Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey

Jul 7, 2014

Music! Music! Music!

Champey music class
Champey music class

Music ! Music ! Music !

We continue to see increased attendance at Champay Academy of Arts. Particularly popular is the recent addition of music classes, giving children an opportunity to learn to play traditional Cambodian musical instrumets. Demand has been strong, particularly among the boys. A recent day say 5  children in the morning session and 13 in the afternoon group. Children learn about the instruments that are part of the tranditional Cambodian ensemble called the " pinpeat".

There are 5 kinds of musical instruments being used in the class:

  • Roneat Ek - a big xylophone like instrument of which there are three general types, varied in size
  • Roneat Thoong - one of the three types
  • Kong Thom - a bell type instruments which is composed of various metal canister type bells arranged in a circle on a stand
  • Skor thom or Big Drum
  • Skor Samphor - another type of drum that is similar to the big drum

On Friday's we also have the loan of  stringed instruments to introduce to the students, which is very popular.

With more students than instruments, students watch the instruction of others while waiting their turn.

This introduction and access to traditional Cambodian music is just one of several things that we are doing to bring education and inspiration to Cambodian children while teaching them about their rich cultural heritage.

None of this is possible without the continued  generous support of you our donors. Thank you.1

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

Student and teacher
Student and teacher
Kong Thom - Teacher & Student
Kong Thom - Teacher & Student
Apr 24, 2014

Celebrating One Year Anniversary at Champey

Celebrating  One Year Anniversary at Champey! 

It has been a busy year as Champey Arts celebrated its first anniversary in January 2014.  Bit by bit, the program has expanded from its original form as a summer arts camp program for disadvantaged children. Its newly expanded   course offerings include not only dance, but traditional Cambodian ( Khmer) music and arts. We are proud to celebrate the accomplishments of a largely “ home grown” Kasumisou team. Our staff now numbers 3 dance instructors, all of whom were long time students and graduates from our former Apsara Arts program. Our senior art teacher, Ms. Dong Saree has been teaching children in various Kasumisou Foundation programs traditional Cambodian art since 1999. In addition to her work at Champey Arts , Dong Saree teaches traditional arts at the prestigious Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh. She is capably assisted by Khun Sotha, a graduate of Kasumisou Foundation’s original art school at the Reyum Gallery in Phnom Penh. Finally, our program is rounded out by classical Khmer music instruction by Don, himself a classical music student at the Royal University of Fine Arts.

In addition to our teachers, we have four of our own university students from Prey Veng Province, who are working part time in various assistive jobs at the school while they attend university classes, three of whom board at the school.

Now that the recent civil unrest has quieted down, we are seeing about 50 to 60 students per day, spread over two sessions, one morning, the other afternoon, each   spanning 3 hours.   Some of our students are really inspired by the opportunity to dance. We have two students, teenagers, who bike nearly every day a distance of more than 5 miles from the National Orphanage to attend the afternoon session from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. Their typical day is school in the morning, then back to the orphanage at lunch (they live there as their moms are employees who work rotating 48 hours on/off shifts) . After lunch they attend after school supplemental classes and then it’s time to bike over to Champey. In recognition of their strong motivation ( they rarely miss a dance class) and acknowledging their limited family budget, we help by providing an outside class stipend of $ 25 per month.

We will soon be planning the session for the school break and continue in our efforts to bring traditional dance, music and art to children.

Your  support of our efforts  gives us the opportunity  create a sense of pride of culture in these students by exposing them to Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage. 

Thank you !

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

Oct 29, 2013

Building Community through dance


Summer Arts Camp 2013

Champey Arts Association  hosted  its first Summer Arts Program in August and September.  In addition to the children who are now becoming “ regulars” at Champey,  summer  campers came from included more than 30 children from the Phnom Penh Municipal Orphanage and several from our   AIDS Patient Family Support Program ( FSP) . Children enjoyed a half day session learning  traditional Cambodian dances and music.   Traditional Cambodian  music is  a key part of the dance and teaches children the history and stories  behind the dance.   

Local daily attendance has continued to increase at Champey, with some days seeing as many as  100 local children coming to participate during the course of a day.  Our goal of building community and becoming a place for kids is gaining ground among local street vendors who  found the summer program a great way to safely occupy children during the school break.

The camp session ended with a field trip for all of the campers  to a local water park and a graduation  performance and party to celebrate their accomplishments.

Your  support of our efforts  gives us the opportunity  create a sense of pride of culture in these students by exposing them to Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage. 

Jul 29, 2013

Summer Arts Camp-Summer 2013

We are pleased to announce  that our  Champey Arts Association will host its first Summer Arts Program  hosting approximately 20-25 children from the Phnom Penh Municipal Orphanage and another 6 children from our AIDS Patient Family Support Program ( FSP).  This  smaller camp population reflects our  smaller facility space to hold the camp sessions. None the less, these children will enjoy  8 weeks of  half day  classes offered Monday ~ Friday beginning in early August  through the end of  September, the annual summer school break. They will enjoy  learning how to perform  traditional Cambodian dances and learning about the music which is a key part of the dance.  Student teachers will provide both instruction and peer support to their campers.  

The camp session will end with a field trip for all of the campers and a graduation party to celebrate their accomplishments.

We are grateful for your continued support of our efforts to create a sense of pride of culture in these students by exposing them to Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage. 

 Barbara & Mark

Apr 24, 2013

A new chapter begins...Progress report

A work in progress !

Champey Academy of Arts ( CAA)   started dance classes  at our new location   in  Phnom Penh in January.  Champey is the  Cambodia name for the tropical  plumeria flower.  Our new location is centrally located and is  just a  short walk of one block to the Royal Palace, the National Museum and Royal University of Fine Arts.

Our inaugural class included a group of approximately 20  young girls age 9 to 16  from a shelter for abused and formerly trafficked children in Phnom Penh. Now just three months later our  Champey  Academy of Arts  ( CAA) l continues to take shape. 

From a just a handful of children, our classes  have  now expanded to include morning and afternoon sessions with attendance of  about 20 to 30 students per class.  Instruction is presented 6 days per week. Not only does the program of dance and music  at Champey  teach children about their rich cultural heritage, it keeps children off the streets during their free time. Cambodian children attend school for a morning session or an afternoon session, and this alternates each month, so non-school hours are filled with a rigorous curriculum of classic Cambodian dance.  The classes are filled with children from NPOs as well as neighborhood  kids whose parents recognize that Champey provides opportunity while helping to assist  the challenge  of idle children who are often left unattended while parents work.

As school holidays in late summer  approach,  we will be working to develop additional activities, including drawing,  to enrich and occupy these children.

Classes are offered free of charge.

Mark is in Cambodia this week to evaluate progress to date and plan for the coming months.

Again, all of this is possible because of your generous  support.

Stay tuned for more news!


Barbara Rosasco   

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Kasumisou Foundation

Menlo Park, California, United States

Project Leader

Barbara Rosasco

Menlo Park, Ca. United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey