Our involvement with Baray goes back 7-8 years when we first got involved with missions work in Cambodia. Initially our intent was to help out with the street kids in Phnom Penh, but eventually we were increasingly drawn to the work in Baray. Over the years we organized medical/dental teams, flood relief and rice distributions efforts.
It wasn't difficult to come to love these warm and gentle people.
Increasingly our involvement in Baray brought us deeper and deeper into rural Cambodia. Some of the villages we did medical work in were so isolated and poor, that we despaired for them. The depth and breadth of their social and spiritual needs were overwhelming. We recognized however, that if they were ever going to break out of the poverty cycle, the children needed to go to school and get educated. But the schools were few and far from many of the villages. While older children could make the daily commute to school and back, younger children found it difficult and unsafe. Often they just gave up on school. Then by the time they become old enough to be able to make it to the nearest school, they would have given up the idea of ever going to school.
Hence the idea of planting schools in some of these very isolated villages.