CATALYST Scholars “Pay It Forward”, Part 2

Every year our CATALYST program takes its scholars on a study trip. This is a time where our young women can learn and observe, build confidence and bridge gaps in experience and knowledge.

This year, there was a twist!

Our scholars came up with an initiative to “pay it forward” by providing study materials to Pnong students at Pula Primary School in Oraing Commune, Mondolkiri Province. Our scholars believe that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. They’re so right!

They began raising funds in March and by the end of April they had come up with $512 — enough to provide each primary school student with a school bag, a raincoat, 5 notebooks, some pens and pencils, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, and a ruler!

Earlier this month, they set out for their trip.

Raksmey Var, Lotus Outreach Country Representative in Cambodia shares:

“When our bus approached Pula Primary, we could see many children waiting and smiling in excitement.

After a short talk to break the ice, the scholars took turns to give study materials to all the students. Five scarfs with Lotus Outreach Cambodia’s logo were also given to the school principal as souvenir for him and his Four other teachers.

This Pay It Forward mission was accomplished with high satisfaction, leaving a lot of good memories, positivity and pride with these young women.”

Our scholars reflect:

“Seeing their happy faces, I felt very humble as it reminded me of my childhood. I remembered having to stand in the school yard, in the warm morning sun, waiting to receive books and pens from high ranking government official, and now I found myself on the other end of the spectrum giving back to those in need,” said Vorn.

Soy reflected, “I used to feel that I am the most unfortunate one not having enough to support my education. Only when I arrived at the school, I then realized those youngsters have even less than I do. I feel so pity for them and I hope they get to finish school​ to be free from ignorance.”

Srey added, “I am inspired to study hard so I can make good money to help build human resource for our country by helping to educate children in need like them.”

We are so proud of these young women!