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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Supporting the Wider Community: Food and Health Care

The Goodwill center doesn’t just work with children. Along with our night-time computer and English classes the center also provides support for the wider community. This support comes in 2 main forms.

The first is by providing health care for those who can’t afford it. We cover clinic visit bills and medications for the poorest families and support costs of traveling to Phnom Penh to visit the free hospital there for more serious ailments. While some of these costs seem small (medications here can cost as little as a few dollars) for families trying to support themselves on very little money this help really makes a difference.

We also have access to the All Ears clinic, which visits M’lop Tapang and which we attend every three months with any children and adults in the area who are having ear problems. On our most recent visit we took 14 people along for follow-up appointments, where we were taught how to keep infections away and the best way to treat simple problems. Hearing aids are provided to those who really need it along with medication for serious infections.

One of our food drops.

One of our food drops.

The second is by providing food support around the village. This is a fairy new initiative funded by Helping Cambodia (started by Toni our last operations Manager and her partner). Food drops take place once a month and provide the poorest families in the area (3 families per month) with rice, oil, soy sauce, and fish. Malnutrition is a huge problem in Cambodia, especially in children under the age of 5, so being able to provide a food package to those families who need it most is invaluable.

Lots of mouths to feed.

Lots of mouths to feed.

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Posted by on January 26, 2013 in 2012

 

Soap Making

The Goodwill center has recently undertaken a new venture. Working with Rainbow Cambodia we have set up a small soap making project. The project aims to help some of the poorest local women by providing them with an extra income to help support their families, and by teaching them a new and marketable skill.

Our final product!

Our final product!

We have been conducting a trial period for the last 2 months, training the women up and finding the best recipes (our aim is to use all local products). With this period completed we are now approaching local businesses who will sell the soaps for us. All money raised will be put back into the project to ensure its longevity.

Training up the staff

Training up the staff

So far it is going really well. The women are very smart and have picked up the process quickly. They are really enjoying themselves.  The women we have asked to work all live in very poor conditions in the immediate area. Most of them are relatives of the children that come to the center so it is great to know we are benefiting our kids as well.

The ladies at work.

The ladies at work.

We are very hopeful that the project will be a success and that it will continue to grow, providing a steady income to those who need it most.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in 2012

 

Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas with the children this year. While of course traditionally Cambodians do not celebrate Christmas (being a predominantly Buddhist country) here at the center we see it as a great excuse to bring the local community together for a party, to get to know one another and to watch the children perform.

Watching a role play.

Watching a role play.

There is a big difference here to western schools, where plays and shows are held often and parent evenings seem to come up so regularly people are desperate to make excuses not to attend. Here opportunities for parents to watch their children perform dances or songs just don’t come up that often, so it was lovely to have so many parents attend and feel proud of their kids.

Performing Jingle Bells!

Performing Jingle Bells!

As is typical for important days, it managed to rain (very uncharacteristically for this time of year). forcing us all under the shelter at some points, but this did little to dampen the spirits. Once things had dried off the show could continue. We had carols and a Khmer karaoke number, a Khmer and English Nativity story, role plays, dancing, lottery and a lot of games. Prizes were given to winners as well as presents to the top students. No one was left out, with all the children receiving a new notebook and pencil, fruit and soft drinks.

The performers get their presents.

The performers get their presents.

The staff were brilliant throughout the day, decorating, rapping presents  getting the children involved and  making everyone feel welcome. To top it off Sokheang and Sambath made excellent MCs!

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in 2012