Cambodia, February 14, 2023
On February 14, the new boarding school was inaugurated in the presence of the Governor of Ratanakiri Province, His Excellency Chum Reab Suort, the local authorities, the President of the Future Light Organization Nuong So Thero and the Board Members Yit Virasy and Keo Phannarin kleine herzen built in 2022 at the center of the Future Light Organization in Ban Lung, in the Ratanakiri region.
This project would not have been possible without the trust and financial support of Merck Family Foundation, the professional project management of our trustworthy partner Future Light Organization and the support of the regional government of Ratanakiri cannot be realized.
The dream of my good friend Nuong So Thero, the chairman of the Future Light Organization, and I became a reality: the opportunity to give birth to 80 of our children from ethnic minorities(1)living in Ratanakiri Province to go to school, learn their language and history, and prepare them to study, learn a trade, lead a decent and happy life, and eventually fully integrate into Cambodian society.
The children not only receive an education, but also learn to understand life in their culture, their society and the world.
And above all, the children are loved, respected and well cared for by the Future Light Organization.
This project would be without a woman Nuong Phaly, the mother of Nuong So Thero, who dedicated her life to helping the poorest of the poor and founded this center, never been possible.
Finally, I dedicate this project to my Cambodian daughter Sotheary, who spent the first two years of her life at the Future Light Organization center in Phnom Penh. Without them this project could not have existed.
(1) Ratanakiri Province is located in northeastern Cambodia and borders Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east, Mondulkiri to the south and Stung Treng to the west. Elephants, waterfalls and the jungle make Ratanakiri one of the most popular provinces in Northeast Cambodia. Twelve ethnic minorities live in Ratanakiri.
The ethnic minority tribes in Ratanakiri have lived mainly in scattered mountain villages for generations and are ruled by tribal chiefs. These "indigenous peoples" of Cambodia have retained their own language and customs. They go to the only major town in the region, Banlung, to sell their meager crops of vegetables, wild fruits and the products of their hunt.