Life and Hope Association (LHA), Cambodia
Venerable Somnieng Hoeurn
Venerable Somnieng Hoeurn is an incredible Local Hero who founded and runs Life and Hope Association (LHA) at Wat Damnak Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia. One of Cambodia’s pre-eminent spiritual leaders, Somnieng has carved his own path in monkhood. From working directly on HIV/AIDS issues to championing the protection, health and education of vulnerable children, particularly girls, he has challenged the stereotypical role of a monk and is empowering communities throughout Siem Reap. Growing up in a poor family, Somnieng became a monk so he could continue his education. Despite many challenges, he not only completed high school but later earned the opportunity to study Business Management at St. Ambrose University in Iowa where he graduated in May, 2010.
Through LHA, Somnieng has developed six innovative programs that benefit vulnerable children in the community. Each program is guided by his philosophy that says, “the route out of poverty is provided by loving care and a good education.” As one of Cambodia’s few activist monks, Somnieng and his colleagues at LHA are extraordinary advocates for change and they teach children that if you “bring hope into your life and work hard at your education, your future will be bright.” Read more about Somnieng and his projects with GO below.
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