HVTO Contacts in USA

HVTO official contact in Florida, USA.

The first time that I visited HVTO was in 2010. Sim Piseth was the tour guide for my small group visiting Angkor Wat and the little children selling postcards at the temple touched my heart. Talking with Sim about how I felt, moved to help them led to an official visit to the school that was the beginning of a life-changing event. Upon my return to Ft Myers, Florida, I begin telling everyone about what I felt and decided to sponsor a child. With Sim's help, we selected Vanna, who was in the 8th grade at the time. Communication and sending money was very difficult but we made it happen. I believe that Vanna was the first student to enter the sponsorship program. Later, I persuaded Bob Fischer to sponsor a girl names Solim. We acted on faith and trust and heard very little from them in the beginning. I also knew that I wanted to return and started planning a return trip in the Spring of 2012. This time, another friend of mine, Judy Rutherford who has taught overseas before decided to join me. She started fund raising with me and collected enough money from her friends to sponsor 2 more children for a year. Bob, Judy and myself all belong to the same church and so we requested money on 2 separate occasions. Unity of Ft Myers donated enough money to fund some of the operating budget, 2 students for the remainder of their school years and to provide 24 water wells to almost 100 village families, Because of health conditions, Judy was not able to join me in my next visit to the school. However, Mona Lolk, another friend of mine traveled from Denmark to join me in living and teaching in the village.
The experience was rewarding beyond what words can describe and neither Mona nor myself wanted to leave and began planning the return trip. Also, while we were there, we began to meet and interview several Cambodian NGO's that were also incorporated in the USA. All of them told us that the only way for the school to become self sustainable was to incorporate as a USA Charity and obtain the 501c3 tax exempt status. Most large corporations in the USA require this to make donations and it also allows for the applications to many grant programs. With the help and commitment of Bob Fischer and Judy Rutherford, we have begun that process. Another member of Unity of Ft Myers, James Stonham has become the sponsor of a university student. What I observed in my month in the village has agitated my passion to continue to help HVTO. Once the framework is in place, I hope to join the other USA sponsors and help make this the sustainable project that Sim Piseth envisioned.
Since we have observed first-hand the commitment of Sim Piseth, Seaknam and the village elders in improving the quality of the lives of everyone in their commune, we are committed to be official contacts of HVTO with the registered body known as Homestay Teachers Volunteer Organization in United States to serve HVTO in Cambodia to grow. 
Article added by Patti Baker on July 6th, 2014
We became incorporated in August of 2013 as Homestay Teachers Volunteer Organization, Inc, a Florida 501c3 corporation.  Our first year has been very good and we received a matching grant from a family trust in England for the new College Prep Program.  This program is very important and allows the students in the village to continue their studies toward professions that will allow them to become future leaders on the country.  Although more than 70% of Cambodia's population is under 30 years old, most cannot afford higher education. Some exceptionally bright students only need the opportunity to succeed. We are happy to give more information about it. So little does so such and everyone's heart is filled with love and gratitude.
( The photo was when Patti and Mona come to visit HVTO in January 2013)
Anyone in United States wants to get involved or become part of the projects, please contact me if you would like to know more about how you can help.

Thank you,

Patti G. Baker


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