With time off from factories, companies, non-government
agencies and US government offices, a number of US-Cambodians in Lowell, Mass.,
volunteer for a Khmer-language radio program.
The volunteers at Samleng Kolbot Khmer sacrifice their
personal free time to seek positive news about history, culture, tradition and
politics, in a program for Cambodian expatriates in the Massachusetts town.
"They spend their own pocket money looking for
news," said Laing Sidney, founder of the program and a program director at
the Lowell Community Health
Center. "Some news
we take from VOA, RFA, Koh Santepheap or other news agencies. We do not depend
on one news agency."
Established in June 1999, the four-hour program comes on
each Sunday at 1 pm. Five members of the team work on separate programs that
cover a wide variety of topics. It grew from a 30-minute show, but Laing Sidney
said there were no plans to expand further.
'The old Cambodia
people here are 100 percent listening to the Samleng Kolbot Khmer," Laing
Sidney said. "Some young people who like to listen to pop songs or some
other political and social information also listen to this program. But there
are not so many young Cambodian-Americans who were born here that listen to
Sieng Sak, who programs education and history spots for the
show, said the team cooperated well to bring information to Cambodians in Lowell.
"We always keep in touch with each other to learn about
the negative and positive results from listeners, and then we find the way to
solve them," he said.
Kai Pahim, who creates programs important to the elderly,
said he was always looking for documents on Buddhism to educate listeners.