Inspiring Hope in Cambodia


cambodiaPlanet Changer is very excited to announce a new partnership with a grassroots movement to inspire hope in villages near Siem Reap, Cambodia!

While our work will continue in Uganda, it has always been Planet Changer’s goal to grow, and inspire hope, when carefully evaluated opportunities that fit our model arise. Cambodia was on the initial prospective list of countries mentioned in Planet Changer’s very first Vision Meeting, nearly seven years ago and before incorporation.

With this new partnership, Planet Changer will help empower villagers to improve their lives and support them in creating lasting change. By partnering in this way, we will be actively engaging in the prevention of human trafficking, promoting family preservation by keeping families together, increasing literacy and education, and eventually offering trade education and business opportunities for villagers.

“In January 2017, two friends (one Khmer, one American) sat down in Siem Reap, Cambodia to share dreams with each other. As it turned out, they had the exact same one: they wanted to build libraries for kids in villages. With the Khmer friend’s knowledge, research, and hard work, and the American friend’s connection to people in the States who wanted to help financially, the first Bamboo Library was opened in June 2017. Libraries #2, #3, and #4 quickly followed in the next few months.

The villagers – kids and adults alike – are thrilled with these beautiful new additions to their villages. Kids are reading and learning and growing, and the libraries have quickly become the most popular place in the village to hang out with friends and learn. We have big dreams for what is next – English classes, vegetable gardens, fish ponds, bamboo farms. And you can be part of it!” – The Cambodia Team

Library 4
The American Friend, and Khmer friend, standing with the Village Chief (in green) where Library 4 is located.

We are honored to partner with the team in Cambodia as they continue to invest in the villages to inspire hope and empower the people to thrive.

Learn more about the Bamboo Libraries, and how you can get involved or how to follow along, here.

Thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support! We appreciate you!

Friends and Clean Water

These are my new friends. In order of their pictures – William, Patience, Jean Luke, Alex in his purple school uniform, Makaledo carrying a large bag of flour on her head, Solomon, Andrew, Oli giving me a “bonga” (fist bump), and finally, Mike and Elisha who desperately wanted to know what my strange skin felt like. These children, and the hundreds of others I have met in the rural farming communities of Uganda, have stolen a large piece of my heart.

As the delegated photographer on this trip, I’ve had the privilege to document the state of natural springs and then turn the camera to these sweet faces who were intensely intrigued in the “Musungu’s” who have wandered into their backyard. Though they are growing up in a whole different world than I did, their infectious joy, endless giggles, whispers to friends, and goofy faces are something that we have in common. Each of these pictures is the result of me saying, “Do a silly face!”

It is easy to forget the reason that we are here while my attention is on them… These kids, and thousands of others, have no other option but to use the unprotected water springs (in the second to last picture) to drink, cook with, and bathe in. Water constantly pours out from the earth but has no other option than to pool up in the dirt where bacteria and parasites breed and dangerous animals come to drink.

Seeing this reality firsthand has made all other things in my life seem strangely dim.

Planet Changer is inspiring hope in these communities by aiding and empowering them to make changes that have a tangible and life-altering impact in the lives of their families. (Protected water spring in last picture) Be part of the movement… Like and follow Planet Changer on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more updates, or check out our website – #waterislife #planetchanger

-Baly Botten