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Graced with Orange Hardcover – June 15, 2013
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Cambodia today is still recovering from a difficult past, yet I never give up hope that peace and prosperity are coming. My hope grows stronger because of the work of Caring for Cambodia and Jamie's message in Graced with Orange that one individual can make a difference, and that many individuals together can create a cascading effect that has the power to change lives. --Sichan Siv, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and author of the international bestseller Golden Bones
Jamie Amelio's compulsion to breathe new life into the old Killing Fields one school at a time leads to a remarkably moving, personal, and candid journey. There is a profound irony in Amelio's quest while she is on a mission to rescue perhaps the most decimated, war-torn nation of Southeast Asia, it is that same country that comes to her family's rescue. Her hard-won lessons in building a whole educational system from scratch should be adopted by U.S. public schools today. --Christopher Graves, global CEO, Ogilvy Public Relations
Graced with Orange is a warm, candid memoir that reveals Jamie Amelio's visionary dedication to education and her journey to transform the lives of Cambodian children. Through Caring for Cambodia, Jamie has inspired legions of volunteers to believe in the power of education, and this engaging narrative draws us in to share that passion. --Alice P. Gast, president of Lehigh University --Alice P. Gast, president of Lehigh University
Jamie Amelio s compulsion to breathe new life into the old Killing Fields one school at a time leads to a remarkably moving, personal, and candid journey. There is a profound irony in Amelio s quest while she is on a mission to rescue perhaps the most decimated, war-torn nation of Southeast Asia, it is that same country that comes to her family s rescue. Her hard-won lessons in building a whole educational system from scratch should be adopted by U.S. public schools today. --Christopher Graves, global CEO, Ogilvy Public Relations
Graced with Orange is a warm, candid memoir that reveals Jamie Amelio s visionary dedication to education and her journey to transform the lives of Cambodian children. Through Caring for Cambodia, Jamie has inspired legions of volunteers to believe in the power of education, and this engaging narrative draws us in to share that passion. --Alice P. Gast, president of Lehigh University
About the Author
Texas native Jamie C. Amelio is the founder and CEO of Caring for Cambodia. While vacationing in Cambodia in 2003 she expected to be wowed by the temples of Angkor Wat. Instead it was a little girl panhandling for a few dollars who would change her life. A few weeks later Jamie established Caring for Cambodia, which now supports 6,400 students in sixteen schools in Siem Reap. In 2005, 2010, and 2012 Jamie was awarded the prestigious Golden Hand Service Award by the Cambodian government. After living in Asia for ten years, Jamie, her husband Bill, and their six children now live in Austin, Texas.
Adam Snyder is a freelance business writer and the author or co-author of many books with top business and non-profit leaders. He is also president of the animation and video company Rembrandt Films.
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Top Customer Reviews
While a tourist in Siem Reap, Jamie Amielo, had the opportunity to visit a Cambodian school. Her heartbreaking and heart-opening experience provided her with the inspiration to restore a school and provide a learning environment for Cambodian children. One school lead to another and another and another.
She returned to Singapore, enlisted friends from her large American ex-patriot community and ultimately hundreds (perhaps thousands) of volunteers and raised money to make her vision a reality. Along the way, this group of incredibly talented and dedicated volunteers discovered that just building a school was not adequate. They also needed to provide teacher training and incentives, books, clean water, lessons in hygiene, meals, clothes, shoes, backpacks and bicycles. In other words, the environment where children could both get to school, learn and stay in school.
So far, CFC has built 16 schools and enlisted the help and trust of the Cambodian government in their endeavors. This is not Three Cups of Tea. This book shows you how to build a charity from the ground up and how the universe seemed to magically provided circumstances and people to advance one woman's dream.
Three years ago while visiting Siem Reap, I had the good fortune to meet a group of CFC volunteer women and was invited to tag along while they visited and assessed the restoration and progress of two schools. That experience remains the highlight of my Asian trip. To say I was immediately Graced by Orange is an understatement and I had no choice but to become a supporter. This is a must read for anyone planning a trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia or with dreams of starting a charity..
Caring for Cambodia is the organization founded by the book's author and its mission is simple enough. It aims its efforts primarily at education and care for Cambodia's under- educated and under- nourished children. The idea of such an organization came to fruition when the book's author and others paid visits to Cambodia and couldn't believe what they saw. They were living in Singapore at the time and it was there that the organization was created. This book spends considerable time talking about the organization, its mission, key events, and other important facts. It follows the formation of the organization, the progress from year to year, and the important people who helped make Caring for Cambodia the success it is today.
Graced with Orange is a book about the will to make a difference and many who read will come away with a sense of admiration and motivation to do more themselves. Not only is the book inspiring, it also serves, in many ways, as a blueprint guide for starting a similar organization. Caring for Cambodia started with the goal of building schools and providing a solid education. But as time marched forward, it was clear that other things were wrong as well- things that interfered with the efforts to educate. One was the lack of food. It is difficult for anyone to concentrate on an empty stomach. So how did Caring for Cambodia respond?- By adding food welfare to its list of services. I like how the organization progresses and how its organizers tried to accommodate the growing list of needs. This learning as we grow approach seemed to suit the budding organization well and, as described in the book, each day was a learning experience not just for the kids in the schools, but also for those running the organization.
Graced with Orange is a personal book in many ways and it describes well the numerous personalities that have helped shape Caring for Cambodia and make it work. One other nice addition is photos. This book actually includes two separate sections of photos and they make it easier to match a face with the different people discussed in the book. It would have been nice to hear more about the actual kids who have benefitted from the organization and where they are today, but the book is still good at discussing Caring for Cambodia, its mission, the important people behind the scenes, it many achievements, and the work that still remains to be done.
Cambodia and its people have suffered greatly over the past several decades and Caring for Cambodia is a good book about an organization that has made a noticeable difference. Caring for Cambodia is out to change conditions, one school and one child at a time and its relatively young existence is summarized well in the pages of Graced with Orange. It's a good book about a woman's determination to make a difference in an impoverished, war torn nation that has seen better days and, hopefully, will enjoy a better tomorrow.
Jamie's ability to explain how she recruited and gathered allies in her mission to educate children in Cambodia is uncanny. I was amazed at the rapid pace of the enterprise (as well as the comprehensive nature of it): creating, building, renovating, educating, ... repeat, repeat, repeat. It's hard to imagine doing everything she did - along with the incredibly focussed volunteers around her (equally committed, no doubt) - in a lifetime, much less 10 years!
Whether you are looking for a new avenue for your own philanthropy and charitable giving, or you are just interested in feel-good real-life action, this is a book you'll want to read. Now, I just need to decide when/how/if I can jump on an airplane and join in the "orange" party that Jamie and her team are throwing in Cambodia.