Tiny Toones

The mission of Tiny Toones Cambodia is to provide a safe, positive environment for atrisk youth to channel their energy and creativity into the arts and education, empowering them to build selfconfidence in their daily lives, aim for better employment possibilities, and feel supported pursuing their dreams.
Feb 14, 2014

Tiny Toones dance school challenge update

Tiny Toones kids in front of the new graffiti wall
Tiny Toones kids in front of the new graffiti wall

Thank you for supporting Tiny Toones!

"I'm so thankful to all of the teachers, they teach me about dancing, Khmer and English and they also give me new ideas. Tiny Toones is so important because they help kids with no money or school. I hope more and more kids come to Tiny Toones" – Phanna (12), Tiny Toones student

Thanks to your assistance, Tiny Toones provided over 700 children with not only education during 2013 but also opportunities to be creative and to have fun together.

Here at Tiny Toones it is my second family. We work together, dance, we show love to each other and always stick together” – Fresh (20), former Tiny Toones student and current Tiny Toones teacher

From May 2013, our 'new term' offering the kids more classes than ever before. With the emphasis on participation, creativity and – crucially – fun, we ran 9-10 classes simultaneously throughout the day. This also helped us to make the classrooms smaller – no more than 15 in a class – allowing for more personal support and increased the total number of teaching hours to over 11,000 across the year.

"I was scared when I first came to Tiny Toones but now I have friends and I'm so happy to study all of the classes, especially English, rap, dance and Khmer. I want Tiny Toones to help all the kids in Cambodia" - Dany (13), Tiny Toones student

Now our classes are smaller, more varied, and better equipped and our teachers are really blossoming with the support provided to them. The last Friday of every month is now dedicated to celebrating the achievements of the kids. Guests are welcome so if you want to visit the centre and attend the next 'show and tell' please contact us.

Tiny Toones teachers speak out

“I used to hate my life, my family and myself before I found Tiny Toones” – Voch (22), Tiny Toones music teacher and producer

During December we produced three short films telling the stories of Tiny Toones teachers. To find out how Tiny Toones helped Homie, Diamond and Voch to not only turn their own lives around but also inspire and educate the next generation at Tiny Toones visit http://www.tinytoones.org/videos/.

To support a former Tiny Toones student to become a teacher you can visit the campaign page at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/sponsor-a-tiny-toones-teacher/.

For those based in the UK you can make your donation go further at Global Giving UK at http://www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/sponsor-a-tiny-toones-teacher/.

“I am so grateful to have been shown the right direction. Honestly, if it wasn’t for Tiny Toones, I would still be doing bad things or be in prison” – Homie (22), Tiny Toones Creative Program Coordinator and teacher

 

Ready to battle with Europe's finest

Tiny Toones will be sending three dancers to Denmark this March to compete in Europe's 'Floorwars.'

Floor Wars is a dance event based around a 3 vs 3 breakdance / bboying battle. Eight crews from all over the world are invited to the event where they will be challenged by the eight European crews who qualified by winning their national battle. Tiny Toones has been invited by the event coordinators Breakpoint who are generously covering all the costs involved.

From there our dancers will go on to meet the Norwegian-Cambodian Friendship Society in Kristiansand before heading to the Netherlands where they will be joined by five more 'Tiny Toones' and take part in the International Community Arts Festival (ICAF).

Tiny Toones has been invited to run a workshop and put on a dramatic performance. We're honoured to be invited to such a prestigious event and our special thanks go to the Prince Claus fund for helping us get there.

Plans for the year ahead...

We have exciting plans to free up more space for creativity and fun, to introduce more learning through play for the under 10s and to develop our own Tiny Toones curriculum. Most of all we want to continue delivering over 300 hours of classes to under privileged children every week. 2013 was a big step, now we want to help them to keep moving forward, keep learning and keep growing. With your continuing help we know we can do it.

To make a donation please visit www.globalgiving.org/projects/tiny-toones-education-for-all/ or (for UK supporters) www.globalgiving.co.uk/projects/tiny-toones-education-for-all/.

Tiny Toones DJ class
Tiny Toones DJ class
A young
A young 'Tiny Toon' showing off for the camera
Performers getting ready to take the stage
Performers getting ready to take the stage
Art class at Tiny Toones
Art class at Tiny Toones

Links:

Nov 14, 2013

Dance School Challenge 2013 Report

Party time with Tiny Toones
Party time with Tiny Toones

Battling teachers

If you follow the Tiny Toones Facebook page, you will likely have heard about our staff dance battles. For every $1000 we have raised we have been filming breakdance battles between the best dance teachers here at the center. Round 1 (Suicide vs. Kha) and Round 2 (Homie vs. Fresh) are already up on youtube. When we hit $3000 in donations the runners up will battle and when we hit $4000 we will post the GRAND FINAL to decide the best dancer at Tiny Toones.

We still desperately need to raise more money to keep Tiny Toones going and so we've extended the appeal. You can donate at our Global Giving page. 

Phan’s story

Phan, 10, has been at Tiny Toones for 18 months and excels at dancing and DJing (check out this short clip of Phan in action).

She says: "I’m happy being at Tiny Toones and I’ve made a lot of friends here." With the help of Entrance, Phan returned to school this year and has now completed third grade. 

UNICEF Sport for Education Award

During September, Tiny Toones dance teacher Fresh spent a week in Philadelphia at the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards Ceremony. The awards are an annual celebration of organisations who support social development through sport and Tiny Toones was one of only three projects from around the globe to be shortlisted for the UNICEF Sport for Education Award for the second year running.

It was Fresh's first time traveling to another country alone and he returned with a wealth of new experiences (and new sneakers). Inspiring speakers at the event included Olympic athletes, professional sports players and Chris Waddell, the first man in the world to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in a wheelchair.

The award ceremony was held on the 11th of September and we were all waiting to hear the results with baited breath. Unfortunately, Tiny Toones didn't take first place but we would like to congratulate Skateistan, a very deserving organization doing amazing work in Afghanistan and Cambodia. They also come to Tiny Toones once a week to teach our kids!

Tiny Toones party time

On September 21 we threw a party at Showbox with performances by the Tiny Toones kids, guest appearances from locally renowned artists MCG and Kosal Khiev, and an awesome dance battle, won by Diamond and Fresh!

The party helped us raise funds, the atmosphere was electric and everybody had a great time. You can check out great
photos from the event here.

Anakut featured in LA festival

We're proud that the music video for the song Anakut - written and performed by the Tiny Toones kids - was selected to appear in the first ever Cambodia Town Film Festival this month.

The three-day forum was held in Long Beach, California and showcased some of Cambodia's best film-makers and films. We were honored to be selected and to represent Cambodia's B-boy and B-girl community on screen. You can find out more about the festival
here.

To keep up to date with everything happening at Tiny Toones you can join our mailing list through our website and keep an eye on our facebook page.

Battling at Showbox
Battling at Showbox
Storytelling class at the centre
Storytelling class at the centre
Games in the courtyard
Games in the courtyard
Warming up before dance classes
Warming up before dance classes
More scenes from the dance battles
More scenes from the dance battles

Links:

Aug 21, 2013

Dance School 2012 Final Report

Tiny Toones dance classes
Tiny Toones dance classes

The Dance School Challenge

Last September, 119 people came together to donate $5,230 to Tiny Toones Dance School Challenge. Our first major fundraising campaign was a huge success and enabled us to continue our dance classes into 2013 and to become a permanent fixture on Global Giving.

In the year that followed almost 1,000 children and young people came to Tiny Toones to create dance and music instead of slipping into more destructive paths, using this as a springboard for education and personal development. Our offer of creative arts, education and mentoring is unique in the slum areas in which we operates, as are the opportunities for expression we provide.

Tiny Toones' kids released an original music album and video in early 2013, danced at 'the Cambodian Oscars,' and have again been shortlisted for the UNICEF Sport for Education award at the forthcoming 2013 Beyond Sport awards. None of this would have been possible without your help. We are now launching the second annual Dance School Challenge – please consider supporting us again to keep our classes going into 2014.

Why dancing?

The children that come to Tiny Toones receive little support or guidance at home, at school (for those that attend) or in their community. Meanwhile, hip-hop is immensely popular amongst Cambodian youth. Break-dancing hooks their interest because it’s part of a culture that feels young, exciting and relevant to their lives. Its appeal provides the basis for all of Tiny Toones wider work on personal development, social integration and education.

Break-dancing is physically and mentally demanding. It promotes active lifestyles, inner-strength and a sense of achievement and self-worth. The change that takes place in terms of confidence and self-esteem is visibly apparent and transformative for the children involved.

These children become part of a positive community. Our dancers perform throughout Cambodia and beyond. Their achievements – both as dancers and through the education they have gained – inspire the next generation.

Our kids

More than 40% of Cambodians are under 18 years of age. While 39% of children aged 5-14 are involved in child labour, only one in three stay in school beyond primary level. It is estimated that over 20,000 young people live and/or work on the streets.

Tiny Toones’ students are aged 5-24 and are particularly vulnerable to drug and substance abuse, sexual and labor exploitation, domestic violence, and gang involvement. A quarter of the children at Tiny Toones report never having attended school. They all face multiple barriers to attendance and progress as a result of their difficult backgrounds, the fees involved and being compelled to generate income. From as young as five many of these children are begging or collecting cans from garbage, or working as garment workers.

As the project has grown, Tiny Toones has maintained its grassroots appeal by employing former students in all of the creative teaching posts. They are perfectly placed to understand the needs of the next generation, to build strong relationships and to act as positive role models.

Houch’s story

“Before Tiny Toones I was living on the streets, picking up drugs and taking glue.”

Houch was living on the streets in Battambang when he first saw Tiny Toones perform. At the age of 14 he left for Phnom Penh – 300km away – following an argument with his mother.

“Dancing helps to stop using drugs – break-dancing is important to me and it makes me feel happy I do that instead.”

At Tiny Toones Houch found a new family. Without Tiny Toones he says he would still be living on the streets, stealing and buying drugs. Instead he is dancing, getting an education, keeping an eye on the younger kids and helping with creative classes.

He had dropped out of school at an early age and found it strange to be in a classroom at Tiny Toones. With financial and emotional support he returned to school and completed grade 8 earlier this year. He has rekindled his relationship with his mother. She’s proud that he’s off drugs and he visited her when Tiny Toones went to Battambang last year.

“Tiny Toones helps kids to know what is right and what is wrong. With Tiny Toones help I am back at school.”

To help us to keep helping kids like Houch please consider making a donation at Global Giving or Global Giving UK again this year and telling your friends and family about our work.

End of month dance off in the courtyard
End of month dance off in the courtyard
First ever trip to the beach for the kids
First ever trip to the beach for the kids
Thanks for your support
Thanks for your support

Links:

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