With the brunt of the pandemic behind us, we’re coming out of isolation to thank our loyal supporters who were with us through thick & thin - despite our ever-increasing silence over the past couple of years (which was a result of our very conscious decision to back away from social media). Nonetheless, we successfully continued our work - quietly, behind the scenes - while the rest of the world also did their best to isolate & establish a new normal for themselves, their families/friends, and respective communities.
The pandemic enabled the world to take an important pause, which prompted many of us to view things through new lenses. That being said, we ask you to join us as we reflect on MTRF’s past, from inception to present. Along the way, we’ll touch on insights we’ve gained through our experiences, and share how we’re looking forward to enhancing the lives of those in need in the future.
It is said that hindsight is always 20/20. In early 2020, we were pleased to share that – since our inception - we were able to aid 300+ Cambodian families with water wells & mosquito
nets and provide 1,000+ students in India & Cambodia with uniforms, shoes,
bikes &/or school supplies. At that time, we also announced our new vision for moving forward: the construction and support of schools/education for those in need.
This decision came as a result of our on-going commitment to lifelong learning and the recognition that it’s best to teach one to fish for themselves. Throughout a child’s education, new visions for the future are made possible as the skills and wherewithal to accomplish
goals are instilled in the formal setting of a classroom. Sadly, schools aren’t readily accessible to those living in extremely remote villages --this prompted us to take action!
Never suspecting that a pandemic was around the corner, we announced our “2020 vision” via FB/blogpost, finalized the plans/location for our first school, and wire transferred funding for phase one of the construction to our Cambodian partner, RSVP. It was an exciting time for us, but quickly became a situation of “the best laid plans”…. Again, who knew that a pandemic was
around the corner?! Abruptly, our trip to Cambodia for the dedication and opening of our new school in April of 2020 was cancelled, as all non-essential travel came to a screeching halt, and we, along with the rest of the world, waited....and waited.... Though our project was delayed, there was a silver lining in this cloud because the construction of our new school provided badly needed jobs for many during a very difficult time. Slowly, the project moved forward & upon completion, we were able to dedicate the teacher housing portion of our first new school in loving memory of our lifelong friend and avid supporter, Nancy Hoke. Eventually, quarantining was lifted, and our new school was officially opened!
Later, as things began to open up, we were thrilled to be able to fund the construction of another school! In October of 2021, we dedicated MTRF’s second school to our mothers, as well as the mothers of two very generous donors. Each of the four classrooms has an inspirational message attributed to one of our moms - we thought it was a fitting way to greet the children as they enter the room to begin their education for the day. ❤ Our schools are set up to serve nearly 200 students (the number of attendees still varies); contributions made by our donors enable us to provide ongoing support to the students attending these schools.
SEEING CLEARLY NOW
While we did our best to continue MTRF’s waterwell program during 2020 & beyond, it became clear that many of our earlier programs were nearly impossible to sustain, given the negative effects of the pandemic on the villages. This made our school building program even more
important on many levels! In spite of these challenges, in 2022, we were able to provide funding for food, supplies and bikes for students in need at our two schools located in remote villages in Cambodia.
Throughout recent years, we began seeing - even more clearly - that our 2020 vision of dedicating our time and resources to education was, indeed, the most appropriate direction for MTRF. We very much appreciate all that RSVP, our Cambodian partners, have done to make all
of this possible and we remain committed to supporting the two MTRF schools on
an on-going basis. AND SO - with a much clearer vision through our newly refined lenses - we’re….
Yes, we’re looking forward….and….onward & upward!
What does this mean? It means that - looking forward – we’ll remain dedicated to educating those in need in various parts of the world, including those in our own backyards here in the US! And, when we say onward & UPWARD, we're referring to expanding our efforts to include advanced education. We’ll accomplish this vision by providing SCHOLARSHIPS to dedicated students in need who meet criteria we’re refining on an on-going basis as our new scholarship program unfolds.
As we look forward to providing these scholarships in 2023 and beyond, we’re excited about making it possible for more & more students to “learn to fish” while also making it possible for
our donors to support this vision! It is our intent to help pave the way for those who are passionately committed to their education in order to make the world a better place for many generations to come!
We feel that a lack of resources should NEVER stand in the way of education - it seems crystal clear to us that contributing to the education of the world at large is definitely a mission we can look forward to embracing. Onward & upward!