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New Term

 

The beginning of the state school term has just begun (properly after consecutive holidays). This always leads to our quietest period at the center for a few reasons. Firstly, some of our students have progressed to grade 7 so will be attending state school both morning and afternoon (we will have new younger students joining our classes), and they will only now come to us for evening classes. Secondly children have to get used to studying for a full day again after 2 months of only doing half-days. Thirdly family members, who are used to the children being at home part of the time to help clean and cook, have to adjust to their absence again. This means we spend a lot of time out in the community talking to families and explaining the benefits of returning to classes along with offering extra school trips and food drops (as incentives) to the children coming in regularly again.

We also get the opportunity to do some staff training/refreshing and introduce some new elements to our structure, such as extended circle time with our youngest students and more emphasis on group work and presentations with our older ones. We hope we will have a full and productive year to come!

 

 

 

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Posted by on November 29, 2018 in 2018

 

Clothes Donations

The center has been receiving lots of clothes donations recently from both people moving away from town and from some generous visitors. Today the children were allowed to take home two items for each of their parents or carers. They love digging through the clothes and finding exciting new things….with many of them deciding to wear the oversized items home! We also have a store of children’s clothes, but are waiting to give these out at the start of the new term, next week. This is when state schools open again after their long rainy season holiday and we often find the children need a little encouragement to study through the whole day again. Thank you to all who donated!

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2018 in 2018

 

Beat Richner and his Kantha Bopha Legacy

We awoke this morning to the sad news that Dr Beat Richner had passed away. Dr Richner was a truly inspirational human being who dedicated his life to his firm belief in free access to medical treatment for all children.

A Swiss national, Richner first came to Cambodia with the Swiss Red Cross in the 1970s where he spent some time working at the Kantha Bopa Children’s Hospital in Phnom Penh. The hospital was subsequently destroyed during the Khmer Rouge regime, but Richner on the request of King Norodom Sihanouk (who’s daughter the hospital is named after) and the government, returned to Cambodia in 1992 to reopen the hospital, and with funding from his Kantha Bopa Foundation, provide free medical care to all children that came.

Since then the hospital has continued to grow, opening different branches in Phnom Penh and one in Siem Reap (where Dr Richner would also conduct cello concerts to help raise funds and awareness of the issue of healthcare in Cambodia). The hospitals have proved to be a true lifeline for so many living in Cambodia who could not have afforded medical treatment otherwise (including many of our students) and have saved countless lives.

We are full of admiration for a man with such generosity of spirit and caring of natures and hope his legacy continues for generations to come.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2018 in 2018

 

Little Rays of Sunshine!

It has been a rainy, rainy season here in Cambodia, one of the worst we have seen in years. This combine with the turbulent time that the city of Sihanoukville is going through has made for some tough times. BUT the spirits of our children will not be dampened! They continue to inspire us turning up to the center with smiles on their faces and hope for the new day.

The city is undergoing huge investment/development currently, which, while in the long run may bring more prosperity to the region, is placing poorer families under huge amounts of strain, with living prices increasing exponentially and jobs vanishing as the tourist trade changes massively. This compounded with the strain on the infrastructure, seeing more frequent power and water cuts, severely damaged roads, and huge amounts of uncollected rubbish, has lead to some difficult times for the people living here. This makes our small bubble of a safe haven even more important and a joy to be in. The resilience of our students is something to truly be admired!

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2018 in 2018

 

English Lessons

Our English classes continue to be very popular with students of all ages, with all of our classes full. Even our youngest members enjoy their speaking practice! The Khmer and English languages are about as different as you can get and getting your head and tongue around some of the alien sounds can be really difficult. We are putting extra emphasis on pronunciation with our youngest groups to get them in the habit early. Our teachers have also been learning some different techniques to try with their classes to keep them interested. It is a testament to our brilliant teachers that the children continue to arrive for their classes even in the torrential rain!

 
 

Rikreay Chhnam Thmei

Happy Khmer New Year!! The staff are having a well earned holiday after a fantastic term with our lovely students. We closed up with our regular new year party with lots of games and performances. Our younger children got really involved this year and bravely performed 2 dances and a fashion show. It was very sweet. Looking forward to seeing everyone back next term.

 

Silly Putty

As we know how much our students like to make a mess we thought we’d try them on making some (basic) silly putty. We used a mix of colouring, glue and talcum powder, worked together for some time until it creates a putty. It lasts a few days if wrapped up after use. The children loved making it. It is very tactile as it has to be worked in the hands until it is not too sticky nor too dry. Then they had great fun making models with it and playing around. It is great to give them something they can take home and enjoy too.