Giving back to the “Motherland”
For decades now, America has been known as the world’s largest patchwork quilt. Some would even argue that we have become a nation of hyphens: African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Irish-Americans, German-Americans, Indian-Americans … you get the picture. Only a small minority of us can actually trace our ancestral roots to the United States.
And so it’s natural to want to go back and see the kind of lives we could have lived. But with a younger, more educated generation of diaspora coming of age, interest in the motherland has become more than a yearning to quench one’s curiosity. Many of us are returning to our ancestral countries and making positive contributions.
Carole Ketnourath is one such individual. Her parents brought their family from Southeast Asia to the United States in search of a better life. A string of events soon brought Carole back to Southeast Asia where at age 26, she is living in Thailand as the director of operations for a non-profit she co-founded called The Warm Heart Foundation. The organization is involved in numerous projects ranging from public health, water projects, micro enterprise and children’s homes. Carole is one of many Americans who is helping by giving back to the part of the world her family once called home.
While Carole’s journey to the motherland was by choice, KK’s was not.
“KK” is a Khmer who escaped Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge era to Long Beach, California. A teenage life of gangster affiliation and crime led to his de-portation back to Cambodia four years ago. Channeling his love for break dancing as well as his affection for his native land, “KK” started a break dancing school for at-risk youth.
The following video differs from the clip featured in the previous link. Watch and listen as KK tells his story and see the contributions he is now making to the children in his birth country.