By Martin Murray ‘20
Every homeroom in Brother Rice has a picture of a smiling kid at school.
These kids are from Cambodia and are a part of the Love Without Boundaries Program. The 2019-2020 school year is Brother Rice’s second year participating in the phenomenal program that helps fund Cambodian kids’ education and meals.
Senior Martin Sheehan said, “Love Without Boundaries is a great experience. It makes me feel good that we are doing something great for kids so far away that we’ll never meet. Knowing that we’re saving lives every day helps me keep donating to this worthy cause.”
Each homeroom is assigned a kid to sponsor. Each month, students donate money to help these kids break their vicious cycle of poverty and receive more education than they could normally receive on their own.
The funds go towards the tuition of the school, paying for books, meal plans, and buying a uniform.
Many students take their school uniform for granted. It’s something that’s worn to school every day and that’s it.
However, when the Cambodians get their school uniforms, they treat them like gold. Each kid takes pride in his uniform and it means the world to him.
Senior Colin Osborne said, “Donating to Love Without Boundaries makes me think about the everyday things I take for granted. These kids go through such hard times, and after seeing what they’ve been through, I realize that many people don’t realize how good we have it.”
Additionally, students at Brother Rice get progress reports on their kid every couple of months. These reports detail how their sponsored kid is doing in school, what he likes to do, and his classroom habits.
Senior Ryan Rice said, “The reports we get about our room’s kid, Ray, are incredibly insightful. I enjoy hearing about what Ray is doing in school and what he likes doing in his free time. The reports also show me how the money I’m giving is making a real change in someone’s life.”
One of the best parts of the report is seeing that despite the brutal poverty and hardships these children face, they are always happy and beaming with joy in school.
School is an escape and an opportunity for them. It’s an escape from their hard lives, and it’s an opportunity to better provide for their families and advance economically in ways previously unattainable.
Every student at Brother Rice is asked to give a few dollars a month to help these kids. For the price of a cup of coffee or a few cookies at the cafeteria, students are able to make an effect that is bigger than themselves and will be felt by many generations to come.
Senior Sean Corbett said, “Every penny we can contribute counts. A dollar here and there doesn’t seem like a lot at first, but it quickly adds up over time, which is the best part of the program. A small act today can make big changes for people down the line.”
The issues in Cambodia will not be solved overnight, but if programs like Love Without Boundaries can keep succeeding, then maybe one day education can become normal in Cambodia and families won’t have to worry about being in unconquerable poverty.