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Author Archives: Goodwill Center, Sihanoukville

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, there  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

 

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