Community organizers in Long Beach held a campaign last week in part to push for “wellness centers” in all of the city’s schools. A study by Khmer Girls in Action, a local advocacy group for young Cambodian-American women, found high rates of illiteracy, pregnancy and drop-outs, which they say can be mitigated by having wellness centers at schools. VOA Khmer's Cheang Sophinarath reports.
Too much foreign aid is used in Cambodia as a substitute for local revenue, making it hard for people to hold their government accountable, a US-based analyst says. Sophal Ear, author of “Aid Dependence in Cambodia,” tells VOA Khmer's Im Sothearith that when people don’t pay enough taxes, they don’t own part of the democratic process.
Long Beach, Calif., has been selected as one of 14 cities in California to receiving funding and other assistance from the California Endowment to build healthier communities, including schools. The city stands to gain tens of millions of dollars in the coming years. But first they have to ask themselves, what does a healthy school look like? A group of Cambodian-American university students met at a local Long Beach restaurant over the Christmas holiday to share their experiences, so that when they enter the professional world, they’ll have a Cambodian network. Meetings for how to create healthy communities, and build better schools, are ongoing. There are working groups for better neighborhoods, schools and air quality. The next meeting for the schools working group is on Jan. 14. More information can be found at www.bhclongbeach.org. (Cheang Sophinarath, Long Beach)
Friday’s school shooting in Connecticut could affect some Khmer Rouge survivors living in the United States, according to Bunrath Math, a clinical social worker in Philadelphia. More than 200,000 Cambodians resettled in the US in the 1970s and 1980s. Many of them were survivors of the Khmer Rouge. And many lost family members under the regime. Some of have spent years trying to get over the trauma. Some never have. VOA Khmer's Poch Reasey reports.