Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Cambodian Service-Learning - Those Haunting Eyes

We have just returned from Cambodia - after spending a total of 10 days there. I will write about our experiences there and post selected photographs in the next few days. But I want to show you a pair of eyes first.

On Wednesday, 30 June, we visited the Emmanuel Christian School in Phnom Penh, a primary school for 150 underprivileged children who used to make their living on the garbage mountain, which has since been moved away from the city. The school is currently housed in an old abandoned leather factory. It is sponsored by a Hong Kong NGO, the International Christian Concern.

We were teaching English, playing games, singing, and generally enjoying ourselves with the students inside. Many of the students are so poor they cannot afford shoes. The school charges no fees, and even provides the children with uniforms. It is very popular, and has to turn away many kids.

While we were having a lot of fun inside, a bunch of kids were watching from outside the school gates. As poor as the students inside are, they are now attending school, learning English, learning about God, and are generally feeling being loved. But the school can only accept so many kids.

On pair of eyes from outside the school gates struck me in particular. I don't know whether it is sadness, longing, or a mix of both, and more. All I know is that whenever I look at those haunting eyes, I want to cry.

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