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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Fund Raising – Chilli cookoff !

Chill Cook Off

Chilli cook-off on Facebook

One of the local businesses, Charlie Harper’s Bar organised a Chilli Cookoff, with the funds raised going to The Goodwill Center.

Judges after too many taste tests

Tony, the owner, has also allowed us to put a donation box in the Bar area of his Hotel.  A huge thank you to Tony and Charlie Harpers Bar.

The idea is that all entrants cook the same dish, in this case Chilli Con Carne and the the judges selected the best dish that met a certain number of criteria; flavour, texture, smell etc  The day was mostly about a bit of fun for local expats in the rainy season, with the outcome being, some money raised for the Center.  The event also presented an excellent opportunity to network with many local expats all gathered at one time.  It was a great night but I have to report, my chilli was judged way too mild, not enough fire, here is Casey, one of the judges and the Owner of Maybe Later Restaurant & Bar indicating where I came on the list

This is where Toni came !

We had a temporary donation box for the competition and managed to raise $156 for the Centre, thanks to everyone that helped out.

Temporary donation box

The Center

Sokheang – Evening English Classes

We’ve been busy as always with the kids. English classes and computer classes in the evening being continually interrupted by power outages but the kids still have a great time during the day when they’re not at state school (which is only for a couple hours a day), with a safe place to stay.

Kids playing games

Staff information page

We’ve added a new page to our blog which contains pics and a short bio about each staff member.

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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in 2012

 

Staff Development

TEDx

In order to have the staff do a great job with the children, it is important to keep them motivated, interested and to help with their own personal development.  Recently we took the staff to Phnom Penh for the day to attend the TedX conference.

TED - Ideas worth spreading

For those of you not familiar with the TED concept, you should visit the webtsite to see more; they often have iconic speakers, including Nobel laureates etc  Of course the events at TEDx are not as well lauded but in their own way the speakers bring a more local perspective to the concept of “spreading ideas”, something TED has become synonymous with.

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The event was MC’d by Princess Norodom Soma and there was even some intrigue, with the finale being cancelled due to concerns of the political nature of the content.  That aside, it was a good event, the staff enjoyed themselves and more importantly, listened to both Khmer and foreign speakers on how things could be different, the importance of education and they got to see networking being used to ensure ideas could be spread further.

This was the first time many of them had been to their nations capital, and before the bus arrived to take us all back to Sihanoukville, they managed to to tour their national museum and royal palace to view some of the Khmer history.

One thing that was reinforced was the importance of the use of the Internet and modern social networking tools to allow collaboration and while the school does have computers, the lack of power (see below) and the teachers (let alone Children) having no access to the Internet to be able to prepare lesson plans and engage in self improvement is something we are aware of.

I’ll finish with this relevant and iconic TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson about schooling killing creativity, this same video was also played at TEDx itself.

Power Outages

The power outages have become worse recently, making it really hard to run evening classes. No lights, no power, no computer classes and the evening English classes are made more difficult.  Surety of electricity is something we in the West mostly take for granted, we are lucky to go a day and not have the power out for many number of hours here.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2012 in 2012

 

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A new chapter

Good bye Sabine…

After a wonderful four years, Sabine (the Centers Operations’ Manager) has decided it is time to move on and pursue other goals in her life.  She has made an incredible contribution ot the Goodwill Center as well as helped the peoples and children of Cambodia enormously , I am humbled to be able to tread in her footsteps and  continue her good work.   To paraphrase Sir Issac Newton;what little I may achieve, will only be because I can stand on the shoulders of giants who have come before me.

Hello Toni…

My name is Toni Kearney,

Me, getting ready to go to my first Cambodian wedding

I am from Australia and visited Cambodia in early 2011.  When visiting, I fell in love with the country and it’s peoples.  While I was here I was inspired by my friends Catherine and Steve, who spent time volunteering in the Ukriane and I “hatched a plan” to go back to Australia, raise funds in my small local community and come back to help Cambodia where I could.  Those interested in the backstory can find more information in my blog here http://help-cambodia.blogspot.com/  I returned to Cambodia in early 2012, having raised money in Australia, with the intent of using those funds to help out.  It was important to me that all of the funds raised were to be used to help, the costs of living and travelling were from my own savings.  While helping a variety of small charities I serendipitously came across the Goodwill Centre and saw the wonderful work they were doing, I spent some time volunteering there, as well as donating a portion of the funds raised back in Australia to the Center.  During that time, I discovered Sabine was in the process of leaving and the Center had recruited a new Operations Manager to replace her, that new recruit eventually decided not to take the position and Sabine wondered if I might like to take it up.  While it was outside of the scope of my original plan, I seized the opportunity to become involved. I hope to continue Sabine’s good work and forge my own path to helping the Goodwill Center prosper into the future.

Oral Hygiene

Toothbrush training

Some of the small tasks we Westener’s take for granted are things like an understanding of oral hygiene.  The local families surrounding the centre are of course incredibly poor, no one purchases toothbrushes or toothpaste, so we do it for the children (using funds raised from the generous donors of course, if you wish to donate, follow the links here), giving them a toothbrush that they take home each week,the Khmer staff ensure they understand oral hygiene and the necessity of brushing your teeth. I plan to make some minor changes to the blog and it’s layout, nothing revolutionary,  just evolving from the wonderful start Sabine has given it.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2012 in 2012

 

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It's time to say goodbye…

After four wonderful and exciting years of being the Operations Manager at The Goodwill Center, it was time for me, Sabine, to say goodbye and move back to Germany. Thank you to my wonderful staff and to all the children for having made this time so full of new experiences and learning for both sides!

I am most happy that we found the perfect person to replace me: Toni from Australia now is the new Operations Manager of the Goodwill Center.

Toni already won the hearts of staff and children alike. I am sure that the center will only benefit from Toni’s fresh energy, her enthusiasm and her new ideas.

Toni, the staff and the children prepared a wonderful farewell for me, with games, a big cake, and lots of little love letters from the children.

A big thank you to all the friends and donors of The Goodwill Center for your support during my time there. I hope Toni is getting the same support as I did.

I will always stay in close contact to the Goodwill Center and it’s lovely people.

Bye bye, Sabine

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in 2012

 

It’s time to say goodbye…

After four wonderful and exciting years of being the Operations Manager at The Goodwill Center, it was time for me, Sabine, to say goodbye and move back to Germany. Thank you to my wonderful staff and to all the children for having made this time so full of new experiences and learning for both sides!

I am most happy that we found the perfect person to replace me: Toni from Australia now is the new Operations Manager of the Goodwill Center.

Toni already won the hearts of staff and children alike. I am sure that the center will only benefit from Toni’s fresh energy, her enthusiasm and her new ideas.

Toni, the staff and the children prepared a wonderful farewell for me, with games, a big cake, and lots of little love letters from the children.

A big thank you to all the friends and donors of The Goodwill Center for your support during my time there. I hope Toni is getting the same support as I did.

I will always stay in close contact to the Goodwill Center and it’s lovely people.

Bye bye, Sabine

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in 2012