The Atheist Alliance International are supporting the Critical Thinking and Secular Ethics programme in Cambodia, run by the Cambodian Children’s Trust. Its aims are to provide vulnerable children a secualr education and teach them critical thinking skills within a culture that is saturated with supernaturalism, ghosts, gods, spirits and sorcerers.
From the funding appeal site:
Our mission is to teach children not what to think, but how to think.
If we teach children everything we know, their knowledge is limited to ours. If we teach children to think, their knowledge is limitless.
At The Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT) we strive to give vulnerable Cambodian children the best chance at leading a happy, fulfilling, and successful life. Succeeding in life depends on our ability to solve the problems we encounter along the way.
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 welearn2think.org
However the project needs funds so AAI have set up a crowd sourceing intiative with “Startsomegood.com, but we are short $900 with only 6 days to go (at time of writing)! If the funding minmum is not reached in time none of the money gets paid to the project.
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