Champey 2015 – more new beginnings
The tourist season in Cambodia is in full force and we are so proud that Champey Academy recently seems to have been “ discovered” by tourists. Visiting tourists have the opportunity to watch classes and learn about the history and process of learning classic Cambodian dance at Champey.
Additionally, we are currently in discussion with some of the smaller local hotels near the school about the idea of hosting “ mini – performances” where a small group of senior students would perform a late afternoon short series featuring 2 or 3 dances , lasting for about 30 minutes total, to tourists staying at the hotels. Stay tuned for updates!
Other big news… We are pleased to announce the arrival of a new director at Champey. Beginning mid - March, Mr. Meth Van Thy will be replacing our outgoing director Mr. Wan Sithen who is leaving to pursue other opportunities. Sithen has been with Kasumisou Foundation for many years and we wish him the very best! Our new director, Mr. Meth Van Thy, a graduate of the Royal University of Fine Arts, is an established professional with more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit arena developing and supervising performing arts programs for disadvantaged women and children.
As always, we are deeply grateful to our wonderful donors . None of this would be possible without you!
With our warmest regards,
Barbara & Mark Rosasco
Slow and steady wins the race.....
Mark has been in Cambodia the past couple of weeks where he has had an opportunity to visit with most of our “ Kasumisou Scholars”, the name that we will be using to rebrand this, our newest educational effort.
Ideally, education is a slow and steady process, punctuated by positive events such as successful exams, achievement milestone and eventually graduation. This effort is precisely that…a slow and steady effort. Our main goal in this program is to create a stable environment for our students, all of whom , at least in our western world, would qualify as “ at risk” due to their family’s modest resources, therefore causing our students to fall into the category of financially vulnerable. This means that not only are we paying tuition and books, but we are assisting with housing, mentoring and for several, providing part time employment at Champey Academy , which in turns supplies pocket money for personal needs.
From time to time there is unwanted excitement, such as now. One of our students had an unfortunate accident, where she was hit by a motorcycle, breaking her wrist. This simple misfortune in our world would be inconvenient, but in her world it is quite problematic. She now must pay for transportation for someone to drive her to class, with funds she does not really have. She is forced to delay her “ practicum” , which is essential to her nursing degree and all of this may delay her eventual graduation. Our support during this trying time will be vital to her continued progress.
As with our own kids, it is no small matter to help these students to get through college . It requires a considerable hands on approach and individualized assistance to ensure that unexpected obstacles do not derail long term plans and dreams.
We are deeply grateful to you, our donors, for your support and belief that our individual efforts, combined, collectively become a powerful force for change and enables these students to achieve what just a short time ago to them seemed to be the wildest of dreams, to have a college education.
Many of you may work for companies that will provide matching grants for education or other charities. We would be deeply grateful if you could ask about this, and if so, let us know so that we can investigate the opportunity for a possible match to your GlobalGiving donations.
More updates when Mark returns home to California.
Our sincere thanks to all of our generous donors.
Yes, your support makes a difference !
Since its beginning in 2000, Kasumisou Foundation’s AIDS Patient Family Support Program ( FSP) has been a vital support system for fragile families impacted by extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The FSP is the formal name of the program that helps destitute women with AIDS care for their children. Our families are typically single parent families.
2014 saw the completion of a transition of families from the FSP whom we felt were able to function either independently or with the aid of their family. The families who remain are those which are unable to make the transaction to a more independent lifestyle outside of our program.
One of the challenging aspects of maintaining a program like the FSP is the challenge of trying to address to two diverging needs. Our project provides caretaker support to keep these fragile families together, in safe housing with enough food. Candidly speaking, it is essentially too late to do very much more for the mothers in these families other providing a structure of compassionate support, to actively monitor and address the needs of the families. Our project at the same time, recognizes the urgent need to provide more active support for the children, providing social oversight and promoting a strong emphasis on education. Only through education , will the children in this program be able to break the chain of inherited poverty.
We are proud, that in a nation where educational access is uneven at best, and where few children finish high school, this program, due to its long years of consistent efforts, now has recently seen 4 of our program’s students enter college.
Progress on a long term program such as this sometimes seems to be so slow as to be nearly invisible: there are few “headline “ items. But despite the seemingly slow pace, we remind ourselves that slow and steady effort is the key to helping the children in these families reach a point in their lives where they can step out of the underclass into a brighter future.
None of this is possible without the generous support of you, our donors . Please accept our heartfelt thanks for all that you do to help us in our efforts. Your support changes the lives of these families and provides life changing opportunities for the chilren.
With best wishes to you all for a successful 2015.