We here at One Degree Forward understand that making the decision to help people who are thousands of miles away can sometimes be difficult, and you it’s easy to feel as if you’re too far away to really be making a difference. As technology steadily spreads through much of the Third World, staying in contact with those who you help has never been easier. Through avenues such as Email, Skype, and even Facebook, donors and sponsors are able to maintain a meaningful and fulfilling relationship with those who they choose to help. In doing so, we are able to directly experience  the impact that we are having on the lives of those who are we trying to help succeed.

Listed below are samples of letters that we receive from our recipients, some of which are simply to say hello, and others which reveal that harrowing ordeals many of these children must go through just to take the initiative to educate and better themselves.

A letter from Chakriya, a student studying nursing and English in Phnom Penh, May 27, 2013

Hi Tim

How are you ? I hope you and your family are well. What about weather in your country? It is great?

For my study , I go to an English class  at 5:30-6:30 and Computer class at 4:30-5:30 in the afternoon. Nursing school i will try study and I will making good for my exam, but  when I have free time diffidence. I’m sure it was great. I want to practice my English whit you a lot of , but i’m difficulty go out.

Me and my family is good. I wish you and your family good luck  and sweet dream forever .


Son Chakriya

A letter from team leader Laim discussing the Moon solar lights and enrolling students in English school, May 13, 2013

Dear Tim and Kyle,

Thank and very nice to hearing from you.
We are really appreciated that you both have so big heart to our people.
We are trying to reach our future goals.
That is great idea if you could donate some more solar for children.
I believe and heard that their families and children happy with moonlight.
I remember, while I stay in village I saw many children take solar on their neck to come to school.
Moon light is best tool for children to study.
I talked to Sary about it.
She and her parents are so happy with the news.
She said she might want to go to small private English school before going to Panasatra University.
I know how hard to keep raising money for children.
I wish I could born in rich family and I wish you could be richest person.
Thank you so much again that you always keep us in your mind. Sincerely, Laim
A letter from team leader Laim providing on update on students in Siem Reap, April 20, 2013
Dear Tim and Kyle,

The first, we would love to say thank you so much that you both always try your best to support our life and educations.
We really appreciate and proud of what you both are doing to help poor children to get better life.
I had been talking with all students which you support them.
To sum up,
– 4 children is finished at Florida school ready, they have to pay as soon as in this month.
– Sa is finished second year first year at BBU ready with good result.
– Panastra University: Ratana, Sa, and Kanha is going to take final exam on 30 April.
– Laim. medical school is finished third year of first semester ready. I have to pay 410$ for second semester before this month. I passed.
We wish you get success, healthy, and happiness.

A letter from Martin, a recent volunteer from America who spent over two weeks teaching English at Samrong School, December 14, 2012

Hello Tim!

Samrong really was great! I was very sad to leave Samrong School, Sophy, her family and the students behind. It was even sadder than leaving my parents back home because I dont know when I will be back at Samrong. It has been the highlight of my trip thus far. Sophy her family, and Laims parents were very kind to me and always ensured I was well taken care of.
Im happy that all of the students you help can attend school/the University.
I think Sophy will be extremely pleased if you were to bring her a smart phone, she has no way of using the internet/checking her email. I asked Sophy if she needed anything at the school and she seemed pretty content with what she had. I think that some flashcards with words in english/pictures would be very helpful. Maybe a book on lesson plans as well. When I was in Samrong I would occasionally play the students a movie from my phone and they would love it. Maybe a used laptop that can play dvds and some educational dvds would also come in handy…When I went back to Phnom Penh I got to meet up with Laim again and see the temple where he lives…
Tim, If I can ever help you with anything, Samrong, the students, or whatever it may be. Please dont hesitate to get in touch with me. I will be telling others that I meet along the way about Samrong school and hopefully I will find some new volunteers that can take my place…”

A letter from Chariya, a girl who send to English school just writing to thank us and say hello, November 9, 2012

Dear Tim
Thank you for your e-mail.when i can see your e-mail i very happy becuseh you realy miss me when me hat to you help me.
And i can parctich English whis you.
I knowe you realy leph me and you think i can do well. so i hope,i will doing well.
when i have free time i will send to you again,
Best wishes
A letter from team leader Laim Len thanking us for our commitment to send 4 more children from his village to English school, October 30, 2012

Dear Tim and Kyle,

The first I and all children would love to say thank to you and all supporters.
Since we got your support our life keep changing day by day.
Our future goals that we never think we can not reach but at the present and future, we really believe our goals definitely come true.
We all thank to you so much again and gain for your help and generous.
Laim and all children
A letter from team leader Laim Len thanking us for the continued support, October 16, 2012
Thank you really much for you email and keep sponsoring us.
I understand how hard to raise money for us.
We are so proud of you and all supporters.
We will use that all money for useful things.
I will send you all receipts and photos to you after.
Thank you very much again Tim and Kyle.
On behalf of Cambodain children I would love to say thank so much to you and American people.
Laim and all children

A letter from Kakneang who is a girl studying at Build Bright University in Phnom Penh, July 3, 2012

Hello! Tim

I am Kakneang, I am well. How are you been? I hope that you doing well too, I exam already since 30 May. My examination is good all subject, but Computer and English subject are difficult a little too. After the examination finish school give students holidays a week. And start class in 9 July. I am very happy that get study continue. Thank you that you help me to my study. I want to see come Cambodia soon.I miss you Tim and brother Kyle and sister too.
All the best

Letter from Laim Len regarding the new raincoat we sent him for the rainy season when he needs to ride his bicycle to school, June 30, 2012

Dear Tim and Kyle,

I just got raincoat this morning from Pouv.
It is very nice and good quality.
I did not meet your friend but Pouv met them.
Pouv said thank to you a lot.
Thank you so much for nice raincoat.
A letter from our team leader and first college graduate Mony Ouk who is now serving as an administrative director for us and is in the process of interviewing for a full-time job in Phnom Penh, June 23, 2012.
Dear Tim,
Hello , How are you doing? Hope everything in there are going well . We are in Cambodia are fine.we are missing of you all . They are all say hello to you , Brother Kyle , and sister Heather .
By the way i would like to let you know that Kakneang she will have final exam finish semester 2 year1 on Monday morning ,she will spent 6 days on her final exam. Does she let you know ? and i hope that she will doing well all subject , she is a hard working student.I will let you know more how her exam going .
For me today morning  i have interview at Sale  Mobile company,, but still looking for second interview . Now waiting all job.
Good luck !!!!
Mony missing you all so much.

Letter from Steven, one of our donors who is helping to provide a full time teacher for Samrong School

Dear Tim:

I am delighted that the funds are helping to make a difference. Information like this makes my day! . . Thank you, Tim!

It is wonderful that the Phnom Post will write about Laim and his efforts to improve rural and children’s lives. It will give him greater exposure, and with it, additional help. All of this is good news for the Samrong School.

Letter from Laim Len regarding aid given to Samrong Village School, January 24, 2011

Dear Tim and Kyle,

Thank you so much for your email and support Samrong Village School of Opportunity.
All children in school are doing fine. They keep coming to school every day.
We are all so appreciated to One Degree Forward who keep our school opens the doors.
Each children will get new notebook, pen, pencil, and eraser start of this February.
50.00US$ for supplies:
13.00US$ per month for watering bathroom (gas).
35.00US$ for 100 notebooks, pens, pencils, and erasers.
And some for markers.
200.00US$ for full time teacher.
The photos of all supplies will be sent after gave to children next month.
We all thank to you so much for all your help.
Please keep our eyes open.
Thank and sincerely,
Laim and children
Letter from Chariya, a new English student in the southern town of Kampot, January 21, 2011
hello god parents
happy chines new yea parents.
i very happy when i see messenger you.
i have go hons meet parents for chines new yea.
i tall him i have god parents and you help me study.
my parents very happy when him know because him not many give me study.
my parents tall me give tall you them very thank you.
the and i wish parents have good luck and you family for chines new yea.bey.bey.see you soon.

form Chariya

Letter from Sophy to One Degree Forward, November 21, 2011

“Hi Tim!how are you?i”m very happy to welcome you all on December,
thanks a lots that you provide new life for me,(going to university)’
Can i call you Dad?
Take care Dad!
Your daughter”

Letter from Laim to One Degree Forward, October 16, 2011

“Dear Tim and Kyle,
Thank you so much for sponsor us.
I registered at BBU already.
We spent 180.00$ each for student.
1.50$ each for student card.
For uniform 20.00$ each
For bikes 50.00$
For notebooks and lesson book and some school supplies, I gave money to them, 4 bikes keys, 4 pairs of shoes.
Discount 5 per cent from BBU.
They all thank you so much that they could have the great opportunity to enroll university today.

Anyways I will send you email again. At the moment is raining and it take so long time to upload photos.
I could not go to Phnom Penh today because of flood but I will go there tomorrow.
I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Wish you become a rich man.
Sincerely and love from us,
Laim, Sa, Mach, Sophy and Kanha

Letter from Laim to One Degree Forward, July 25, 2011

“Dear Tim and Kyle,

Thank you for good news and sponsor me. That sound great that you would love to visit Cambodia again.
I would love to see and meet you. I am doing well at ACE. My teacher is Canadian. I enjoy English class so much.
For university I will have exam again next month. I have to read many and many books as much as I can.
I am so happy that I have opportunity to study English and University. How long are you going to stay in Cambodia?
I called to Sa. She passed Hello to you and Kyle too. I look forward to hearing and speaking with you soon.
Please have lovely day.
Laim and Sa
Letter from Pouv to One Degree Forward, July 21, 2011
Hi Tim  hope you doing well. my childrent they doing pass the exam
Srey nouch will going level 5 she got good score B class
Rotanak he going to level 3  he got good score too B plus class
the school they pay for the new term at the end of july for   6 month last term 4 month only i’ll find out how much and let you know
Regard from your freind
Pouv family

Letter from Sreynouch to One Degree Forward, May 19, 2011

I’m fine thanks and you?
Now in Phnom Phen is really has rain a lots.
I’m really like beltei very much .
Thanks for you pays my study.
Say hello your family for me.
form chan sreynouch.
Good luck.

Excerpt of letter from Len Laim to One Degree Forward, May 13, 2011

Sa is my cousin. She has 5 sisters and one youngest brother. she is the firth children in her family.
She was born in 18 May 1990, about 45km from Siem Reap town, in Samrong Village, Khnar Pour Commune,
Sotnie Kom District, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. People in this area depend on agriculture (planting rice one time a year conditional families). Her father died before she went to school.
All of her sisters went only to primary school that in that time her mum who look after.
Unfortunely her mum decided all children stop study because she could not afford and control family.
She have been starting to get sick and sick that she decided to sell her farm for get money to pay health care.
Until now her mum still sick can work any more. Sa have been struggling to finish her high school even though that all
sisters decided to marry after they stopped studying form primary school.
Her English is not so bad can communitate with foreigner. She is trying to pratice her English with teaching to children at Samrong Village of Opportunity.
She is working at our school is Samrong Village School of Opportunity part time to improve her English and provide free education to our community. She know a litle bit about computer some time she use internet also.
Here is the budget that I get from Sa.
She said she can stay in the house that I was staying while I was studying
For food it might cost up 35 to 50$ as you know the food now is more
expensive. For books and some more supplies will cost about 10 to 15$ per month.
For transportation she said spend only 35$ to buy good bike that she can use
for long time. For cloths and university uniform will cost 20 per year.
Thank you again for your kindness always thinking about our future.
I am looking forward to hearing and working with you.
Please all the best go with you and your family.
Laim Len and Sa Chear

Letter from Rotanak to One Degree Forward, May 9, 2011

Hello Tim
I’m fine thanks.
Thanks your prsent.
I and my sister will get 90% from school we’re need good futuer.
I do not play at school alot now, I love my father his work hard for me and my mom too.
I have internet at home now with my dad we use togetter.
Thanks. say hello to your family for me.