Our School - Staff 15 Dec 2017

CIS teachers building houses and brighter futures

By Michael Black and Kendra Jones, Community Outreach Coordinators
Photograph by CIS Communications

Each year, a group of teachers from CIS spend one week of their school break giving to those who are less fortunate, to help make our world a better place. This year, 17 of us (along with some family and friends) traveled to Kampong Cham province in Cambodia to build eight houses with the Tabitha Foundation.

Tabitha and its founder, Janne Ritskes, encourage Cambodian families to join their “Savings Program”, providing them with the support to help them save their money and break the cycle of poverty. Tabitha partners with these families for 5-7 years, during which time they achieve 4 to 6 dream items per year, the ultimate one being a house! The eight families we built houses for now have a dry shelter and are on the path to financial independence. This was a humbling experience and we thank everyone who supported us in assisting these families in need. If you’d like to know more about how the Tabitha Savings Program works, you can watch their video here.  

While in Cambodia, we also visited the People Improvement Organization (PIO) school in Phnom Penh that gives free education to children in need. At the PIO school, we gave students a watermelon treat and spent time in grade 1 and 2 classrooms teaching children how to make a yarn and bead craft.

CIS has worked with the PIO school for over 12 years now, and it’s wonderful to see the impact of our support during this time. There are now over 1300 children receiving free education at the PIO school. The school’s founder, Phymean Noun knows that education is a fundamental right for all children and the key to a better life. If you’d like to learn more about Phymean’s story and work, take the time to watch this video.

CIS staff and students have made some wonderful contributions during the time we have been working with Tabitha and the PIO school. Our goal is to build a school with Tabitha in the near future. In poor rural areas of Cambodia there is still a shortage of schools and less than 40% of children receive any primary education. We are so fortunate at CIS and we’d like to take action and share our good fortune with others.

Stay tuned for a CIS event in which you can also contribute to our goal of building a school with Tabitha. Let’s ensure that all children have the experience of an education - together we can make a difference!