities. This is the vision of Blessed Edmund Rice. Education is liberation and justice. Education will change generations.
This traditional education system in Cambodia was originally changed by the French occupation beginning in 1863 before their eventual withdrawal in 1953. The French left a more formal, western style education system which was later developed and combined with the traditional system to suit the Khmer people in the independence period circa 1960. The Khmer Rouge and the civil wars that followed in the 1970’s would prove to be the most infamous and horrific time in Cambodia’s history. During this time a functional and productive education system that was the result of hundreds of years of fine tuning was destroyed much like the rest of the country and its people. Pol Pot, the infamous leader of the Khmer Rouge, purposely murdered teachers and destroyed the schools in Cambodia. In the 1990’s the education system would be reconstructed from virtually zero and is gradually being developed and improved all the way up to the current day.
Cambodia is struggling to throw off the shackles of its past in education and in many others ways. Although education is theoretically free enrollment fees may vary inversely according to parents’ position is society and hence the poor are often still deprived of their rights. The young children we sponsor in Rangsei and Sokhem are among the poorest of the poor. We can give them the chance to rise out of poverty. There is still a considerable way to go, to catch up to the standards prevailing before the days of Khmer Rouge, but we believe our small efforts can go a long way.
We ask each homeroom to donate just one dollar per person to help sponsor just one student. That homeroom would then receive updates from the Love Without Boundaries organization about how that particular child is progressing in school. Each homeroom has picked the child they want to sponsor, then on one day a month we collect the money and give any updates. The Brother Rice Advocacy Club then made small posters that are up in every homeroom with a picture and a small description of the child they are sponsoring. The same posters are put up in the school’s cafeteria; that way, the children stay in the minds of our students. Brother Rice (Chicago) students, teachers, faculty, and staff have sponsored one year’s education for twenty eight children in the villages of Rangsei and Sokhem, Cambodia.