Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: "Graced with Orange," by Jamie C. Amelio

“Between 1975 and 1979, in the name of creating an agrarian utopia, the Khmer Rouge had killed an estimated two million Cambodians, a quarter of the population, in a wave of murder, torture, and starvation aimed particularly at the educated and intellectual elite.”
~Graced with Orange

When Jamie Amelio visited Cambodia for the first time in January 2003, she discovered a world still devastated by these events. The families that survived the genocide were still struggling to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Poverty was rampant; homes were barely standing; toilets and drinking water were non-existent. And the schools were hardly functioning with a lack of teachers, supplies, and facilities. Children often dropped out of school to help support their families. After all, what kind of future could an education in Cambodia bring anyway? The situation seemed hopeless to many, but not to Jamie. She responded by founding Caring for Cambodia (CFC), a nonprofit organization that has built sixteen schools in Cambodia, educating 6,400 students. They’ve created teacher training programs, provided meals through their Food for Thought program, given away thousands of bicycles and hygiene kits, built water wells, water filtration systems, homes, libraries, and more. In short, many children in Cambodia now have a bright future thanks to CFC.

Graced with Orange is the story of CFC’s birth and growth through the past ten years, as well as Amelio’s personal story. A Texas native, she and her family lived in Singapore for ten years, and it was during this period when Amelio first made that fateful trip to Cambodia and subsequently built CFC from the ground up. She shares how these efforts saved her oldest son’s life when he was mired in alcoholism and how two Cambodian girls joined the Amelio family. And she makes the significant point that CFC works through the efforts of thousands of volunteers who have “become orange” -- Amelio’s term to describe people whose “inner light magically turn[s] this brilliant hue when they walk into our schoolyards or classrooms” in Cambodia and become committed members of CFC.

It’s nearly impossible to read Graced with Orange without feeling a strong pull to make a difference in the lives of those who have so little. Amelio’s story shows that seemingly insurmountable odds can be overcome when people share the same dream and get personally involved to create change. CFC has changed not only the lives of the people of Cambodia, but also the lives of those who have experienced firsthand the experience of living for others.

Learn more about Caring for Cambodia at http://www.caringforcambodia.org/.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Caring for Cambodia.


One lucky winner will receive a hardcover copy of Graced with Orange: How Caring for Cambodia Changed Lives, Including My Own, by Jamie C. Amelio, with Adam Snyder. Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end at 11:59 PM ET on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.

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This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.


  1. CFC provides quality education to children from preschool through highschool.

  2. melikegarfield2:52 PM

    In November they are collecting first aid supplies for their schools in Cambodia.

  3. I learned that "Caring for Cambodia" is a non-profit, non-governmental, charitable organization committed to ensuring a high-quality education for 6,400 children in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We train their teachers, provide clean, child-friendly classrooms, and the essentials for their health and welfare..


  4. statistics indicate that schools involved in the CFC program increase enrollment over a five-year period by an average of 70%. In their first school, Amelio Primary, the number of students enrolled has more than doubled with an initial enrollment of 323 students in 2003 to 790 students today.

    tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

  5. I like how they are teaching children and parents life skill and making life better

  6. We learn, grow, and find joy when we serve.

  7. i learned that 6400 children are currently being served through caring for cambodia...what a wonderful organization

  8. that there is 120000 meals delivered daily
    aka midgeknows

  9. Anonymous4:08 PM

    They strive to make going to school every child's inalienable right.


  10. I learned that they train teachers

  11. Daniel M6:50 PM

    they're committed to ensuring a high-quality education for 6,400 children in Siem Reap, Cambodia - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  12. They train teachers

  13. 120000 meals served monthly

  14. I learned they are teaching children and parents life skills and helping them improving their day to day life.

  15. The founding premise of Caring for Cambodia is that every child deserves an education

  16. Anonymous6:35 PM

    CFC sounds really interesting! I learned a lot about the organization and its missions. They do basic educational programs as well as health and hygiene instruction. I'm definitely going to continue looking into this! Thanks!

  17. What began as a pilot project between primary school teachers in 2004 is now a robust, enduring partnership that supports every teacher at the CFC schools.

  18. I learned CFC professionally trains its Cambodian teachers.


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