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Category Archives: 2015

Lots of Helpers

We have been really lucky recently to be joined at the center by some friends who have come to run activities with the children and generally help us out.

Patrick returned to teach some boxing classes. The children love it and learned very quickly. He also brought us new toothbrush and toothpaste supplies to ensure our kids have the cleanest teeth around.

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Charlie, Tara and Jake have been here, helping us to get some of the final touches done to the center. They are also building us a Wendy house and painting a mural to brighten up the playground.

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Istvan, a teacher in town, has been doing some geography lessons and passing on some of his favorite games and activities to our teachers.

We have even more visitors arriving through February and March so it should be fun few months!

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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in 2015

 

Christmas Party and Hopes for the New Year

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We had our Christmas party last week. It was great fun! The staff had to work very hard as sadly a few of them have been sick so unable to work. It didn’t stop any of them having a good time though. The layout of the new center meant we had way more room to play games and for people to watch. It was lovely to have our first big party there and to see many of the faces who helped to build it.

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We played lots of silly games, had song, dance and play performances, and presents for our students, along with apples, cake and soft drinks for everyone in attendance.

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Looking ahead for the new year we hope to complete the playground and garden. We want to continue to encourage the adults of the area to utilize the space, especially the library and to continue to make sure the children have a fun place to learn. Wishing everyone the best for 2016!

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2016 in 2015

 

Football In Phnom Penh

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With the hard work and organisation of Mong (our football coach) and the help of another local charity (Glade børn i Cambodja) some of our older football team members got the chance to go up to Phnom Penh and play a match at the Phnom Penh Crown Football club. It was a huge opportunity for them to see the rewards of hard work and dedication. All of the students attend training regularly and love the game, which showed in the result, winning 3-1.

They all retuned exhausted but happy after their fantastic new experience and ready to work even harder in training!

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Posted by on October 27, 2015 in 2015

 

Settling In

While we steadily move through the finishing touches (painting and refurbishing etc) the children have been getting used to their new center. The extra space is making all the difference, enabling different activities to take place at the same time without anyone getting in the way of each other.

The library is proving very popular as a quiet place to escape to, it is rare to walk past it without one or two silent readers inside. The generous donations of new toys and books have made things even better!

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Posted by on October 21, 2015 in 2015

 

Our New Center!

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The new build is complete! After 8 weeks of extremely hard work by the orkidstudio team and our local workers the center is open. It is unrecognisable from the old concrete box we had before. The site has been completely opened up and turned into a beautiful flowing space, which inspires creativity and learning.

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The children and staff love it and we are all excited to steadily move into the place and make it home. There is still planting and painting to do which we will get all the children involved in, ensuring they really feel it is their place.

We hope that the new space will encourage more of the adults in the community to use the center for themselves too, whether it is for a space to escape to or to come and use the library and computers. As the building process has been so open to input and help from the local community there is a real sense of ownership over the space so we hope it should have a hugely positive impact on the community here.

A huge, huge thank you to Orkidstudio for this amazing gift!

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2015 in 2015

 

Half Way There!

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The sun has been out, giving us a huge helping hand in the last few weeks. The project is coming along nicely, with our concrete frame (the most time consuming part of the build) now behind us.

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Due to poor access to the site all the concrete had to be carried off small trucks in buckets, so it was a LOT of hard work for the team. They managed to do it, and kept smiles on their faces at the same time.

Now it is time for the exciting stuff, with the roof arriving and the rooms taking shape! You can really now get a feel for how much open space we will have when the project is finished. Truly astonishing!

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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in 2015

 

The Two Week Mark

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The build has been under way for 2 weeks and it is looking great so far, despite constant battles against the weather and sickness. There is a team of 15 Orkidstudio members and 15 locals working side by side (both men and women) and everyone is working really hard to get things done. Luckily when planning the build, unforeseen challenges were accounted for, so we are not too far off target.  Now we need to keep our fingers crossed for a kind rainy season!

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Posted by on July 14, 2015 in 2015

 

Dentist Visit

M’lop Tapang had their volunteer dentists into clinic this week and invited us to attend. We took along 34 of our students for a thorough check up. Our fabulous member of staff Kolab supervised the visit and the children were all very well behaved (if a little nervous!).

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Many of our children have problems with there teeth so it was great to get so many of them in and seen. As ever a big thanks to M’lop Tapang for their fantastic work and all their support.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2015 in 2015

 

And so it Begins…

The build has begun, or at least the demolition has! With the old building now nearly completely gone. The builders have been making good time to have the site ready for the arrival of the Orkidstudio team at the end of the month (you can also follow their blog of the build).

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Off came the roof

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The walls

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The support columns

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The floor

All the students have been relocated to a temporary building about 500 meters from the original. It is a little squashed, but allows us to continue all our lessons and activities during the 3 months build. The children don’t seem to mind at all and are all very excited to see the build begin.

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Now we need to keep our fingers crossed for a kind rainy season and a successful build!

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2015 in 2015

 

Planning a Rebuild

It is an exciting time for the Goodwill Center at the moment. In July and August we will be undergoing a rebuild courtesy of Orkidstudio. The planning process is well underway and this week we have been joined at the center by one of the trustees of Orkistudio and some architecture students. They are here to work with the children and wider community to get a good idea of what is important to them in a building, what they look for and what they like/don’t like. The idea is to create a new space which the community can really feel a part of and be proud of.

The students have used a variety of techniques to draw out ideas from the children and get them to really express themselves. The week has been a lot of fun and we cant wait for the building work to begin.

The first stage is demolition (we will be moving to a temporary building near by to continue running the center during the build) which will start on the 3rd of June. It’s not far away so for the next few weeks it is all hands on deck while we get organised. Then the rebuild will start at the end of June and be completed (all things going well) by the end of August.

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Front view of existing center.

 

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Floor plan of existing center.

 

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Side view of the new build.

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First floor lay out.

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Ground floor layout.

The 3 main ideas behind the build are to 1, provide us with more teaching space so we can increase the number of students. 2 to increase the area outside to allow more space for the children to play safely. 3 to reduce the heat of the building making it a more comfortable environment in which to learn. The build will employ a local team, some skilled, some unskilled, to work side by side with the Orkidstudio team, in the aim to learn from one another and pass on new and valuable skills.

We cant wait!

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in 2015

 

Parade Time!

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It was this years M’lop Tapang Carnival yesterday so we painted our faces and joined the parade. This year the idea was to promote womans rights and road safety, so messages were played out across loud speakers and children dressed as ghosts weaved in and out the crowd. We all had signs bearing messages of safety and respect. There were lots of people out watching so hopefully the message will have sunk in for some.

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Once again our students behaved themselves really well and had a lot of fun. It is always nice to get together with other charities here and show a united front, especially in a country where there is such a lot of problems with false  organisations. It is always a special occasion and we give our thanks to M’lop Tapang for going through all the trouble of organizing it.

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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in 2015

 

Whitgift School Fundraiser

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The Goodwill Center owes the teachers, parents and especially the pupils of Whitgift School a huge thank you! They took on our center as a focus cause for their fundraising efforts (along with the Tapologo and Tsholofelo projects who work with victims of HIV and AIDS in South Africa).

The entire school was involved (organisation being mainly carried out by the sixth-form committee) in planning events and taking part. There was a huge range of activities including cake sales, adventure races, comedy nights, talent shows (with fantastic dance performances), science challenges, make your own Robot Wars and quizzes. All of the students worked incredibly hard to bring it all together and raised, for our center alone, over five thousand pounds.

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Delicious cakes

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The students made their own robots to battle!

 

This money is such a huge help to us and will secure our evening English and Computer classes for over 2 years. These are such an important aspect of our center, providing quality education to over eighty students. Having good English and Computer skills go a very long way in helping our children/young adults advance through school and secure places at either university or in good jobs. Nearly all of our students, coming from very poor backgrounds, would be unable to study in private schools (where fees are paid) so the provision of these classes really is invaluable.

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Thank you so much again Whitgift, it means the world to us!

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2015 in 2015

 

I Believe We Can Fly!

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This week we have been joined in the center by Julian, who is here to run a recycled plastic kite making workshop with the children. It has been fantastic and the children have really engaged with it. It was very well planned and in depth, involving presentations and videos on the environment and recycling along with practical activities. This allowed the children to really connect with what they were doing and gave them a greater appreciation for the process.

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It began with a village clean up, with the all children heading out and collecting up old plastic bags. There are hundreds of them here, so they had plenty to do. These were then washed and hung to dry in the sun. After this came bamboo collection, again done around the village, with the pieces being cut to the right size. The children then learned how to prepare the plastic and how to stick it together with an iron (so producing no extra waste). They were fascinated to learn the process. After this the kites were assembled and it was time to fly! It was beautiful to see.

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It was a great project and really gave the children the chance to work together. We will definitely keep it up!

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2015 in 2015

 

Christmas and the New Year

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Somehow Christmas snuck up on us again and it was time for our Christmas party. Thanks to some generous donations from many of you we were able to make sure it was a great one! So a big thank you to everyone who gave so generously.

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The teachers had organised the day to include performances of songs and dances and lots of games to join in or watch. We also had food for everyone, fried rice and curry, lovingly cooked by some friends of the center. It seemed like the entire village had heard about the food as the volunteers ended up having to work very hard and gave out well over 200 plates of food!

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The children also received some apples and soft drinks along with pencils and books for school, with some special prizes being given out to top students and performers. It was a lovely afternoon and the children really enjoyed themselves. It is so nice to be able to bring everyone together for one afternoon and celebrate our friendship.

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After a short Christmas break it was back to work. We had the Regner family with us from Sweden. They had done a lot of fundraising through their martial arts center (Hjärups Budoklubb – Combat Jujutsu) and had arrived to pass it on. It was a wonderful surprise! We spent the money carrying out a mega food drop, supplying 25 families with rice, fish, oil, soy sauce and for a New Year treat some fruit. It was such a lovely thing to be able to do. Our food drop is so valuable to our poorest families, really alleviating the financial strain off them for the month, but due to our funding restrictions we are only able to include 3 or 4 families per month (done on rotation). To provide it so many people all at once was a fantastic way to begin the New Year!

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The Regners also spent money buying many supplies for the center and spent a few days getting to know us all. It was a huge bonus for the center, really helping us out. A huge thank you to them and everyone in the Jujutsu center who donated!

 

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in 2015