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Category Archives: 2017

A Very Happy Christmas!

We would like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas from all of us here at the center. We had a wonderful party yesterday with lots of dances and games. The students had a really good time and many of their family members came to join in the fun too. We have had a fantastic year and feel very lucky to be part of such an amazing place. None of it would be possible without the overwhelming support we receive from you all. Best wishes to everyone and here is to a new year full of happiness!

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Posted by on December 22, 2017 in 2017

 

Swimming Lessons

Learning to swim is a joy for many children and one which lots of us take for granted. It is sometimes hard to believe (especially living in a coastal city) the number of children and adults who are unable to swim here and the number of deaths due to drowning because of this.

We have been lucky enough to address this issue with our children thanks to the help of the YMCA (Australia), who sent a team of volunteer swimming teachers/lifeguards over to teach local children this vital skill. They had huge success with the programme last year and are hoping to make it a regular trip. We joined a few other schools sending 30 children along for the classes. The classes lasted one hour and ran for a week.

The children learned about safety in the water, how to help someone in trouble and many other valuable lessons along with the main aim of being able to float! Our kids did great, many of them picking it up really quickly! They also had great fun doing it! We feel very lucky we were able to take part in this initiative and send a huge thank you to everyone who helped to organize and run it!

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2017 in 2017

 

Murals, Masks and Mayhem

We have been getting creative at the center recently doing lots of art and craft. Some of the most fun activities have been paper mache masks and a new mural in one of our classrooms made from broken and unused jewellery which had been kindly donated to the center.

The paper mashe was very messy and the kids loved getting their hands dirty trying to mould their balloons. They took a few days to dry and were then ready to paint. They looked great!

Our mural is still to be completed. So far we have painted flowers onto the wall and filled them with pained bits of jewellery. We plan to collect lots of shells and other found objects to add in, filling the space completely. It is great to get all the kids involved in something that is part of their classroom so they can really feel a part of it.

On a sadder note one of our lovely teachers Nai has decided she will be leaving us. She is expecting her third child and there is no one else at home that can help to take care of them in the day time. She will only be down the road however so we expect to see her often and at all our parties. She has been a truly wonderful member of our team and we love her dearly. To see her off we had a small party and made all the children a special curry to have all together. There were so many kids it was quite chaotic but all of the older children helped with the serving of the food and tiding. It was lots of fun!

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2017 in 2017

 

Waterfalls

The school Olympic days on Fridays remain a big hit with the children and are proving a great way to encourage them to come in. We decided to combine 2 months worth of winning teams and take them all to the waterfalls as their reward. As the rainy season is just coming to an end here, there was plenty of water in the river to splash about in. The weather wasn’t the greatest but the kids barely noticed and didn’t want to leave when it was time to return to the center. The trips out of school are always great fun, with the students and staff getting to spend real quality time together making us an even stronger team. Bring on the next one!

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2017 in 2017

 

Pchum Ben

It is Pchum Ben here in Cambodia; the holiday of the ancestors. It is a very important time for Cambodians, with families all coming together to pay respect. Many of our children travel to family homes away in the provinces, while others stay here are attend the local temples. For our last day at school, before they all headed off, we decided to make them some nice food and have a bit of a party. It is always nice to get everyone together for some fun and dancing! Happy Pchum Ben Everyone!

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2017 in 2017

 

New Shoes

Thanks to the generosity of a friend of the center we have been able to provide all of our children in need of them with new shoes. It is so often the case that those children from the poorest families cant afford new shoes when old ones break, leaving them to walk barefoot over dirty and rocky ground, leading to infected cuts and other problems. While we try our best to stay on top of the need to have a chance to get ahead of it is fantastic! Everyone was very happy with their new purchases!

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2017 in 2017

 

Malnutrition and the Breakfast Club

Malnutrition in Cambodia remains a significant problem with estimates putting the number of undernourished Cambodian citizens at five million and sighting malnutrition as a cause of one third of child deaths (WFP, UNICEF). One of the biggest challenges to overcome is stunting which is a growth failure in a child caused by insufficient intake of essential nutrients in early childhood, which causes a child’s physical and mental development to be irreversibly compromised. The latest Demographic Health Survey of Cambodia (2010) found stunting in 40% of children and while continued work by NGOs and hospitals has seen this number slowly decrease, it remains a huge concern.

With the help of our friend Rang Hawrami we are now able to take steps to reduce malnutrition amongst our students by providing varied and balanced meals at breakfast through the week. We have started a 2 month trial and so far things are looking good and we hope that with support we can continue this important addition to our services. It is great to see the children either heading into school or into our centre with full bellies and smiles on their faces!

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2017 in 2017