Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Help Teach Children In Cambodia How to Think, Not What to Think

The Ethics class teaches children how to think not what to

Tanya Smith from Atheist Alliance International e-mailed me this morning about a new project AAI is supporting, Critical Thinking and Secular Ethics in Cambodia.

The project is being implemented by the Cambodian Children's Trust, an absolutely fantastic looking secular non-profit NGO that aims to break the soul-crushing cycle of poverty in this challenged country.

The Challenge!

Here's a description of the program direct from its fundraising page:
Theravada Buddhism is (supposedly) practiced by around 95% of the Cambodian population. In reality however, behind the doors of Khmer Temples there lies belief in superstitions, with rituals, spirits, ghosts, gods, and sorcerers, which, it can be argued, injects immeasurable stress and fear into the lives of most Cambodians. In a country where corruption is widespread and 40% of the population live below the poverty line, it is vital that Cambodia's children, its future leaders learn how to think for themselves, how to reason and how to be ethical and moral citizens. The future of Cambodia depends on it. 
We will teach them to question. We will show them how to work out what is ethical or unethical (or somewhere in between). We will teach them to be able to identify flaws in arguments. We will educate them about the major religions and, with the skills they develop in this course, enable them to make up their own minds. 
Studying ethics and philosophy will give children skills to use good thinking as the guide by which they live their lives. 
You can find out more about the project and to keep up with what we're doing, including the latest blog posts, on the website at
You know, it sort of reminds me of Camp Quest in the US and Canada, but the situation is a little more dire in Cambodia. The country has a tragic past of genocide - where some 1.7 million+ people were killed between 1975 and 1979 - for following an insane leader to the tee. Teaching children to think clearly and critically now may make a difference both in their lives and for the entire country moving forward.

From the video:
It is why many Cambodian people died. More than 1,000,000 people died. Because they believe what their leader said and they don't think (about whether) it's right or wrong, good or not. It is very good for people to learn to think!

How You Can Help!

Visit the Atheist Alliance International Fundraiser page: or the project page at

Then you can start by spreading the word! It's free! Just share it on your social networks!

Once you've done that, why not make a contribution! The project's tipping point is $2,241, which will pay for 50% of the pilot project - the rest of the pilot is being sponsored by AAI:
Raising the tipping point amount of $2241 will pay for 50% of the pilot project, the remainder has already been funded by Atheist Alliance International. 
Reaching the total funding goal would enable us to fund the project through late 2013.
The total funding goal is $6,723 and I think it's totally reachable by our online community.

Just look at these little tikes. Don't you want them to learn sound reasoning and ethics?

Why not chip in a couple of bucks for this worthy cause?

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