Sunflower's mission for 2020

Book publishing for Khmer children in Cambodia is successfully funded because of all of the support from our clients, friends and family.

Thank you very much from my heart!

Please click on the video below to hear more about this project.

When I was young I always wanted to read more books and to write, but I didn’t have the resources to do so. I didn't know one can learn to read before going to school. I wasn't aware we can educate ourselves through reading. In my culture parents rarely read to children to help develop their minds because they don't know.

I only discovered all of this after coming to the United States. I am so thankful for the opportunities I have in Bozeman, MT. One of them is having access to the Bozeman Public Library. We don’t have public libraries in the countryside of Cambodia. We don’t even learn how to read until we go to school. Then, I discovered at a young age that there were not many books to read at the library at my public school. The only books available to read were my textbooks for classes. Now, I feel joy just from walking in the library, looking at all of my choices. I can read about everything and it's free!

Bozeman Public Library inspired me to build libraries all over Cambodia. But wait... We need books first!

Thanks to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, I met two teachers, Karen and Jan Krieger (Jan no longer working at Liger), who work at The Liger Leadership Academy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. One Sunday evening I decided to email Karen about my dream and I also asked her for advice about where or how to start. She told me about Rithy's project and it's called Khmer Children’s Literature . Rithy is a student at the academy and a part of his senior year he has to lead a project that could impact on Cambodia's future.

From Rithy,

"I am Rithy and I’m a student from the Liger Leader Ship Academy. Liger Leadership Academy is an academy that provides a world-class education for promising Cambodian youth to develop their self-awareness and to become change agents for themselves, their families, and their country. To ensure the mission, the school provides a unique education with an innovative STEM and entrepreneurial curriculum, as well as instruction in leadership skills, which are learned through exploration projects, internship opportunities, and experiential-based learning.

As a part of my senior year at Liger, I am required to create/lead a project that could potentially create impact on Cambodia’s future. The project that I’m currently working on is called Khmer Children’s Literature. The mission of the project is to write a collection of 6 children’s stories, which are all related to the Academy’s Core Values -- Determination, Appreciation, Stewardship, Ingenuity, and Optimism -- and we are working to publish and distribute them to various public schools in Cambodia. We saw a need in Cambodia for more children’s literature, as the current options are limited and not widely accessible. We see the countless benefits of reading at a young age: it plays an important role in brain development, expanding vocabulary, practicing empathy, and becoming a critical thinker. The books are now finished and they are ready to publish.

As a step to initiate the project, we are now looking for collaborators who could assist us with securing funding, publishing these books, and distributing them widely around Cambodia. Furthermore, if the fund is sufficient, we will distribute our books to various international countries around the world so that more children could get exposed to the Academy’s six-core-values: Determination, Appreciation, Stewardship, Ingenuity, and Optimism."

For this 2020 and my 30th Birthday I want to assist these children to publish their books, and then distribute them all over public schools in Cambodia. Books written by Cambodians for Cambodians! I hope that in the future we can even build public libraries so everyone has access to these books and more.

Warm Regards, Sreyroth Phon

#education #books #children #criticalthinking #literacy #dream #imagination

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