My name is Riya Aggarwal and I am currently a rising senior at Francis Parker School. As soon as my junior year began, I was determined to go on one of the global trips that my school offers. At first I didn’t know where I wanted to go, but I read through the itinerary for the Cambodia trip. I saw that we were going to meet some amazing girls that are part of the Cambodian Village Fund and I tried my hardest to make sure that I could go on this trip. I was scared to leave home, because this was the first time that I was traveling abroad by myself, but the moment that I reached Cambodia I got a feeling that these are going to be the best two weeks of my life! We traveled to five different cities in Cambodia, but the part of the trip that changed my life forever, was our time in Battambang. The Cambodian Village Fund girls and I clicked the first day we met and these bonds that I formed are going to stay strong forever. One thing that I realized after going on this trip is how fortunate I am to have amenities like education and healthcare. I wanted to give back to their community and this blog is a sincere way to change their lives in a meaningful way!
This blog would be incomplete if I didn’t add pictures from the trip that resonated with me.
After The Trip
I talk to the Cambodian Village Fund (CVF) girls whenever they are free and I feel like every time that I talk to these girls, our relationship grows stronger. We consider each other family. Whenever they visit their family, I say “Chum riep sua,” which is (“Hi” in Khmer) to their parents and the girls always greet my family if my family is home. Beyond these conversations, I kept contemplating about how to make a lasting difference in their lives. I came to a realization that since a lot of companies are moving to places like Cambodia, it is important for these girls to know English proficiently. I think that I can help them with English proficiency, so that they are more successful when they leave the CVF. Another thing that I hope for is to learn more about Cambodia, because it will make me a better global citizen.
I met with Bill and Nancy about how to best approach this idea. We discussed that I could post weekly questions on this blog and that the girls can then answer. This will be a good way for the girls to practice writing English. I will post the responses that the girls send me on Messenger. My goal through all of this is to make learning English a fun and interactive activity for us to enjoy!
Question of the Week
September 10th, 2019
How has the Cambodian Village Fund changed your life?
Vanna’s Original Response: Cambodian Village Fund has changed my life since i was grade 8. They give me a chance to study until now. They support my studying at university. Before i have never thought that i can study at university, because my parents didn’t have enough money to pay for my school. But when i know Bill and Nancy known as cambodian village fun’sfounder. I can reach my dream to learn at university.
Vanna’s Modified Response: The Cambodian Village Fund has changed my life immensely since I was in eighth grade. This fund gave me a chance to study at university. My parents are are very supportive of me, especially when it comes to my studying. My parents are poor and unfortunately didn’t have enough money to send me to school or to university. I got to know two amazing people, Bill and Nancy, who are the founders of the Cambodian Village Fund. Due to the support of the Cambodian Village Fund and efforts of Bill and Nancy, I can fulfill my dreams to learn at university.
Sokny’s Original Response: Hello! My name is Sokny. I joined Scholarship program in August 2016. Anyway, I am one of lucky person who was helped by Cambodia Village Fund. My life has changed a lot since I joined this program. First, I have chance to continue my study at college. When I was in secondary school I used to think that I might not finish my high school and also didn’t have ability to get a degree. However, I just went to school and tried my best even though I was not a smart student and didn’t have enough money to pay at school,. This is why I think that I am a person who have chance to study. Second, I gave more friends. I have known many people that have never known before. I live with other scholarship girls in a house and we get to know each other as family. Moreover, I have known foreigner friends who came to visit scholarship girl in Battambang. Especially, I have known the greatest people who papa Bill and mama Nancy, They are our super hero. Third, I have more confident to speak whit foreigner friends and also with other people. I am a shy person who don’t talk a lot before I don’t have enough confident to talk with other people. I sometimes scare to communication with other too. But, since I joined this program I feel I have more confident to talk and communicate with foreigner. Finally, Cambodia Village Fund has changed me a lot. I have to thank them so much for helping me and other scholarship girls. Other girls and I love CVF and we try our best for our studies, Thanks.
Sokny’s Modified Response: Hello! My name is Sokny. I joined the scholarship program in August of 2016. Anyways, I am one of luckiest people that have been benefited from the Cambodia Village Fund. My life has influenced since I have joined this program. Firstly, I have had the wonderful opportunity to continue my study at college. When I was in secondary school I used to think that I might not be able to finish high school and I also thought that I didn’t have ability to get a degree. However, I went to school and worked arduously. I also thought that I was not a smart student and didn’t have enough money to pay at school. This is why I think that I deserve to study. Secondly, I made more friends. I got to meet a lot of people that I haven’t met before. I live with other scholarship girls in a house and consider each other our family. Moreover, I have had to chance to meet people from all over the world who came to visit us in Battambang. I have even gotten to meet Bill and Nancy, the founders of the Cambodian Village Fund, who are our superheroes. Third of all, I am more confident when I speak to other people. I am a shy person who didn’t talk a lot before and was scared to communicate with others. But, since I joined this program I now feel like I am more confident when talking and communicating with different types of people. Finally, the Cambodian Village Fund has shaped me in a variety of different ways. I have to a lot of thanks to give to Bill and Nancy for helping me and the other scholarship students. We love the Cambodian Village Fund and we study very hard. Thank you!