FordHarrison is pleased to announce the formal opening of The FordHarrison School, located in the Prey Veng Province of southeastern Cambodia. After months of fundraising and planning, the dedication ceremony for the school was held on January 3, 2013. Orlando partner Kay Wolf, Los Angeles senior associate Michelle Abidoye and Orlando legal assistant Amy Cook traveled to Cambodia for the dedication and to officially turn the school over to the country's Ministry of Education.
"This has been a wonderful experience," said Wolf. "We were astounded at people's interest and generosity toward the project. The idea just caught fire."
In rural Cambodia, hundreds of villages still lack a functional primary and secondary school. Upon learning of this and of the efforts of the World Assistance for Cambodia organization, Wolf embarked upon a firm-wide plan to raise enough money to sponsor a school.
"It was mind-boggling to me that the lack of educational opportunity is so vast there. I strongly believe that education is going to be the key to helping the country figure out how to have a better future," said Wolf.
As a result of its efforts, FordHarrison was able to not only provide funds to build a five-room primary school building and its continuing operation, but also
• a teacher position dedicated to teaching English and computer skills
• six computers and enough solar panels to power them
• a satellite connection for Internet access
• school supplies for 420 students and additional teaching supplies
• printer with ink cartridges and paper
• digital camera
• book shelves and books
• deep water well with water filter
"It is amazing what you can accomplish with a little bit of education about a social issue and a lot of arm twisting," joked Wolf.
Wolf says the firm sees its sponsorship of the school as an ongoing relationship. "Althoughthe children cannot speak fluent English now, we wanted them to be able to communicate with us. We provided a digital camera so they can send us photographic updates on a monthly basis," said Wolf.
If you'd like to learn more about the World Assistance for Cambodia Rural Schools Project, go to www.cambodiaschools.com/.