You can help the fundraiser through two means:
1. Make a separate donation by clicking the “Donate” button on this page.
2. Sign up to be a donor for a walk-a-thon participant. You will find donor request forms on through this link, where you will be able to pick a participant to donate to.
*Donations require payment through credit/debit card*
TASSEL (teaching and sharing skills to enrich lives) is a non-profit organization that focuses on changing the lives of rural Cambodians through English education; teaching job skills; providing food and medical aid; and sponsoring needy families.
The situation with poverty in Cambodia is not simply to do with people not having enough money - the issue is much deeper than simply that surface-level fact. Many of the current issues in rural Cambodia can be traced back to the days where the Khmer Rouge, an extremist authoritarian regime, wreaked havoc all over Cambodia across the 1970s, 1980s, and even up to the end of the 1990s. It is estimated that nearly two million unnatural deaths were caused directly by the Khmer Rouge, most of whom were of the educated class (90% of doctors and teachers were killed during this period). When a country's doctors and teachers are killed, that in essence kills the nation's whole health care and education systems. Of course, without a stable health care and education system, it becomes extremely difficult to progress as a country, and Cambodia has not quite been able to dig out of this deep, deep hole. In addition to all of this, many Cambodians to this day suffer from PTSD having lived through traumatic times with the Khmer Rouge leadership, corruption is widespread all throughout the public sector, and child labour is more of the norm rather than the exception. Even with all this said, though:
Now, the need for help is uniquely greater and more urgent than ever.
Ever since April 2019, Cambodia began to suffer from a severe drought, which decreased the number of fish available to fishermen by about 60%, and had a heavy negative effect on output for farmers too. Regardless of their occupation, most families' (ie. families of TASSEL students) food intake consists of the likes of fish, snails, tadpoles from the waters nearby, as well as edible plants and fruits from fields and forests. The drought has severely affected the supply of these foods severely, and note that these Cambodians were struggling to get hold of enough food even before the drought. The situation has only gotten worse.
Additionally, Cambodia has not been an exception to the COVID-19 pandemic that has shaken nations all over the world. Villagers are not allowed to leave their houses in most cases, which prevents a great number of families from going to work to earn for their families. Unemployment benefits do not exist in Cambodia, and thus families are left to either risk their lives and work (if that is even an option given businesses are closed), or stay at home, unfortunately without too much hope. Even though TASSEL had been providing aid for many of its families even before the crisis, an additional 13% of families who previously did not need aid, now are in desperate circumstances. 31% of students who had enrolled into the newest TASSEL school in Samlot (a village in Cambodia) are found to be short on food.
In these urgent times, TASSEL needs money in order to help continue to provide basic necessity goods to families that may not survive without it. Owing to this condition, TASSEL volunteers are putting together this fundraiser even though TASSEL's primary function (and thus the volunteers' main involvement) is in English education. TASSEL gives 100% of donations received to the people in need, and none of your money will go towards administrative fees in TASSEL (a small fraction of your donation is taken by the GoFundMe service in order to help sustain their platform). If you are able, please consider helping out the needy by donating to this fundraiser through one of the two means detailed at the top of this description.
Irrespective of how you choose to donate, how much you donate, or whether you are able to donate at all, we appreciate your support and generosity.
Please refer to tasselcambodia.org for more information regarding the TASSEL organisation.
(Picture Credits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnUnLzBb98U)