In January 2016, Chemwatch staffer Cheyanne Ong and her friends had a dream—they wanted to start their own charity.
A year later, they had formed the charity I Am More, and now they have just built a learning centre in Tasu Village Cambodia.
The charity began when they raised funds to sponsor six young women to complete their high school education and another two to complete their university degree. They are all still in school and working in administration part time.
I Am More aimed to provide opportunities to girls and young women, after hearing stories of young girls forced to leave home to work in poorly-paid positions in garment factories or sell their bodies to make a living for their families.
“We want to see an end to all forms of human trafficking, slavery and abuse in our generation. Our mission is to empower every individual to understand their worth beyond their current situation and environment,” Cheyanne said.
They have since expanded in conjunction with their partner – New Life Foundation, to build the learning centre in Tasu Village. This learning center provides supplementary education to 40 children and for those who do not have the opportunity to attend day school, this is their sole education.
“Our learning center also provides freshly cooked meals and learning programs focusing on building their literacy and numeracy skills,” Cheyanne said.
“We believe that every child has the right to education. We want to see these children grow and learn so they do not need to sell their bodies to feed their younger siblings or work in forced labour.”
Cheyanne and the rest of her team visited the project again in July 2017, and is looking to travel there again in either April or September 2018. Visitors are welcome, and the trip will consist of:
- Visiting I Am More’s learning centre to conduct learning, sports and lice treatment programs.
• Visiting the slums in Phnom Penh.
• Cultural visits to learn about the history of Cambodia during and after the Khmer Rouge.
• Quad biking through the province and rice fields of Phnom Penh.I Am More is also seeking donations to assist with the operation of the learning centre.
“In order to run our learning centre successfully, we need USD12,000 per year,” Cheyanne said.
If you would like to donate please donate directly via their official website at www.iammore.org.au