Today I want to talk about books . . . the power of books
December 7, 2022

Think back with me. Think back to the time you were a kid. What role did books play in your life back then? If you were anything like I was in those early years, books were essential. For me, books were HUGE. I’m not talking about just school books . . . those were always there. I’m talking about story
books. I was fascinated with early America, with indigenous native life, with exploration into new and unknown territories. And, I could not get enough of the Hardy Boys mystery books.

Fortunately, in my small town of Seal Beach I had a library just a few blocks away. I could get there in minutes on my bicycle. Then I’d return with a sack-load of books for the week. These books opened my eyes to the world. They kept my brain alive. They opened up a world of possibilities for my future.
Now, let’s imagine that books are a scarce thing. There are no books in your home. Your village has no library. Books in your meager school are only for lessons and are so few that even those must be shared with several other students. Sound bleak? You bet it does. Yet, in so many of the villages I visit in Cambodia that is exactly what I find. No libraries. No books other than a few tattered ones to be shared during classroom exercises.
We can change that. In fact, we ARE changing that. We’re changing that by funding libraries in the village schools. We get interesting story books into those libraries. And, we’re also collaborating with the best possible on-line book sources to make electronic books available.
Now I want to share the notion of mobile libraries. Two of our NGO partners do an outstanding job of taking the libraries to the kids. Wanna know what that might look like? Just take a look at this two-minute video. I’m sure it will touch your heart as much as it touches mine.
Play Video

There you have it. The power of books. The power to open up previously unimaginable possibilities to these kids. It gets them thinking about their life . . . and the choices they could make . . . and the importance of education.

Education IS the key to eliminating poverty.

So, today I’m asking you to join me. Let’s get more books into the hands of these kids. Not just a few books. I’m thinking thousands of books – typically at less than $2.00 each – purchased from local suppliers. A double benefit. Books for the kids. A boost for the local economy.

Just click here and buy some books.

At the SE Asia Foundation we do not simply “help” people.
We Help People Help Themselves.
That is our focus.
That is our commitment.
That is where our actions show up.

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