GiveLight volunteer Saifuddin Amath plans to travel to Cambodia this summer of 2013 for the opening ceremony of our next home there. Saif intends to make a documentary film about GiveLight’s project in Cambodia. Here’s a recent video that Saif edited for our Dreams of Africa event. We think he is talented, see if you agree with us.
The construction of GiveLight’s next home in Cambodia is near completion. We are on target and look forward to the opening ceremony this summer. More information about our project in Cambodia can be found here. Your generous support can help him reach his goal giving him the chance to begin a life long journey of saving orphans in Cambodia and through out the world.
Greetings of Peace
My name is Saifuddin Amath. Here is a little background about me.
I graduated from UC San Diego in 2010 with a biology degree. I worked as a freelance video editor for a year before landing a “Director of Media” job for a software startup where I enhanced my post-production video editing techniques while also dabbling in new fields such as user-interface design.
After my stint with the startup, I decided to abandon my multimedia passions and choose a career that was financially stable, so I hit my MCAT books. Out of the blue I was offered to edit GiveLight’s Dreams of Africa video for their major fundraising benefit dinner. I took it on, knowing nothing about GiveLight. After just a few meetings I knew I had found the organization I’ve always wanted to volunteer for. In addition, GiveLight has re-kindled my love for filmmaking, a passion with deep roots to my journey struggling with my Cham identity.
I am Cham, an ethnic group predominantly residing in Vietnam and Cambodia. We can be thought of as the “aborigines” of Vietnam. Cham’s bloodshed-filled history is filled with wars, massacres, and numerous diasporas including the recent horrific Pol Pot massacre that massively reduced the Cambodian Cham population. Growing up I never saw the significance of my Cham background; every single time someone would ask for my ethnicity I would unconsciously reply “Vietnamese” or “Malaysian”. Leaving home for college prompted me to ask a simple question: What is this Cham identity I have buried for all these years? What I unearthed left me in awe and ashamed I had hidden such a beautiful lineage: the stories, the sacrifices, the beauty, the ugliness, the yearning. It was all there spread out in front of me as clear as daylight.
I would later start the Cham Diaspora Project with a few other Chams with the goal of providing a platform for Chams from around the world to share their stories. (Here is a link to the videos I have made so far in the Cham Diaspora Project: https://vimeo.com/album/1907100).
Unfortunately, I had neglected the project while pre-occupied with work. GiveLight has inspired me to revive the Cham Diaspora Project and with my newfound motivation, I hope I can represent GiveLight at the Cambodia Home’s grand opening this summer in the Cham village of Kampong Cham as a GiveLight volunteer and a Cham American. I want to see the hope the new home will give these children. I want to see them smile, not for the camera but for the childhood that many were not able to have because of their unfortunate circumstances.
With all the twists and turns my young professional life has encountered, I have not become financially stable yet. I would appreciate if GiveLight could cover the airfare and a few taxi rides when I arrive to Cambodia. This comes out to approximately $2,000 USD.
What can I promise in return? If I end up going to Cambodia, my sister from Australia and my cousin from Malaysia would also come along. My sister is a passionate photographer and my cousin has been to Cambodia numerous times. I would be able to solely focus on capturing the best video and audio footage while having my cousin conduct the interviews and my sister snapping away. We plan on making this trip an efficient, well-documented trip. I also plan on staying in Cambodia for most of the summer, where I hope to unearth even more treasures of my rich lineage by collecting stories and living day to day among my people.
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