- About 66% of the country lives in poverty and over one third of the population lives below the desperate poverty line, defined as 45 cents a day.
- More than 50% of people in Cambodia are under 21 years old.
- The number of street children in Cambodia is increasing at a rate of 20% per year. They are often forced into begging, crime, or the sex industry.
- A large portion of children between the ages of 5 and 17 are already working to survive, nearly 700,000 in a country of 14 million. Of those, nearly 75% of them have dropped out of school.
- Almost 40 percent of children in Cambodia are malnourished, often just existing on a couple portions of rice a day.
- Girls always suffer the worst from the effects of this poverty and lack of societal safety net, as they basically have no opportunities in life if their basic education is discontinued.
So what are we doing about it?
With your help, we're putting together a book with stories and essays (in Khmer and English) and photos and drawings by the kids. We’ll also add information about their lives, the village they live in, their school, and Cambodia. It But instead of just printing out a few copies and pass them out to the kids, we’re going to self publish the book and sell it via Amazon.com online, in both print and eBook formats.
That means the world will know these children’s stories, and these children will have direct access to an unlimited international audience, changing their lives and broadening their possibilities forever. All of the money from book sales will go right back to funding the Spitler school and the children’s continued education in perpetuity. We expect this to become a yearly project and hope to expand to other schools and countries, giving kids all over the world a chance to stay in school and gain the education needed to nudge them out of poverty.
How can you help?
Please watch a short video about the school, read more, or make a humble donation at: