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English (UK)


I bambini imparano a scrivere l'alfabeto khmer

Finding life in the dust
Letter of Laura Redaelli, volunteer in Cambodia

There are experiences in life that lead you to lands far away from your home and brings your perspectives even farther.
I had the chance to do one of these experiences, thanks to New Humanity who gave me the opportunity to enjoy an internship in Cambodia, visiting and working on the Early Childhood Care and Education Program.

In Kompong Chhnang and in Mondolkiri I worked with Lucia, the advisor in education, assisting her in her work both in the office and on the field. I visited all the kindergartens managed by New Humanity where I was open to learn seeing, listening, experiencing and observing.

In the western part of the world we are taught that life is good if you are good to overstock. Overstock money, goods, things. The more you hoard, the richer will be your life. We are told that this is the teaching for a rich life.
And now, with the economic crisis, this mantra is repeated even more: we are unhappy and worried because we have less. Happiness gets out of our hands, as all the things that we can’t buy.

In the kindergartens I visited in Cambodia, I saw that children are taught that if they want to be happy they have to overstock knowledge.
Knowledge will help you to do, and doing will help to improve the society. Learning to think, thinking to live.
That’s what New Humanity does in the kindergarten classes. I saw children learning to count, to write the khmer alphabet, to sing a song altogether.

In these two months I also had the opportunity to better understand how the right to education is perceived in this country. I discovered that this right is often ignored and denied. It’s denied to all those children who live in remote areas, who have to walk several kilometres to reach their school. It’s denied to all those children whose families are too poor and who simply can’t afford studying. They have to stay at home helping their parents with the daily work or looking after younger brothers. It’s denied to all those girls who are not allowed to “waste their time” at school and who are obliged to work in the factories and to all those boys who are told that education is useless.

But the contribution of the NGOs that work in this difficult environment helps the country to grow up.
Every child who is sent to school is a lightening in the sky, waiting for the final storm when young Cambodians will change their country and build a brighter future and a better life.
I realized that New Humanity’s commitment is important and it was clearly reflected by the smile of all the children who attend the kindergartens.

This experience made me understand that I want to work in the field of international cooperation. I believe that cooperation, in the sense of mutual hospitality, is the real sense of life.

Laura Redaelli

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