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.
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:

Jun 6, 2013

Tiny Toones Dance School Challenge - June 2013

Tiny Toones album launch party (1)
Tiny Toones album launch party (1)

New term at Tiny Toones

On 6 May Tiny Toones launched our 'new term' offering the kids more classes than ever before.

With the emphasis on participation, creativity and - crucially - fun, we're now running 9-10 classes simultaneously throughout the day to smaller groups of children arranged by age. This means more support for everyone and they all get to participate in every class, from dance and music to English and computing. The enthusiasm and excitement of the children has been an instant reward and shows us how well it's working. 

After the first few weeks of the new term Dany (13) says "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."
 
Phanna (12) says "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.

We still need to raise money to continue running these classes throughout the year. To make a donation visit our 
Global Giving or our Global Giving UK page.


New Tiny Toones music video and album

Tiny Toones and 391 Films have together produced a music video for the all-new Tiny Toones song “Anakut,” featuring the new generation of Tiny Toones performers. The song is the title track from the new album and was written and recorded by six Tiny Toones rappers aged between 12 and 15 and MC Voch, Tiny Toones’ music teacher. 

The song is all about the hopes and dreams of the young rappers: how they want to become doctors, engineers and artists. The video depicts them in their dream occupations and the kids had a great time making it in locations across Phnom Penh. Our favourite part of the lyrics comes when they rap about how they want to help rebuild their homeland, Cambodia.

Other songs on the album (for those who don't speak Khmer) are about a single Mom supporting her family, about the problems that kids go through and about how they've changed their lives and are now positive about the future. The kids involved were interviewed by Phnom Penh's entertainment weekly 'the Advisor' for an article which you can
read here.  

Contact us if you're interested in getting a copy of the album. Our thanks go to the Prince Claus Fund and Sabay for making both the album and the music video possible.

 

Guests galore at launch party

Over 100 people came to Equinox in Phnom Penh for the album launch party at the end of March. The show began when dancers in special camouflage costumes 'came alive' out of the artwork on display and started dancing. This led into an incredible two hour show featuring over 30 different performers.

Tiny Toones music and dance came together for one night. Brand new dance choreography was set to live performances of tracks from the album. In addition to kids from every age group at Tiny Toones, guest stars included spoken word poet Kosal and rapper Grant MCG Massey. General Manager Shhort MC'ed the whole evening and ensured that everyone understood just how far all of the kids had come to be able to perform in such a show.

Thanks to everyone that came along and helped make it such a special night. You can see
photos from the night on Tiny Toones website.

Tiny Toones year in review

In 2012 Tiny Toones moved our drop-in centre to a fantastic new location where more children than ever before were able to attend classes in creative hip-hop arts and non-formal education. Other highlights included unforgettable tours of Melbourne, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand, and being shortlisted for the UNICEF Sport for Education Award at the Beyond Sport Awards in London.

We’d like to thank everyone that supported us in 2012. You can read all about our activities and achievements – as well as KK’s reflections on the year – in the
Tiny Toones Annual Report 2012.

End of month 'show and tell'

The last Friday of every month is now dedicated to celebrating the achievements of the kids and showing off what they've learnt over the preceding weeks.

Earlier today all of the children gathered in the courtyard to applaud those getting certificates and to show off their dancing, singing, and basketball shooting (and to cheer on the contestants in our first 'typing race'). Proceedings ended with a bang as kids, staff and visitors got involved with a whole lot of traditional Khmer dancing in the rain.

Guests are welcome so if you want to visit the centre and attend the next 'show and tell' please 
contact us.

Tiny Toones album launch party (2)
Tiny Toones album launch party (2)
Tiny Toones album launch party (3)
Tiny Toones album launch party (3)
Tiny Toones album launch party (4)
Tiny Toones album launch party (4)
Tiny Toones album launch party (5)
Tiny Toones album launch party (5)

Links:

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