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Community Work

The work we carry out within the community is as important as ever at the moment. We have been increasing the number of food drops we carry out in order to help combat the hardships currently being faced. It also gives us a great chance to talk to new families in the area. Many are moving in, to live on building sites (as labourers), and, while only here temporarily, it is important to make them welcome and ensure any children with them are still able to access some form of education.

As well as this, M’lop Tapang (the largest NGO in town) have still been coming to our center every few weeks to talk to our students about a variety of topics from home safety to alcohol and drug abuse. Being able to talk openly about such things is very important in a place where many issues go unnoticed or are hidden away due to stigma. It makes children aware they are able to ask for help when needed, a valuable lesson for life.

 

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Posted by on May 9, 2019 in 2019

 

Building Relationships

Some of our students have very turbulent home lives and often (for many varying reasons, often outside of their families control) do not get enough attention at home. One of our favourite things about the centre is the closeness of the staff to their students (something that has been the case since the beginning). All the members of our team have been working here for many years, and over that time have developed strong relationships between each other and the children. While remaining completely professional the staff have ensured the students know they are in a safe place and have people in which they can confide. This closeness helps to provide much needed emotional support for our students, building their confidence and providing them with a sense of security.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2019 in 2019

 

Crafting

We try to spend a lot of time doing craft activities at the center. It gives the children a chance to use their imaginations and creativity, as well as improving their fine motor skills. They always love it! Supplies in Cambodia (beyond the basics) are harder to find so we often rely on the generosity of others who bring/send things for us to use from home. We have been very lucky this year and had some wonderful art and craft extras gifted to us, so we have had lots of fun!

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2019 in 2019

 

Christmas Party and New Year Trip

After finally managing to clear our playground we held our annual Christmas party. We played lots of games and the children put on 3 different dances, all of which were fantastic. Kolab, with the help of the children, had once again created some incredible decorations so the center looked great! We were kindly donated two bikes which we decided to give away in the raffle, resulting in lots of very excited children! As always our students were fantastic, well behaved and helpful and all left with big grins on their faces.

The staff were given a few (well deserved) days off between Christmas and New Year to recharge their batteries. We went on a day trip together down the coast as a bonus for all their hard work. It was lovely to have some time together! We are back into the swing of it now and over the coming few weeks we hope to extend our garden areas and finish painting the playground. Bring on 2019!

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2019 in 2019

 

Almost a Spring Clean

All the current development in Sihanoukville has brought a lot of dust and dirt to the roads. This is heightened in our area as we are based opposite (and downhill of) a quarry and building site. This positioning has meant that every time there is heavy rainfall the centre is flooded with sand and dirt (luckily only the playground as rooms are elevated). With what we believed to be the end of rainy season behind us, we began a good spring clean. All the children helped and it was lovely making the center nice and bright again.

Sadly, and uncharacteristically for this time of year, thereĀ  has been huge rainfall in the last two days, bringing in lots more mud, so our playground is back to square one! We are hoping this will dry out quickly so we can remove it in time for our Christmas party! We are lucky to have so many helping hands around that we are sure to get something sorted! We will not be defeated!

 

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2018 in 2018

 

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