For immediate release
Contact person: Dr. Christine Su,
Public Relations Director
Company name: Cambodian Americans for Rural
Education (CARE) Foundation
Telephone number: (808) 358-4118
Email address: Csu@carefo.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address: www.carefo.org
CARE Foundation Launches Campaign to Raise Funds to Build Library in Cambodia Long Beach, California – September 21, 2015 —
The Cambodian Americans for Rural Education (CARE) Foundation has launched a new gofundme campaign to raise funds that will be
used to build a library in rural Cambodia. This is CARE’s second project. The first, launched in 2014, raised more than $3,000 USD
and provided backpacks, school supplies, and basic hygiene products for youth in Trapangkroch Village, located in Takeo province.
CARE was founded by Steve Vibol Meng, who was born in Trapangkroch Village and lived there until the Khmer Rouge took over
Cambodia in 1975. During the Khmer Rouge regime, which lasted until 1979, schools throughout the country were destroyed or
closed and traditional education was forbidden, and all Cambodians were forced into the countryside to work on agricultural projects.
The only “education” allowed was hours of indoctrination in the regime’s ultra-Maoist ideology. Teachers and artists, who were seen
as representatives of a former urban elite, were particularly targeted for “reeducation”and ultimately, execution. Decades later, the
countryis still recovering from the effects of the Khmer Rouge era, during which up to 2 million people died of starvation, disease,
overwork, torture, and execution.
Meng survived the Khmer Rouge regime and fled to Khao I Dang, a refugee camp on the border with Thailand. There, he rediscovered
his love of learning, and spent much of his time there teaching children. He eventually relocated to Long Beach, California, where he
graduated from the California State University at Long Beach. He credits much of his success to education. Now, through the CARE foundation,
he is dedicating his efforts toward supporting education in his homeland.
“Cambodians love to study and to learn,” states Meng. “It is so heartbreaking. The Khmer Rouge destroyed the
structures – both physical and intellectual – that enabled students to learn. But what was not destroyed was the
Cambodian spirit, especially that of the children. I see CARE as a way to help rebuild education in Cambodia on so many levels.”
Approximately 31 percent of Cambodia’s population of 14.3 million people live below the poverty line. Many of those affected are
children, particularly in rural areas. As rural families struggle to support themselves, economic pressures often force children to
drop out of school to help with farming or other agricultural work. Additionally, many families simply cannot keep up with expenses
needed to keep their children in school, like uniforms, books, and supplies. As a result, less than 50 percent of Cambodian children
complete primary school.
CARE’s mission is to provide resources for Cambodian rural populations that will allow children to stay in school and enable them
to take control of their futures, one village at a time, with the ultimate vision of a world in which all Cambodian children complete both
primary and secondary school.The success of the first campaign inspired Meng to launch the effort to build a library for Trapangkroch Village.
“It was an incredibly moving experience for me,” says Meng “In returning to my home village after all of these years, I saw myself in
those children – and I saw their thirst for knowledge and their desire to learn. Building the library will support CARE’s longer-term
objective of creating a culture of learning in rural villages, in which all community members support children’s education.” To that end, CARE
hopes to expand to other villages not only in Takeo province, but throughout Cambodia.
Dr. Christine Su
Director of Public Relations