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Cambodia's School of Hope: How the Spitler School educates and empowers impoverished children in Cambodia. [Kindle Edition]

Norm Schriever
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $8.99
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Book Description

A chance meeting in an exotic land on the other side of the globe. A local guide trying to raise money to build a drinking well in his poor village. Hundreds of Cambodian school children who didn’t have a school to attend, or sometimes enough food, clean water, or medical care.

What unfolded next is truly amazing.

The story begins in April of 2005, when Danny and Pam Spitler visited Siem Reap, Cambodia to see the famous temples of Angkor Wat. During their four-day visit to the area their tour guide was a young Cambodian gentleman by the name of Chea Sarin. Over the course of their visit, it became clear that he cared deeply for the plight of the poor villagers in his country and especially for the children. He told the Spitlers that the lack of clean drinking water was the cause of many health problems among the village children.

At the end of their tour the Spitlers decided to donate enough money to provide one of these wells to a poor village. Sarin sent them photos of the well being built and then when it was finished.

A few weeks later, Sarin asked them if they would consider helping him start a school at a very poor village located about nine kilometers outside of Siem Reap. The Spitlers agreed.

The initial concept was to build one building, using lumber and thatch construction, with a dirt floor. The building would be divided into two classrooms in anticipation of about 60 students. With a construction budget of less than $1,000 Sarin was able to complete the building in just a few weeks and had money left over to build some rudimentary wooden tables, which the students could use for desks.

To the surprise of Sarin and the Spitlers, almost 100 children signed up to attend the school. Classes began in July 2005, and additional students continued to arrive, and soon the school was serving 120 students by offering half the students classes in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. Sarin was able to purchase supplies for the students and the classroom at an average cost of about $1 per student per month, and two well-qualified teachers were hired for salaries of $70 per month each.

Given the response from the village, the Spitlers decided to provide additional funds so that Sarin could build two more buildings and hire four additional teachers. Sarin accomplished all of this within six weeks and when the school opened for the regular school year in September 2005 the school was able to accommodate 190 students in kindergarten through second grade.

Over the years, the Spitler School has continued to flourish and grow, and now a second school, the Kurata School, is open. Thanks to Sarin, the Spitlers, the Spitler Foundation, and donors and volunteers from all over the world, over 800 children are now being educated and given a better chance to get out of poverty. The school also undertakes many community projects like building roads, delivering food, trash pickup and recycling, and medical advocacy for the children.

The Spitlers and Sarin have been recognized as widely as the Cambodian government and the U.S. White House for their efforts but they do it all to give these children a brighter future, not for any accolades. What started out as a chance meeting between strangers from different parts of the world turned into something so meaningful and special to so many people – Cambodia’s school of hope.

This book tells the story of the Spitler School and looks into the lives of the children who attend, their families, their village, and the beautiful, yet challenged, country of Cambodia.

100% of the profits from this book are going directly to the Spitler School Foundation to help these children.

Product Details

  • File Size: 10404 KB
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,251 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Norm. July 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I read Norm's books Pushups in the Prayer Room and South of Normal during a trip to Costa Rica and loved both of them. At the end of the book, there's an email address to email Norm. I did and received an almost immediate response. During the course of our conversations, I googled Norm and discovered he and I had the same tour guide Sarin in Siem Reip Cambodia. Sarin had taken Norm to Spitler School, the same school I had visited in 2008.
Reading Norm's book was a trip down memory lane. It's an easy read. Norm gave the kids a camera and had them take pictures of the most important thing or person in their life and write a sentence about why the subject is important to them. It makes me realize how simple needs are so important to these kids. Needs like water, food, electricity that we so take for granted are just becoming available in the impoverished village 20 minutes from the tourist mecca of Siem Reip.
My favorite sentence in the book is when Norrm states he turned right instead of left and that is how he met Sarin. That's what an adventure is all about, just making the turn and finding out what comes.

Norm is donating funds from the book to the school. Please buy the book to help the kids.
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It show what a small amount of money can do, if used right, by dedicated men who believe education will lead people out of poverty. The author of this book is donating 100% of the proceeds back to this school.
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Inspiring!!! I'm a firmed believer that education is precious wealth that can't be stolen. And this book shows that being poor can't stop this children to get good education. It shows how grateful they are by not wasting the opportunity given to them.

It is very unfortunate though, that many young people (in my country, Philippines) take their education for granted and don't see it's true value.

Kudos to the amazing people who help, helped, and going to help (The Spitlers and others, to many to mention) make this children's lives and their families future a brighter one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!! May 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story of how the Spitler School came about is amazing! It just shows what a few people can do to help so many! I love what it has become and how much it has changed the lives of these children and their community.
I love the drawings and photos from the children. They show just how grateful these children are for a lot of the things we take for granted.
It is awesome that all the proceeds from this book go directly to the school. After reading this, you will definitely want to do more for them! Thanks, Norm!!
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More About the Author

Norm Schriever is an author, pro blogger, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone. His latest book, "South of Normal," is a gonzo blast of laughter and adventure about a year living in the tropical paradise of Tamarindo, Costa Rica that has earned him a place on the Amazon.com best seller list and won a silver medal with the Nonfiction Book Awards. His first book, "Pushups in the Prayer Room," is a wild, irreverent account of a year spent backpacking around the world.

Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of over-studying, and went on to live in North Carolina, Colorado and most recently in Northern California.

Dissatisfied with a conventional existence, Norm sold or donated all of his possessions and moved down to Costa Rica in 2011. In the sleepy surf town of Tamarindo he pursued his passion of writing, armed with his secret weapons: fresh ocean air and Baileys in his morning coffee. He then migrated just a chicken bus ride north to San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, where he settled into a local barrio and wrote "South of Normal" with his puppy, Panda, curled up at his feet. He is currently living in exotic southeast Asia, where he survives super typhoons, writes his heart out and explores other cultures daily.

He sees his words as a way to illuminate the commonalities of human existence, and thereby hopes to leave this planet a little better than how he found it.

You can find him on Twitter @NormSchriever
Or visit his blog at NormWrites.com/blog

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