RELATIONALLY DRIVEN (globally necessary) by Dwayne Castle
I recently returned home from my third trip to Cambodia where I was able to visit my family, see the sights, and this time speak with students and staff at the Academy of Careers and Technology in the capital city of Phnom Penh. The privilege of working with these amazing people will forever be a highlight of mine.
This is a country that roughly 40 years ago, suffered the loss of between 1.5 and 3 million people (approximately one quarter of it’s population) at the genocidal hands of Pol Pot and his regime, the Khmer Rouge.
Those killed were the cultural and religious leaders of the day, the well-educated (which included anyone from university professors to those who wore eye glasses), business leaders- essentially many of those that carried the wisdom which is typically passed from generation to generation.
I’ve been to The Killing Fields and as I’ve viewed the unearthed skulls and bones and listened to the audio tour of both survivor and war criminal, it’s disconcerting to realize that this travesty began taking place not that long ago, while I was a young boy living in Texas.
The devastation to Cambodia and to the beautiful people who endured this “collective trauma” was huge and is still felt on a daily basis, all these years later. These are a people still haunted by what was a living nightmare. Many of those living today were forced to do, and see, and endure so many horrible things simply to survive. I highly recommend you check out the movie First They Killed my Father, to get an idea of what the current citizenry dealt with then, and are attempting to overcome even today.
As you can imagine, the damage has impacted every area of life. The brokenness of so many people undeniably creates hardships within homes and families, within communities, and within businesses and the economy as a whole.
During my visit, I was able to speak with people who are living with the consequences of a mad man’s despicable decisions. I was able to speak with these future leaders and their teachers and help to instill in them a belief that they have been created for purpose despite the hardships they are facing. We were able to discuss the value of each person that they will encounter in their working career and on their life journey and the importance (and benefit) of living intentionally in a way that adds to that value.
The response to the teaching was great and I truly believe that as the students and teachers implement what they learned, their lives and the lives of their fellow countrymen will be improved. However, to see that despite their hardships, they are getting up every day and pursuing a better tomorrow is humbling. To look at the picture above and see so many smiles, despite the shattered reality of their lives, spurs me on to think better and to do better.
The Academy of Careers and Technology is preparing these students for jobs in service related industries. It’s a startup, and the first of its kind in the country. The students that attend are able to do so because of generous donations added to what little they are able to contribute themselves. If you would like to be part of the amazing work that is being done by the staff (who by the way are led by three awesomely inspiring ladies-including my daughter) please let me know.
And if you or your organization would like to know more about the training and how it could help with the success of your jobs, communities, and homes, contact me and let’s schedule a free consultation.