I believe it is non-trivial to note that there is a fine line between lending a hand and further marginalizing vulnerable communities and their cultures. As a linguist, I hope that our field can continue to be a positive force in championing and assisting communities whose languages and identities are threatened. As a human, I likewise seek out opportunities to work toward affect positive changes that will directly benefit people in need. Working with friends and former professors from Marlboro College since a visit to Cambodia in my undergrad, where we worked to assess village drinking water systems and educate their owners on safe and healthy maintenance practices (with the Cambodian Water Project of Massachusetts), I have helped to organize around the grassroots educational efforts of the Khmer Children’s Education Organization, a school in the village of Ang run by Marin Him and his team of teachers and staff.
I am the web administrator for the KCEO’s web presence at khmerchildren.org. On the website, you’ll find a collection of colorful and informative content about their little rural school and the efforts to establish educational opportunities for kids in Cambodia, where there is overwhelming need, especially given recent shifts in international funding and exacerbated challenges following the COVID-19 outbreak. To cope with these recent developments in the school’s fiscal instability, we have recently launched a Patreon page. Please consider visiting these links, sharing them, and/or making a contribution.