Bringing Hope to Cambodia
August 19, 2014 - 3:20pm
“The partnership between The King’s College and Asian Hope is powerful. Asian Hope invests in Cambodians who are born into abject poverty, and therefore are not given the opportunity for a better life."
Veassna Sang grew up in Cambodia. His parents divorced and abandoned him, leaving him in the care of his grandparents—who loved and cherished him, but didn’t have the resources to raise a child. They visited many orphanages in order to find one that would be able to provide for Veassna and protect him, but all of the orphanages were full.
Finally, in 1999, Veassna’s grandparents heard about Asian Hope, and Veassna was taken to live in the children’s home.
The King’s College mission is to “transform society by preparing students for careers in which they help to shape and eventually to lead strategic public and private institutions.” King’s alumni are doing just that by using their educations to make a difference on a global scale and help those who are less fortunate.
King’s alum Jordan Fischer began working at Asian Hope in 2006 and now serves as Vice President of U.S. Operations. Asian Hope is an organization founded in 1999 that helps to educate and raise at-risk Cambodian children.
"A lasting difference requires the ability to see the problem for what it is. King's taught me the skill of thinking and the importance of leading,” said Jordan Fischer. “Understanding reality, the root of a problem, takes a lot of critical thinking and courageous leadership. My own King's education equipped me to tackle some of the greatest challenges in our world."
Much of Cambodia’s population is chronically impoverished, a very low percentage of Cambodia’s budget is directed towards education, and the country has shown little-to-no attempt at combatting the huge problem of human trafficking within its borders. Asian Hope seeks to help with these problems by giving children a quality education from a Biblical worldview that will allow them to rise above poverty and empower them to fight against societal problems like trafficking.
Asian Hope helps students of all ages to receive education—from catch-up schools and outreach programs to formal schools and higher education programs. Asian Hope understands that it is crucial to build roots within a community and empower people through education, rather than trying to fix poverty through mere handouts.
“We want to see generational change and that's not easy. In order to create sustainability you have to empower locals to lead,” said Jordan Fischer.
A key element of Asian Hope’s mission is the idea that education is prevention for poverty, human trafficking, and other societal hardships. By providing education, Asian Hope is empowering students to eventually become leaders who will change their society for the better.
The mission of The King’s College is closely aligned with that of Asian Hope, as King’s, too, hopes to educate students who will become influential leaders. In fact, through Asian Hope’s college program, two Cambodian students have come to earn their degrees at King’s in NYC. King’s provides free tuition to these students, understanding the vital importance of their education to their society and the world.
King’s provides a Christian, liberal arts education, based on the truths of the Bible and a Christian worldview, and seeks to equip students to become leaders who can shape society. The students from Cambodia who currently study at King’s make a commitment to return to their home country once they have earned their degrees to make a difference. King’s, working with Asian Hope, is equipping these students to make a real difference when they return.
David Leedy, Dean of Students, explains the partnership between King’s and Asian Hope, “The partnership between The King’s College and Asian Hope is powerful. Asian Hope invests in Cambodians who are born into abject poverty, and therefore are not given the opportunity for a better life. They provide these kids with the best education available in Cambodia, introduce them to the Christian faith, and build into the family and community. Then they send the best and brightest to places like King’s to be equipped to transform Cambodian society. King’s provides free tuition for Asian Hope students, which makes attendance possible. This is a strategic investment in these students, and in the future of Cambodia.”
Veassna is one such student. Through Asian Hope, Veassna was able to learn English, graduate from Logos International School (a school founded and operated by Asian Hope that is one of Cambodia’s finest international schools), and, now, attend King’s in NYC. However, Asian Hope has done far more than this for Veassna.
He explains, “Besides providing for my physical needs, Asian Hope introduced and shared the love and truth of Jesus Christ in my life. It was through the grace and mercy of Christ that all the other orphanages were full and that I was able to be taken in by Asian Hope.”
After he graduates from King’s, Veassna plans to return to Cambodia, where he hopes to work for a prominent NGO. Says Veassna, “I want give back what I learn to help the people of Cambodia. It is my heart’s desire to help bring justice and provide voices for the people of Cambodia. I believe Christ has empowered me with the education and ability to do so.”
Jon and Rachel Lechliter, also King’s alumni, are the founders of Conscious, a magazine that seeks to raise awareness of worthy causes and organizations. Asian Hope was recently featured in Conscious Magazine’s Los Angeles / Issue 02 edition. Read the article to learn more about Asian Hope when you pick up your copy in digital or print at consciousmagazine.co, where you can also subscribe to the publication to learn about other organizations that truly help those in need.
King’s and Asian Hope seek to empower students through education to make a difference—much in the way that alums Jordan Fischer and Jon and Rachel Lechliter are using their education to make a difference for the less-privileged. Says Dean Leedy, “I am so proud of alumni like Jordan Fischer and Jon and Rachel Lechliter. They’re using their King’s education to make our world better for ‘the least of these.’”
In the heart of New York City, The King's College is an accredited, Christian liberal arts college. Through the truths of Christianity and great works in politics, philosophy, and economics, we are educating the next generation of principled leaders for America.