Jul 30, 2021

COVID CONTINUES TO TAKE ITS TOLL IN CAMBODIA

Update on our Family Support Program

Hun Sen, Cambodia's Prime Ministre announces today  announced a  new  14 day lockdown  on Thai Border areas as  newly reported  Covid covid cases cases remain high.

A brief history of Covid in Cambodia:   Cambodia closed to foreign travelers in March 2020 due to COVID. Initially Cambodia was not hit hard and infection numbers were well controlled. A  sudden COVID outbreak in Phnom Penh in February 2021 caused new and  then continuing restrictions, including severely restricted travel in and out of the cities. Checkpoints on the major highways made it nearly impossible for city residents to visit their home villages or for people from the rural provinces to enter the city earlier this year. Now, although some of these drastic restrictions have been modified, schools are currently  closed and entry into Cambodia remains very difficult with enforced 14 day quarantines as  Cambodia  continues with  a series of rolling lockdowns in  direct response to the COVID case count.

A sense of fear had spread through Phnom Penh as schools and businesses including the major markets, were  impacted with rolling lockdowns and markets and streets became and remain  largely  deserted.  Now, Phnom Penh remains on a partial lockdown as  new cases remain high, while Cambodia announces, today, a 14 day  lockdown of 8 provincial areas near the Thai border .  Consequently many businesses like hotels and tourist services remain closed,as are many of the garment factories,  although some  essential services like banks are now open. Some  markets have reopened, but they remain largely without customers.  Although vaccination rates are increasing, Cambodia is using the Chinese vaccine rate which has an estimated effectiveness of about 50%.  so community spread remains a real risk. 

Most of our FSP patients are now vaccinated, but their children are not yet vaccinated because Cambodia is only  just now opening vaccines  to 12 to 17 year old children.

Our FSP home visit coordinator, is herself a former patient from our program. She  conducts weekly home visits with our FSP patients to monitor and report on each family’s situation. A mother of three young children, she is HIV positive and  although vaccinated, she is vulnerable to Covid. . Understandably, she wants to avoid any possible exposure to COVID. This woman has been associated with our program for 15 years , first as a patient and now as member of our staff. We have agreed with her, that in the interest of safety, we have  suspended  home visits until the community spread of COVID in Phnom Penh is  brought under control. She  remains in  close telephone contact with our patients.

We continue to support 16 fragile families. A key part of our “ contract” with our patient families is that they work when, if and as able, to help, at least in a very small way, in their own support. Now, due to COVID closures and their own medical conditions, it is not possible for them to work at their modest , part time jobs at market stalls, etc. and their  opportunitties to  bring in even  a bit of money has largely disappeared. Instead, for safety reasons, they are home bound. Now, more than ever, the fragile families in our program depend upon us, as any sort of part time work presents a potentially serious medical danger.

We are deeply grateful to you,our many supporters for your generosity that helps these fragile families live with dignity. On behalf of the families in our program, please accept our heartfelt thanks. We hope that you will continue  on with in our efforts , particularly during these  very difficult times.

Barbara & Mark Rosasco 

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Jul 27, 2021

Progress in the time of COVID

GlobalGiving Update

Build Dreams.  Send Cambodia kids to college

 

As the Covid virus continues to spread in Phnom Penh,  schools, including the universities, remain locked down and students still study remotely. 

Two of our three scholars continue to pursue their undergraduate degrees, one in English language and literature and the other in international relations. Our students participate in their classes online only as the city remains largely locked down.  Our third student is on a recent and   involuntary pause.

The English language major is now in the first term of her fourth year of study and she is expecting to graduate in June of next year.  After that she hopes to work as an English teacher at her university and later to move to teaching English in one of Phnom Penh’s many private schools.

The International Relations major is in the final term of her third year of study and expect to graduate in 2022.  She hopes to pursue a Masters degree in International Relations after which she wants to pursue a career with either a foreign NGO or one of the multinational organizations such as UNICEF  which has  a presence in Cambodia.  She has a particular interest in working to help disadvantaged children to attend school. 

Our third student  is a nursing student. The “all hands on deck” approach to fighting the pandemic has meant that even nursing students have been called on to help in the hospitals.  She does her classes online during the daytime and works at the hospital in the evenings.  Since Sunday, July 25 she has entered a 14 day quarantine which requires that she remain isolated in the hospital because a doctor with whom she works at the hospital  has contracted Covid.

The good news is that her grades for her first year of nursing school were exceptional and she remains very highly motivated and excited about her future career as a nurse.  

Covid  has presented new challenges to all of us. We are very proud of our dedicated students who , despite unexpected challenges, continue to work hard to achieve their goals and dreams of a college degree.

The progress of these three exceptional young women are only possible because of the generous support of you, our wonderful donors.

We deeply appreciate your support. Truly these three young women are shining examples of lives changed because of your support.

 

Barbara & Mark

Links:

Jun 30, 2021

COVID update for Champey Academy

CAA Dance Stage  1
CAA Dance Stage 1

Continuing challenges caused by the Covid virus endanger  the survival of our school.

In accordance with the government's lockdown orders, we were required to close our school for one month - from April 7 until May 6.  We were able to open for about one week but then, due to the increasing spread of the COVID  virus in Phnom Penh, the government again ordered a partial lockdown and we again had to close our school - this time from May 14 to June 14.

Our school  have now been open again for two weeks but student attendance is very light.  Most of the students in the drawing/painting class complete their work at home and then bring their art work to Champey for the teacher to make suggestions and corrections.  Currently, very few students actually attend in-person class in the drawing/painting class.

Our music classroom is too small and confined to allow us to safely teach a full class so most music students show up only occasionally and rarely are there more than one or two students at a time.

On the dance stage, our numbers are similarly reduced with only five to ten students in attendance for each class, down from usual  pre-COVID attendance of  80 to 90 students..

The Cambodian government is pursuing a fairly aggressive vaccination plan so we are hoping that the combination of limited lockdowns and growing vaccination numbers will soon stop the spread of the virus in the Phnom Penh area and things can then start to return to something closer to normal at our school.

Loss of tourist revenue is a big hit for the school

Tourist revenue historically provides an average of  35% of our operating revenue. However, at this point, the start of the next tourism high season in Fall 2021  looks very much in doubt.  In total, our revenue from tourist visitors - through the admission fees which they pay and the money which they put into the donation boxes as well as their purchases in our little souvenir shop - accounts for about 35% of Kasumisou Foundation's annual income.  Now, having lost the entire season for 2020/2021, we are extremely concerned  if  we can survive 2021/2022 if we have  even a partial tourism season.

We are hoping that we can increase donations enough to be able to keep this program alive.

On July 14, GlobalGiving will host a donor match day and will match donations on a tiered basis:

  • $100-$499 donations will receive a 15% match
  • $500-$749 donations will receive a 30% match
  • $750-$1000 donations will receive a 50% match

We are hopeful that you will consider participating in the Match Day as we try to survive these daunting challenges.  

We are deeply grateful to you , our kind donors for your generous support.

Mark & Barbara

CAA Art Class Room
CAA Art Class Room
CAA dance class
CAA dance class
CAA dance class 2
CAA dance class 2

Links:

 
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