Apr 7, 2020

E-learning for our students

Kasumisou Scholars – GlobalGiving quarterly update for April 3, 2020

Mark was in Phnom Penh in late February and was able to visit with our students. We currently have a roster of 5  students. Over the past few months, our students have been working hard and they have  continued to make progress in their studies.

In the third week of March, as a result of the coronavirus crisis,  the Cambodian government ordered all schools, including universities, to close. As a result of the government order, our young scholars have been studying at home.

The recent  semester of the 2020 academic year finished at the end of March and our students  are now at home and waiting for the start of the new semester which will begin  on April 6.  For the foreseeable future, all teaching will be done online . It will be  a totally new experience for both the teachers and the students so everybody is proceeding somewhat tentatively.  Online learning will present particular challenges for our first year nursing student, where hands on experiences are an important part of the program.  Hopefully, the government’s shelter-at-home order will be lifted before too  long so that our students can return to their physical campuses and normal routines.

Despite these changes, our students remain determined to continue their studies without interruption and achieve their dream of a college degree.

The Kasumisou Scholars program  is only possible because of the generous support of you, our donors. Now, particularly, in these challenging times, we hope that we will  be able to maintain our support for  these students who have overcome remarkable challenges and obstacles to come this far.

We are deeply grateful for your support.

 

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

Feb 20, 2020

Quiet Dignity

Mark is on his way  to Cambodia to visit all of our programs, including  our  AIDS Patient Family Support Program. When we first started to post our projects on the GlobalGiving site, a friend advised me that the title of our project should be  a call to action that explains clearly what the program does. We took that advice and consequently when we listed our project  on GlobalGiving in August 2009, we chose the imperative of   Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for their Kids, because that is exactly what we were doing.   Now, for more than 20 years, we have helped fragile families, impacted by extreme poverty and HIV status ,live in  an extremely modest life in quiet dignity.  Key to entry into our program was that program members had no access to any other resources of any kind and were utterly destitute. A big  part of the success  of our efforts has been our policy of frequent home visits ( usually weekly, but sometimes more) , of our patient families , which allowed us to focus  of the needs of each program participant. Our update this month will spotlight one of the success stories of our program, whom we will call Ms. X.

There is an old saying that one never knows how another feels unless he or she walks in another’s shoes. We are blessed in that our current home care coordinator can truly say that.  Ms. X joined our program as a program member in 2004  , then about A 28 .  Life had been and was hard and the program really made a difference. Ms. X had lost both her parents.  Ms. X was in porrt health.  She had  not been  a good student, making her work prospects very poor in an already terrible economy.   Perhaps due to the hard life in her childhood, Ms. X only  finished  grade 2 at the government school. Her father  had passed away when Ms.X was a baby and  her mother,  passed away in 1991 when Ms. X was a teen. Her mother had been a farmer in the Communist regime.  Although not a good student in school, Ms. X was motivated to try to improve her life . Despite joining our program, she  wanted to work and  for many years, Ms. X  helped our then home care coordinator Ms. J.    Ms. J , now retired, had  identified Ms. X and another program member  as having potential and  they were recruited  to help  with certain patient work, such as taking patients to hospital  and Ms. X accompanied  Ms. J on home visits for years.

Over the years Ms. X   has continued to work with us and she now works as a  hard monitoring the patient families in our program. Ms. X has a very good idea of the needs  of these families as well as their  living and education costs, having been a program member herself and her experiences during the years when she had helped Ms. J.  Now, Ms. X is employed by Kasumisou Foundation  and over these many years,  she has worked extremely hard to build a life. Ms. X is now  married and she  has three children. Ms. X husband does piece work, making small tourist goods for an NGO and the combined income for Ms. X and her husband  is  almost enough to place them as lower middle class.

The quiet dignity , compassion and hard work of Ms. X helps us to continue to serve the  remaining fragile families in our program and we sincerely appreciate her hard work.

In a perfect world, we would love to see all of our patient families be able to make this remarkable transition, but for now, we are grateful for the hard work and  personal accomplishment of Ms. X and her efforts to help our patient families.

Our program would not be possible without the generous support of you,our kind donors and we are deeply grateful    On behalf of our patient families , please accept our heartfelt thanks.

 

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

Feb 10, 2020

A world apart

Full house !
Full house !

Update on Champey Academy

Our update consists of photos of our students in our art program and dance program. Monday through Saturday, Champey offers free instruction in art, dance and music. There are two daily sessions, morning from 7:30am to 11:00 am and then the afternoon session from 1:30 to 5:00 pm. The afternoon session tends to be most popular as many of our students are either coming from school , which is why so many of our young men in the art class are wearing identical blue school uniform shirts, or if not coming from school, we have a number of students whose  family situation requires them to work, most often, in the mornings in market stalls.

These classes are a world apart from the daily routine of work/school/work/school on a strictly limited budget.  Our classes  provide opportunities and a safe space for students   to make friends and   to learn for the sheer joy of learning. and personal satisfaction.   Additionally, these voluntary students are building skills  like teamwork and discipline which will help them as they go through life.

Your donations make this oasis possible for our young students, many of whom have faced or currently face significant challenges life and  these classes truly provide " a world apart" from daily realities. 

The photos were taken in September when Mark was in Phnom Penh.

Our heartfelt thanks to our wonderful donors  for your generous support and providing these  opportunities to our kids.

 

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

Art class 2
Art class 2
Preparing for performance
Preparing for performance
Hard at work in class
Hard at work in class
Practice
Practice
Ready to perform
Ready to perform
 
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