I FIRST MET RONI SIVAN at Matador’s Austin meetup in 2011. That’s also when I was introduced to her Austin2Angkor project, a fundraising initiative to support the construction of a Community Training Center in Cham Resh, Cambodia.
Earlier this month, Roni checked in from the village to report that work is well underway and residents are pretty fired up about the center. She elaborated:
Since starting our fundraising efforts in January 2011, Austin2Angkor has raised over $6,000 for the construction of a Community Training Center in the remote village of Cham Resh in Cambodia’s Siem Reap province. Construction began in January 2012 and is due to finish in June 2012. I went to visit the village in April and there was a lot of excitement around the new addition to the village.
The center will serve as a community training space, volunteer and teacher accommodation, as well as a pre-school where older children can bring their younger siblings to be looked after while they are in school. The community center is an integral part of the Build Your Future Today Center’s development work in the village, and is the second new building (a school was built in 2010) in the village of 120 families.
Recently, Austin2Angkor has helped establish a fund for Build Your Future Today Center with Give2Asia, a U.S. nonprofit organization, and will continue to fundraise in the Austin community through this fund. Austin2Angkor is open to anyone in the Austin community that wants to get involved and can assist individuals or groups who want to host a fundraising event for the cause. www.austin2angkor.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/austin2angkor
While continuing work through Austin2Angkor, Roni also has plans to start a conscientious business selling handmade Cambodian scarves. For each scarf purchased, a school uniform will be donated to a child in need. Read more at www.facebook.com/kramawheel.