Why We Do
The current situation of Cambodia is one of extreme physical poverty. Cambodia's GNI per capita is among the lowest in the world and 46% of its population is considered "multi-dimensionally poor". Furthermore, there is much psychological trauma due to the Khmer-Rouge genocide as well as continual daily stress arising from illnesses, deaths, lack of access to medicine and education, widespread government corruption and physical poverty.
It is well documented that there is a direct correlation between education and a nation's socio-economic development. Cambodia is making progress in building schools in an attempt to make a comeback from the post Khmer-Rouge era when 90% of all teachers were killed. However, a critical bottleneck in the Cambodian education system is the lack of English teachers. English is a fundamental building block in Cambodia's education system as high level textbooks in all disciplines are still not available in Khmer. While there are English programs in the urban areas, in most rural communities (where 80% of Cambodians live) English programs (or at least quality English programs) are non-existent. Furthermore,
English is also needed to attract business investments and international aid.
In order to help rural Cambodians receive high level education, TASSEL provides free, high quality English classes in rural Cambodian villages.
High quality English education will help Cambodia break its chain of poverty. However, even more urgent than education for many is food, medicine and clothes. While we are hopeful that many rural development programs, micro-finance institutions and other governmental and NGO programs will eventually help these families become self-sufficient, there are many that cannot wait - their food and medicine needs must be met today by direct provision. Many do not have any caretakers; many children and elderly are abandoned. TASSEL selects those who truly are in an emergency situation and provides them, house by house, with food and medicine aid.
TASSEL puts utmost emphasis on serving from the heart. Many Cambodians suffer from severe anxiety and depression. But hearts do get transformed by compassion.
TASSEL greatly encourages young adults - high school and university students - in addition to adults to volunteer. This is because TASSEL knows that youths can greatly touch children in a way many adults can't. As well, TASSEL understands that youths will be leading the future of humanitarianism. However, participation by adults (parents, teachers and more) is equally important as they have unique ways of sharing their particular gifts.