Saturday, 6 November 2010

Franklin & Marshall College student raising funds to build school in Cambodia

Local restaurants helping in fundraising campaign

via CAAI


Franklin & Marshall College student Jessica Fuhrman hopes she and some of her classmates can take a big step this weekend toward their goal of $25,000 to fund the construction of a new school in Cambodia.

This weekend, with help from the college's International Women's Outreach Committee and the Human Rights Initiative and several local restaurants, Fuhrman is kicking off a fundraising campaign for the Cambodia School Project.

"We are having a restaurant week, where people from the community can dine at several local restaurants and a portion of the proceeds will go directly to the American Assistance for Cambodia," Fuhrman said.

AAC is a non-profit organization that has built more than 400 schools across the country in Southeast Asia.

Taking part Friday is Tropical Smoothie Café, 15 E. King St., from 4-8 p.m. Thomas Campus Deli, 430 Harrisburg Pike, will participate Saturday from 5-9 p.m. and Carmen & David's Creamery, 25 N. Prince St., will take part Sunday from 1-7 p.m.

The restaurants will donate percentages of their sales during those hours to the project.

Earlier this week, several other restaurants participated in the fundraiser. They included Sugar Bowl, Rosa Rosa, Prince Street Café, Isaac's and Rachel's Creperie.

Fuhrman and her team hope to raise $25,000 this year. It costs $13,000 to build the school, and the rest will be used to supply books, computers, solar panels for energy, a water filtration system and a teacher.

A portion of the money collected will be donated to the Girls Be Ambitious program of AAC, which provides an incentive for girls to enable them to attend school preventing their trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation.

A government major at F&M, Fuhrman, 20, said her effort stems from the idea that the most useful tool in ensuring stability within a nation is education.

"Most poor families in Cambodia live under the poverty line in rural villages where there are no schools," she said. "Children are kept at home because even the nearest school is just too far.

"After the genocide by the Khmer Rouge regime 30 years ago, Cambodia is still struggling and has a serious problem educating its people," she said.

So Fuhrman tracked down AAC and decided to partner with it.

"She is doing this in a very responsible way in the sense that she is working through an organization that has done this before and knows how to do it," said Lisa Gasbarrone, director of international studies at F&M.

"The students are taking a look at the wider world and getting involved in a humanitarian effort," said Gasbarrone.

So far the group has received $2,500 in pledges. All donations are tax deductible.

For information or to make a donation, call (516) 617-7178 or e-mail

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