Step Up

Over the last year, a group of dedicated LKYSPP students and I have been carrying out fundraising events to promote educational development in rural Cambodia. We have been working with two non-governmental organizations – the Phnom Penh-based Supplementary Teaching Education Program (STEP) and the Seattle-based Construction for Change (CfC) – to help build a kindergarten in Meanchey district, Lveatay, Cambodia.

Our March 2010 “Party For A Cause” was a St. Patrick’s Day-themed fundraising event that featured traditional Irish festivities, such as music, singing, and dancing. Approximately a hundred guests dressed in green showed up to show their support, including LKYSPP and NUS Law students and other guests. Sponsors such as the Multi-Purpose Hall, Certain Cellars, Cookies and Cream Hair Salon, and Starbucks also contributed to the cause by donating the venue as well as gift certificates and in-kind gifts that were raffled off at the party. The night ended with a dance party and the announcement of the costume contest winners (the Statue of Liberty, the Mad Hatter, a Leprechaun, and the Hulk) and our raffle ticket winners. We feel the event was highly successful as we raised S$1,451 that night, which brought us to S$2,500 total.

This donation, among many other generous contributions (US$30,000 and counting), has helped to make the completion of the Lveatay Kindergarten possible. Construction is planned for summer of 2010 and will be finished by yearend. At present, there is a makeshift shelter where two classrooms of fifty children each are cramped together; there are no other kindergarten options in the Meanchey district. With the new structure, the number of children enrolled in kindergarten will rise from approximately eighty to up to two hundred. A third teacher will be added to the program. Demand is expected to exceed available space, with a total district-wide population of children between the ages of 5 and 6 at approximately 5,000.

I would like to thank all of our guests, our sponsors and everyone who made the “Party for a Cause” series possible. We would not have accomplished this without you.

— by Shelby Port (SIPA-LKYSPP Double Degree 09/10)

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