“A clear national vision, rooted in fundamental spiritual principles and shared moral values, is the essential starting point for national transformation.” —GPF Chairman Dr. Hyun Jin Moon

While delivering his speech at the Global Peace Convention in Paraguay, Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon emphasized the hope that can be found in young leaders who create change by uplifting human dignity. Young people in Cambodia are making a difference in their local towns, inspired by the vision of One Family under God. By owning this vision, youth are rising as leaders of social and economic transformation as they expand their sphere of influence.

Since its launch in 2013, the Basic English Language Instruction (BELI) organized by Global Peace Foundation-Cambodia has provided valuable English lessons to underserved schools around Phnom Penh and offered life-changing experiences to university student volunteers.

English is quickly rising as the primary language in many Southeast Asian nations. Providing quality education through English literacy programs like BELI gives Cambodian youth a significant advantage as the country enters a globalized economy and multicultural world.

Cambodian students attend volunteer orientation and induction

Cambodian students attend volunteer orientation and induction.

Siverong, a student of the Royal University of Fine Arts, described how the project is empowering Cambodian youth with both academic and leadership skills, while affirming a shared human connection. “I really admire GPF for coming up with this kind of project,” Siverong said. “It gives opportunities to youth and students who cannot afford the costs of an extra English class. It also helps university students to get experience and work in real life. They can improve both hard and soft skills in their academic life.” Siverong continued to describe how the project empowered Cambodian youth with both academic and leadership skills while creating a culture of brotherhood; “I have made a lot of friends and met many good people. We learned and shared our experiences together as a family. One family under God – this vision can create an impact in order to serve lives for the greater good, regardless of race, religion, and culture.”

Another student, Sonita of the Institute of Foreign Languages, agreed, and added, “In each class with volunteer teaching, there are many students of different races, religions, and living conditions. We try our best to teach them as much as they can receive, without any discrimination. It is my great honor to be a part of GPF and gain experience and share my knowledge with the next generation.”

The BELI project includes training for students aspiring to become volunteer English teachers. An important aspect of the BELI training program is that it encourages the rising generation of professionals with a culture of leadership and service as they enter the workforce, thus supporting the ethical foundation for a vibrant civil society.

Fostering a culture of service through ongoing volunteer opportunities like BELI not only uplifts the community being served, but perhaps most importantly, uplifts qualities of leadership within the individuals providing service for others.

The original post appears on Global Peace Foundation. Global Peace Foundation is an international non-sectarian, non-partisan, nonprofit organization, which promotes an innovative, values-based approach to peacebuilding, guided by the vision of One Family under God.  GPF engages and organizes a global network of public and private-sector partners who develop community, national, and regional peace building models as the foundation for ethical and cohesive societies. Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon is founder and chairman of the Global Peace Foundation.