Almost 2 years ago we built a much-needed library for the Bunnong children who live in the elephant lands of rural Cambodia. Last year we brought additional books and school supplies for all 137 children and their teachers (as well as school supplies for almost 100 more children in 2 nearby village schools), and this year we’re back again!
Thanks to our extraordinary donors, we’re currently updating the infrastructure of the library inside and out, and the children are reading, reading, reading! Your support also helped us provide basic school supplies to an additional school whose needs are profound. Can you imagine if your child went to school where there is no electricity, no water, no working toilet, a leaking roof, and not enough food in their bellies or even the ability to physically get to school? The road ahead for this particular school is long and the needs complex, but we are so grateful to everyone who has supported our work as we strive to create sustainable positive change for the mostly Bunnong children residing in these vulnerable Putrom Villages.
A very special thank you from the Heart to Franci Blanco and her Happy Hearts Yoga for their generosity in helping us help these children! We could not extend our reach without you! And another special thank you to Kathy Stoyle and Teresa Bishop, whose charitable love allowed us to bring medical supplies to a very special teacher and friend, as well as first aid supplies for mahouts and guides tending elephants in the forest.
Whether we are in Cambodia or Myanmar or Sri Lanka, whether we are working with the kids or the elephants or the dogs, one thing remains clear and constant: Love Conquers Fear, Compassionate Action Changes Lives, and when you Let What Moves You Move the World, miracles happen…
PS Our charitable work in Cambodia is made possible by our donors, but also by the fantastic people of ELIE (Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment). Their Elephant Valley Project is shortlisted for a fantastic grant and needs your vote to win! Check out our last post for how you can help create positive change for elephants, people, and the fragile habitat they all share simply by taking one minute to VOTE!
It was so good to see the kids from Putrom 2 again, the 2nd year Heart of Ganesh has supported their return to school by making sure they had the necessary supplies to start the new year off right! Collaborating with the Elephant Livelihood Environment Initiative has been a joy, witnessing the multi-layered changes that can occur when organizations work together for the benefit of all beings.
After handing out bags and singing songs, we visited the library we built for Putrom 2 last year, and we were seriously thrilled to see the condition of the books, art supplies, and the creative work that is being done there. A charity never truly knows what will happen to what they lovingly built when visa’s and other work require moving on to another project in another country. To walk in to the library and see the care that has been taken was a HeartFull moment!
When I asked Mr. Savouen if there was anything that needed improved upon, he asked if the “Book Check-Out” sheets could be reformatted, because the children were checking out SO MANY BOOKS that there wasn’t enough room to record them…For a school and a village that previously had no access to a library, this was the best possible request we could have received and we look forward to funding and expanding our support of these great kids. The close-in walls of their small village will expand ten-fold if they are all given the chance to read, read, and read some more. And then? Who knows what good they might do in the world. ❤️📚🐘🌍”
We’re back in Cambodia now, ready to take our “Elephants Can’t Read” project to the next level! Meeting with the Community Board of the local education department, we reviewed how a year ago today we delivered school supplies to 127 kids going to Putrom 2 Primary School, many of them children of the minority ethnic Bunong, living not far from the border of Vietnam, and with long family histories in elephants.
Yesterday we helped the Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment get children from 3 rural villages registered for the new school year, and soon we’ll set them up once again with all the school supplies they need, and also tend the library we built for them last year, filled with over 800 books, art supplies, and all kinds of mad love.
Trunks up for solid collaborations and for helping communities whose lives are intertwined with elephants—village by village, elephant-sized love changes lives, for the animals, the people, and the habitat they all call home.