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Peace Corps Volunteers Host Camp to Help Cambodian Students Develop Leadership and Healthy Life Skills

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 28, 2014 - Peace Corps volunteers serving throughout Cambodia are coming together this week to host a leadership and healthy life skills camp for 60 Cambodian high school students.

Rachel Crabtree of Charlotte, N.C.; Sally Waley of Georgetown, Texas; Michela Schildts of Greer S.C.; Kateri Kugelmann of Dallas, Texas; Jeff Shum of Foster City, Calif.; and Joel Ford of Parkville, Md., will lead sessions in collaboration with local community members and non-governmental organizations during Camp LION – Leaders in Our Nation – on topics often left out of school curriculums.

“The camp is designed to give students an opportunity to expand their knowledge on leadership, volunteerism, sexual health, and planning for their futures – subjects not typically covered in local high schools,” said Crabtree, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte who has been living and working in Cambodia as an English teacher since July 2013.

The co-ed camp aims to create a comfortable setting for students to get accurate information and have open discussions with their peers and session leaders.

“The desired outcome is to provide new knowledge to students who would otherwise not have access to it,” Crabtree said. “Through the education at the camp, participants will have a better understanding of pertinent issues, such as sexual health and how it relates to them.”

A portion of the funds for Camp LION were raised through the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP), which supports Peace Corps volunteer community projects worldwide. In order to receive funding through the PCPP, a community must make at least a 25 percent contribution to the total project cost and outline success indicators for each project. This helps to ensure community ownership and a greater chance of long-term sustainability.

After the camp, participants will be encouraged to share what they learned with peers in their village and hold information sessions.

“The students will return home with new information on thinking about and planning for their futures to share,” Crabtree said. “They will also have further developed their leadership skills and can serve as an example to others.”

About Peace Corps/Cambodia: There are currently 100 volunteers in Cambodia working in the areas of education and health. During their service in Cambodia, volunteers learn to speak Khmer. More than 300 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Cambodia since the program was established in 2007.“The students will return home with new information on thinking about and planning for their futures to share,” Crabtree said. “They will also have further developed their leadership skills and can serve as an example to others.”

About the Peace Corps: As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences – and a global outlook – back to the United States that enriches the lives of those around them. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide. Visit www.peacecorps.gov to learn more.

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