Campaign for Cambodia is one of the newest clubs on campus, yet an organization with an established history. The group was originally founded by Wheaton student Pagna Donlevy ’13, and members resided in an academic cluster in Beard Hall. Members were also part of a tight-knit community dedicated to forming international relationships.
Although Campaign for Cambodia participated in multiple fundraisers and cultural activities as a cluster, the group’s recent SGA Senate approval marks a new chapter in its journey.
The club’s main goal is to raise money to purchase books and school supplies for impoverished Cambodian students. Cambodia has a low literacy rate and few women there receive a secondary education. Following more than two decades of war, the nation has made progress in rebuilding its economy. Still, there is still much left to be desired.
One common fundraiser the group participates in is a bake sale in which members prepare and sell traditional Cambodian banana rice. Other events included a Buddhist celebration on New Year’s Day and trips to a local temple to learn about Cambodian religious rituals.
Without Donlevy, however, the group must look to sponsor other kinds of events. Campaign for Cambodia Co-President Ryan Farber ’15 said that the club “will certainly be different” without Donlevy.
“We will focus less on cultural related activities and place a greater emphasis on fundraising,” he said.
Born and raised in a village in Cambodia, Donlevy possessed a deep understanding of Cambodian practices and provided the group with a unique cultural connection to her hometown. The club remains in contact with her, as she has the means to send their savings overseas.
Campaign for Cambodia encourages students to attend their upcoming event, Art for Cambodia, which will be held Wednesday, Oct. 30 in Balfour Atrium from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A student-run art exhibition, Art for Cambodia, will display different paintings, drawings, and 3-D images created by talented Wheaton students. Those who attend will be able to vote for their favorite artwork and the most popular pieces will be made into postcards to be sold on campus. All profits will go directly to the club and help better the lives of those in need.