We started traveling at a very young age with our parents, and have been to five continents.After visiting many countries all over the world including many in South America and Southeast Asia, we feel grateful to be living in the Unites States.
In the summer of 2006, we decided to visit Cambodia.Prior to the trip, we researched the local culture and living standards to have a better sense of life there. We learned that many Cambodian kids lacked even the basic necessities such as clothing, shoes, and school supplies, much less an adequate education from schools.We decided to start World Love Organization to raise funds and help those poor children.Using our savings and small contributions from friends and family members, we bought school supplies, clothes, and even stuffed animals. The donations we collected in our community to filled several cardboard boxes and we took them to Cambodia.With the help of a local guide, we visited and dispensed those supplies to school children in schools, orphanages and villages.
Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia between Thailand and Vietnam, and with an annual per capita income of US $1700 it is relatively poor compared to its neighboring countries.Many poor families live on the banks of the Tonle Sap Lake in small wooden structures just above the water level.They have to relocate when the water level rises during the monsoon in the summer, causing the Mekong to flood.It is not uncommon to see young children floating in bath tubs in the lake and begging tourists for money.
An elementary school we visited is situated on the lake.The school had several classrooms with no electricity.It was dark inside the rooms, but the children were in good spirits and reading out loud.Interestingly, the children and the teachers wore no shoes; they were polite to us and thankful for the school supplies we brought.
The Angkor Wat in Cambodia is one of the Seven Wonders of the world.It attracts a large number of tourists year-round.Everywhere we went, children were selling local goods to make a living.However, you need to go into the rural areas to see the real poverty.After years of wars, many parts of the country are still laden with landmines, and beggars with lost limbs or eyes could be seen everywhere.Many homes in Cambodia are small and simply covered with coconut tree leaves that are 7 – 8 feet above the ground, which provides shelter for families with up to ten members.
The classrooms at Roluos Ruins had no electricity, windows or doors. It caused us great distress to watch those children reading out loud in the dark rooms…We also toured an orphanage where the children learned to carve and paint.Cambodia is a Buddhist country; people are mild in temperament and polite.The school children expressed their gratitude by putting their palms together in front of their chests.
This trip elicited deep thoughts within us.On our way back to the United States, we thought about how lucky we are to be living in America and enjoying all the modern conveniences.We couldn’t travel to Cambodia every year. Yet, there are so many children in many parts of the world who are struggling to survive without even the basics. To continue to give not only to Cambodian people, but to anyone in need, we formally founded World Love Organization.
WLO doesn't have the resources to offer the Cambodian children great help such as building more schools, providing clean water, or setting up electricity power grids to substantially improve their quality of life.But we can contact larger nonprofit organizations for help such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And also we can start fundraising to give long term support by donating to the Sunrise Children's Village and FRA, which are large nonprofit organizations in Cambodia. The world is one when all of us help.
Valerie, Corissa and Miranda Chang
Founders (3 sisters)
WLO non-profit organization
我們從小喜愛旅遊,但並非只到文明的國家,在跨過五大洲之後,我們發覺我們是何等幸運生活在美國. 2006年暑假,在決定前往Cambodia的自助旅遊前,我們搜尋資料得知當地兒童物資相當缺乏,甚至上學都是他們夢想,便激起了同情心,成立了World Love Organization.我們掏出零國錢買了文具.筆記本.小玩具及收集鄰居朋友捐贈的衣物,在地陪安排之下,前往了水上學校,孤兒院及鄉間做訪問...柬埔寨是東南亞發展較為落後國家,每家庭每年平均所得$1700美元. 境内 Tonle Sap Lake 是全东南亚最大的淡水湖.水上居民,貧窮地生活在高腳屋里,當潮水漲潮時,他們就得搬家. 在湖上最常見到,便是當地小孩坐在水盆裡靠近船隻,乞討維生.