March 4, 2016
For centuries education has been seen as one pathway to providing social mobility and a better future. There are many educational migrants seeking to improve their lives and the well-being of their family all over the globe. This tradition of education migration is strong in Asia and Cambodia is no exception. Many young adults leave their homes and their villages in the country and go to urban settings such as Phnom Penh or Siem Reap to further their studies with the hopes of enlarging their future.
This move to the city is usually at great cost to their families and with much sacrifice on the part of the potential student. Many families sell a piece of land or a cow to finance their child’s education. This is always with the anticipation that their son or daughter will eventually find a good paying job and can help support the family.
There are many families that don’t have land to sell or livestock and cannot afford to send their children to school. This is true of many of our students at the PCL Management Institute. I spoke with one girl who recently finished studying at PMI about how she began attending at PMI.
Her parents did not have any money to send her to school, but she really wanted to study. There was an institute near her village but it cost $80 a year, but her parents said, “No. They couldn’t afford it.” She begged her parents to help her find a way to go to school. One of their relatives knew a family member of one of our PMI teachers. The two families met and it was agreed that Savoun would study at PMI. This happened in 2012. Since then Savoun has completed the 2.5 year program at PMI. This past year PMI signed an agreement with another 4 year university, AsiaEuro University, and they agreed to accept our students at a discounted rate and take them on as third year students in their program. Savoun is now enrolled in that program and working on a four year degree.
We, at PCL, are committed to transformational development. This type of development brings social, material, and spiritual change—a change that creates well-being and shapes identity. Savoun also came to know Jesus through our dorm program and our youth program. Her life has changed in so many positive ways. She is a beautiful and intelligent young woman whose future is wide open. I am thankful that PCL has a program like PMI. Each year we take in about 25-30 students and scholarship them through our 2.5 year program. Each year we change many lives—through education, through relationships, and through Jesus. This program is truly changing lives through quality education and through intentional discipleship.
Aristotle once said that educating the mind without educating heart is no education at all. PMI is accomplishing both!