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People for Care & Learning (PCL) is a non-profit 501(C)3 founded in 2002 as a humanitarian organization created to provide care and learning opportunities around the world. The PCL Team is dedicated to serving the poor by helping children, widows, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by giving the poor a working chance.
PCL seeks to serve the poor by providing opportunities for impoverished people to transform their lives through schools, feeding centers, orphan and widow care, vocational training, leadership development, basic business education and micro-enterprise opportunities.
The founder, Fred Garmon, PhD, is not only the International Director and President of PCL, he is the visionary of this amazing non-profit. The video sheds a spotlight on People for Care and Learning.
One of the projects that PCL is venturing or launching is “Build a City.” People for Care and Learning has been working with the poor in Cambodia for over a decade. During this time, PCL has lamented failures and celebrated successes, essentially learning what not to do when caring for those in extreme poverty. A goal is to take some of the successes–children’s homes, feeding centers, integrated farms, micro-business development, learning centers, and leadership training–and combine them all in a concentrated area to attack the poverty cycle from every angle. PCL believes that addressing root issues of poverty in this one village can gives a chance to empower the poor, inspire hope, and empower potential.
Specifically, in the last seven years, PCL has worked in several relocation camps in the capital city of Phnom Penh. These relocation camps house families that have been displaced from property along the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers–property the government authorities believe to be valuable and key to the city’s expansion. The government, in hopes of helping these people, adopted a United Nations initiative called “The Poverty Reduction Plan.” This plan outlines fundamental ways third world countries can help the poor such as building Habitat for Humanity designed homes. Of course, someone needs to provide the financial capital ($1000 USD per home) in order for this plan to work.
When these families are displaced, it creates problems of vast proportions. They are without proper housing, clean water, and an opportunity to earn a sustainable income, or any sense of hope for the future. They live only for the day and never dream or plan for the future. PCL has helped provide homes for many of these families in the past, but feel that a house is a fraction of the solution to a complex problem while the rest of the poverty cycle remains. Again, PCL hopes that the Build A City model will provide a multi-faceted approach that is more likely to truly inspire hope and empower potential
The “Build A City” project is a three-year process designed to literally build out the entire village of Andong. In addition to housing, the project includes all of the city infrastructure, underground sewer system, paved roads, community center, market place, police station, four-story training center, health clinic, playgrounds, and green space. This will provide a new city for over 8,000 people. The total estimated cost is $2,225,000. They have a matching grant of $1,000,000 from the Lazarus foundation to build housing, so every time someone donates $1,000 for one house in Andong, they are actually providing two.
Without hesitation, the major inspiration for this project is the children and young adults in Andong. Because of the Khmer Rouge genocide in the 70s and many years of war, over 55% of the population of Cambodia is under the age of 24. “This demographic keeps us awake at night.” It is their mission to give them opportunities they never knew were possible and help them dream of the future for the first time.
We have fallen in love with the people of Cambodia and especially the families in Andong. We have two tag lines that keep us motivated. We ‘give the poor a working chance’ and we want every project, idea, trip, and conversation to ‘inspire hope and empower potential.’ We operate from a John 1:14 model: ‘The Word became flesh and moved into the neighborhood (MSG).’ We have moved into the neighborhood in Andong, and we love it. Jake Stum.
PCL needs contributions large and small at every level to attack the poverty cycle from many different directions at once. The total cost of the project is $2.2 million. It is a three year build process, but the goal is to have the total amount raised or pledged by the end of 2012.
Want to help Build a City? Share this story on Facebook and Twitter. Spread the message. Encourage your friends to Like People for Care on Facebook. Follow them on Twitter. ReTweet this article and click the Facebook Like button. You can also post your comments. Get involved in something bigger than yourself. Can you sponsor one home? Let’s get the word out! Let’s go BUILD A CITY!