Monster slide. Bicycle race track. Bump track. Education center. Selfmade lake. Sport fields. Teachings. Wakeboard lift. Event hall. Selfmade hill. Shade for spectators. Restaurants. Life-supporting programmes. Hammocks.
These are only a few projects which we have started building or at least are in our minds, visions, dreams. Elevate Campus – an NGO and kind of sister of the church ICF Cambodia – is all about fun, sport, education and fundamental health care. On our hearts especially are children and young adults. The new generation. The generation which will be tomorrow’s leader. The future of Cambodia. We want to see a change in their lives, in their families, in their districts, in Siem Reap, in Cambodia. Our vision is to break the cycle of poverty, boredom and insufficient education. We want to educate and empower the new generation. Our goal is to make a long-lasting difference by supporting and appreciating all different kinds of characters. Offering unconditional acceptance for everybody, we want to provide a campus where they can play different sports, have fun together, enjoy leisure time activities, take classes, connect with each other, make new friends. We build a fun park where children, teenagers and adults can forget their tough daily life and experience carefree moments, appreciation and love. Believe it or not, in Cambodia these values are not at all taken for granted.
Health care ministry
But not only the education in school is missing. There is also many gaps in the knowledge of personal hygienic and medical care. Thousands of children have never seen a toothbrush. They suffer of dental caries, missing teeth, … .
One of our very first ministries is the dental care project. Weekly, we bring children and teenagers (mostly from our Church) to our Khmer dentist. Watch more about it:
Thousands of children have parents who don’t care when they have injuries. Even though there would be free treatment in a children hospital they don’t bring their kids there. Recently, we started with a medical ministry. For the start, we patch up children every Sunday in Kids Church. Once a boy came, his foot had been entirely burnt and infected for a few days already. We brought him to the hospital where his foot was treated and then made sure we checked it daily. Moreover, we visit villages and slums where we clean and bandage wounds, wash hair with special lice shampoo, give advices and if necessary bring them to the hospital. Also, we go into hospitals, bring the patients food and pray for them.
Cambodia is still a quite underdeveloped country. The legacy of the cruel regime of the Khmer Rouge as well as all the other civil wars is obvious and visible (Cambodia’s history). The social and economic scars are deep. Since the Khmer Rouge had hunted and killed all educated people (doctors, teachers, …) the educational level is low. Not even every child has access to school. Universities and similar institutes are not only hardly affordable but also rarely on a sufficient, international standard. There is an immense lack of opportunities to get specific knowledge like it is usual in western countries: engineering, graphic design, languages, art, music … .
This gap is what we want to fill. In the middle of March 2015 we started with our first courses: singing and playing the guitar. In these two classes, our students learn obviously how to play the guitar and improve their singing skills. But such education and teaching go much further: While our teachers are (right now) foreigners, they practise English. But the even more beautiful side effect is the impact it will make on their lives and characters: We encourage them to believe in their skills, talents and dreams. Their self-confidence grows. And self-confidence is strongly needed. I know so many young Khmers who believe they’re ugly, unable, unwanted, unloved, insufficient, …
In the future we will open more and more classes, like art, other instruments, language, IT, hygienic, etc.
Elevate Sport – Construction Side
Leisure activities are not so popular. When there is neither school nor work, teenagers are often bored. Mostly, they end up watching TV, hanging around, doing not much interesting stuff. Even when they decide to play something there is not many great opportunities around.
1.5 years ago, we started with our Elevate Cycling Team which has grown to more than 30 members. They train four days a week together, learn team spirit and participate on races. Many have changed a lot since they joined the team. Instead of being a gangster, looking for fights against other groups and doing nothing, they meet and cycle or have fun with their new friends from the team.
Have a look at our plans:
Sport connects. Through sport, one can find new friends with the same passion. Sport teaches discipline. Sport breaks boredom. Sport pulls you away from daily problems and lets you forget them for a moment.
In January 2015, we started building a race track. Since the ground level is too low, we’re digging a lake to fill up the land. And then there is all the other projects mentioned at the very beginning. Six days a week, we are digging, moving, building, pushing, painting, to make this dream become true. (A more detailed entry about the work on the construction side will follow soon.)
Need equals opportunity
Everywhere you look in Cambodia there is need. But in the need we see a big opportunity. An opportunity to help, to improve, to change. We do this because we love Cambodians. We want them to have a better, more enjoyable life. We believe, they deserve it.
We are convinced, that Elevate Campus has an immense impact on people’s life which will finally affect entire Siem Reap to change and bring a bright future. The best is yet to come.
Be a part of it.
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Because Cambodians deserve it.