Riverstone charity worker brings education to Cambodia

Making a difference: Jake Stalker of Riverstone with the Khmer people involved in teacher training.NINE months on from creating his charity One Step One Life, Jake Stalker of Riverstone has achieved what many would not believe possible at the age of 20.

With a focus on educating Khmer people in Cambodia he bought land for a two-classroom school, is training teachers and has given four mature-age people fully funded university scholarships.

Jake said he realised the impact he could have on Cambodia after a holiday in the year.

“The key to getting a better job is education, ” he said. “And if we can educate one person at a time through university scholarships then maybe one day they will be able to go on to help others, like we are now.”

A small tutoring business is what funds Jake’s trips to Cambodia, with all of the money going to a village in Siem Reap, a north-western province.

“We hope to spread our wings and help in other areas but for now it’s Siem Reap,” he said.

Jake has help from a Khmer employee of One Step, a local cafe manager, Pheakdey, with the cafe business running as a not-for-profit organisation.

Jake cut his recent seven-week trip down to five weeks after seeing Pheakdey’s managerial skills.

“I’m using my money I could save for my next trip as Pheakdey is quite capable of running things here by himself for now,” Jake said. “I need to come home to raise more funds.”

One Step One Life has raised $8000 since April but after buying land to build a school, employing Pheakdey, and training teachers, most of that money is now gone.

Jake said Khmer applicants receive a One Step One Life scholarship if they show promise towards community tasks and have the need and want to go to university.

They will also receive a laptop and internet usage.

“I think what makes us unique is our ongoing support for people here and we really try to get to know everyone,” Jake said.

Jake hopes to start work on building the school by the middle of the year.

■ Follow Jake and Facebook page ‘One Step One Life’ or to donate visit http://1step1life苏州美甲美睫培训学校.

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