From the Director ...We are so blessed to enjoy the support of our beloved donors, partners, friends and brothers and sisters, from different organizations, companies, churches and schools – from around the world.It enables us, in turn, to bring blessing and hope to increasing numbers of vulnerable children (and their families), struggling in poverty.
So much is happening! A new building is currently under construction and then in July, we will welcome 50 new children (and their families) onto the programme - all possible because of your support.Thank you so much!Channy NOPDirector, SC
New development phase ...We have been able to expand operations even further and are now working in a fourth community, Prey Tea (pronounced Pray Dear! An excellent suggestion…)The original 3 Sunshine communities are in reasonably close proximity to one other and so all have been serviced from the one “office” building. Prey Tea however, is further out – towards the airport – in north-west Phnom Penh. We have now purchased land here and begun building new premises to service this area.
Prey Tea children now attending school ...Even without the new building, the Sunshine team is already hard at work. Children are no longer spending their days doing recycle rubbish collecting.
A new UNESCO study has found that almost a quarter of Cambodian children aged 7 to 14 are forced to give up school, in order to work.“In reality, when your family needs food, working becomes more [urgent] than school”, Ros Sopheap, director of Gender and Development for Cambodia.
SC works to break the “education vs. work” cycle of despair by providing access for children to school, whilst at the same time, working with the parents to economically empower them. Although not without its challenges, Sunshine parents are encouraged to see the long-term value of their children remaining at school for as long as possible. (Currently Cambodia's completion rate for upper secondary is just 23%).
We have seen the model work in our other communities and look forward - with your help - to seeing similar results at Prey Tea.
Dreams are coming true ...At the other end of the development cycle, we are thrilled to report that three students from the original Sunshine community are now attending University! Without Sunshine’s support, it is unlikely any of them would have gained even a basic primary education. Sunshine allowed them to hope and taught them to dream. We are incredibly proud of all three.
GOFamiliar to those who attended the Sydney Dinner last year, Go was the first Sunshine student to attend university. He continues his studies for a Bachelor of English Literature at Human Resource University.
CHANDYStudying for a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at Build Bright University.
DARIStudying for a Bachelor of Sociology at the Royal University of Phnom Penh.
Meet DariLike so many Sunshine children, Dari’s parents were rural migrants, arriving in Phnom Penh in 2005, seeking a better life. Despair quickly set in as they found themselves unable to meet even the most basic needs of their 2 young children for food and education. Without Sunshine’s assistance, Dari's life could look very different today. Children like her, struggling in squatter communities, are at very high risk of sexual abuse, drug use (especially glue sniffing), violence and gang related issues, child labour and human trafficking.Once on the Sunshine programme, Dari thrived. She proved a bright, able student and a hard worker. In the past 10 years she has managed not only to complete her primary and secondary education but now (at 23 years of age) has been accepted into one of Phnom Penh’s most prestigious universities.
Dari is studying Sociology – working hard – not enjoying Statistics so much! However, she has good support from Sunshine; has made friends and is focused on her end goal. She is a beautiful, vibrant young woman with a bright future, thanks to Sunshine.“Because I am from a poor family and was supported by Sunshine Cambodia, I would like to become a Social Worker and help others like me.” "May God bless all those who have blessed me and so many other Sunshine children. I hope that Sunshine will be able to continue supporting other children, to at least grade 12 or even through to university, like me."We wish all three of our university students every success in their studies. They are wonderful role models for the younger children.
Sunshine SponsorsWe are so grateful to you all. Our three university students, Dari, Go and Chandy would not be where they are today without sponsor support. Although it is not possible for sponsors to correspond with one particular child, you are always welcome to visit Sunshine, to see for yourself the difference your sponsorship is making. We are delighted to see a number of younger people (often on quite modest incomes themselves) signing on as child sponsors. We also have a number of families now who are sponsoring one Sunshine child for each of their own. Our heartfelt thanks to all.
On behalf of all the Sunshine staff, family and children ... thank you ... thank you ... thank you.
A story from SC’s family program
A lady left her hometown for a better.
A strong and committed lady, Chantha, who is now 44 year-old, left her hometown, Kampong Spue province in 1985 to settle down in Phnom Penh, where she hoped that it will bring her a better life. In 1993, she married Mr.Toch, a drunkard man, who is 47 year-old now. It was not much different from the previous situation after married for they were still struggling to survive. This couple had 5 children now. They planted vegetable for their living which was not able to meet their daily expenses. Her husband could not change the bad habit of drinking alcohol, which caused him had no time in making the family grows. All burdens fell on Chantha’s shoulder – daily income generating, all expenses children’s school materials and children study cost, etc. In such critical situation, she could not send her children to school. Some of them were required to help her in earning money by planting vegetable and collecting recycle rubbish. It was a critical situation for an uneducated lady to solve with.
Her burdens were taken away when Sunshine Cambodia accepted all her children – Sokto,Sokdy,Sokrong,Sokrai, who are able to make income for sustaining her family – into its program since 2000. This includes the recent supporting to Bunhong, 13 year-old boy. Sunshine Cambodia has played an active role in providing her children school materials (uniforms and stationary), food subsidy, and paid for the school fee. Moreover, through Family Development Project Chantha had a chance to learn many new things particularly throughout the lessons, which were teaching during the Parent’s Day. Those lessons brought her a new expectation for her family’s future. Furthermore, she knew many new people in SC’s family. She wanted her children have a chance to study, but she could not make this.
“But now, I am very happy; and thank you (Sunshine Cambodia) and all its staff, who always work hard to help my family. I want to pray for you (Sunshine Cambodia) and all staff to get success forever,” Chantha said.
As such, she recognized that Sunshine Cambodia brought her a better by playing an active and important role in her family particularly her children. Now, she has a very good relationship with her community members and also has a hope her children bright future.
A story from SC’s Children program
“I hope my dream come true”
“I want to be a doctor because I want to save Cambodian people”, said Sreytey, a 14 year-old girl, from a recycle rubbish collector family, who lives at Thnout Chrum village in Mean Chey district, Phnom Penh. This family left their home town, Samraong district, Takeo province, with a very bad situation. At the beginning of their settling in Phnom Penh her parents used to try to look for a proper job, but eventually ended up with collecting recycle rubbish for raising 5 children including Sreytey. In such situation, Sreytey were not able to school regularly, which caused her got just an average score in class. In those days, she lived with no hope and could not imagine what she will be in the future. An unexpected change and hope took place within her and this poor family particularly when Sreytey was accepted into Sunshine Cambodia’s program.
With SC’s supporting program, which providing her school fee, food subsidy, and other study materials, presently, Sreytey is able to go to school regularly and is at her grade 7 in this academic year, 2015, at Daem Thkov Secondary School. She is able to reach the over average (fair) score in her class according to the latest record of the academic observation book of her school. The contribution of SC toward her family and study bring Sreytey a huge hope for her future.
With big smile which shows her hope in mind Sreytey said that, “I want to be a doctor because I want to save Cambodian people. I hope my dream come true.”
Greetings from Cambodia!
It is our pleasure to present this update covering the last three months ...
From July, we welcomed 107 new children into our program. In total, we now support 281 children, from 188 families, in 4 communities in Phnom Penh. Our newest community, Prey Tea (pronounced “dear”) is where I have lived for the past 10 years. I have seen many problems there such as children working as scrap collectors, glue-sniffing, robbery and rape. I felt guilty to be helping other communities far away and not those who were my neighbours. My prayer was answered via Sunshine and our hope is that this community will be transformed like the other 3 communities we work in. Other highlights are that 2 more students graduated from high school and will start university this month and our boys’ soccer team are undefeated champions! However, there are challenges as we slowly build trust with parents and teachers in the new area. In addition, we need to continually develop our management team and find the time and space for busy staff to reflect together.
107 very happy children ...
In March this year, over 200 Sydney-siders gathered for a Sunshine Fundraising Dinner. Thanks to the extraordinary kindness and generosity shown that evening, 107 new children were able to start school in October. It's an opportunity they otherwise would not have had ...
At the other end of the development cycle ... Sunshine is committed to working with parents as well as children. Meet Mr Sim, a Sunshine parent who is achieving financial independence ...
"My dream is becoming reality ..."
"My dream was to have my own small business, a motorbike repair shop. But I wasn't able to make it happen, even though I had the skills to repair motorbikes," Mr Sim said.Mr Sim has 3 daughters and has been with Sunshine since 2009. (He has a physical disability - a withered leg). With his positive outlook, he quickly became a respected member of the Sunshine community and was elected to leadership of the Community Savings and Credit Group. He also actively participated in Sunshine's Micro Enterprise Development (MED) courses and learnt how to run a small business.
"I'm so grateful to Sunshine who gave me the technical knowledge to run a small business. With the money I saved in the Savings Group, plus start-up capital from Sunshine, my dream is becoming reality. I am happy, even though I don't have a proper shop but work on the edge of the street. I plan to be self-reliant by next year. I love this business and will enlarge it eventually and I am happy to train other Sunshine beneficiaries who want to learn this skill."
And from another Sunshine parent ...
"Sometimes, no-one wanted to listen to our sadness and problems, but Sunshine Staff did. They visited my family very often when my family had a problem. After listening, they provided some options to us. Thanks for working with my family."Mr MEAS Thoun
Christmas Greetings Warmest Christmas greetings from all the Sunshine kids and families. We are so grateful to God and to all our supporters for a great year of growth and expansion, and look forward with excitement to the year ahead. Richest blessings as we celebrate again, the arrival of Hope into our broken world. Sunshine Director, staff, families and support team “The wise seek Him still…..”