Mar 29, 2016

Sokun Receives a new wheelchair

We’ve donated a new wheelchair to Sokun to thank him for his hard work and dedication to raising money for people with disabilities. Sokun’s new wheelchair was custom built, made to his measurements and brought over from the UK.

"Wheelchairs are difficult to buy for poor people becasue they are very expensive. There are some NGO's working in Cambodia who provide free wheelchairs but they are not comfortable as the seats are usually made from wood. Sokun's new wheelchair was made for him and is a special dance wheelchair. In Cambodia there is nowhere to buy dance wheelchairs”  - Senior Manager, Onn Sokny

As for The Epic House we want to make our student’s house as accessible as possible, this is be a big task because The house is a Traditional Khmer house, and like the majority of Cambodian houses it happens to be built on stilts. Obviously we need to get this right so more young people with disabilities have the oppurtunity to join our Inclusive Arts Course. We are in talks with a local arcitecht and we’re discussing the possibilities of our house and the plot of land it sits on. Donations from this global giving campaign have been restricted' and will be used to start renovations on the student house. Any recurring donations will be automatically transferred to our other Global Giving Projects.

Thank you for supporting Epic Arts

Feb 25, 2016

Arts Leader Thuo Takes The Stage

Thuo takes to the stage
Thuo takes to the stage

Arts Leader, Thuo, confidently takes the stage at our partner school to address 200 students and 50 parents, a feat that before joining Epic Arts, Thuo would’ve shied away from. She knows what it’s like to feel nervous and shy because of disability. she contracted Polio at a young age which affects the mobility in her right arm. Just a few years ago she spent most of her days at home, lacking in confidence.

“I felt different, I was very, very shy and I spent a lot of time on my own.” Thou Continues, “I joined Epic Arts and for the first time I met many other people who had a disability, people who were managers and dancers. As I made friends and learnt about the arts my confidence grew. Now I am able to speak, teach and dance in front of many, many people”

Holding the microphone in her left hand Thuo starts to speak about what the students have been doing in art class this year. She stumbles a little in her speech but quickly catches her words again.  She tells the audience about a Khmer storybook called ‘The Salted Egg Boy’ and how the children have been working hard to create drawings for the book.  Thuo introduces a young boy from the class who, with a grin on his face, shows us the drawings he has been creating this term.

An important part of this project is for children to have positive interactions with people who have disabilities. The programme gives people the opportunity to change attitudes through being positive role models. Having these experiences can help children to feel at ease around disability and change their perception at an early age. Thuo Sums the project up

“I just want to show the children that we (people with disabilities) can do many things because I don't want any child who has a disability to be made fun of,” she confidently states. “ I hope that no person is ashamed because they have a disability,” explains Thuo.

 Senior Manager, Onn Sokny, tells us about Thuo’s progression over the last two years “ The change I’ve seen in Thuo is amazing. When I  first met her she was the most shy person. This year she has built her confidence with the work she has been doing with Epic Arts and the Arts in Schools project. She has transformed into a strong female role model who I can see inspiring many others in the future”.

Sokny continues with more logistical aspects of the Arts in Schools project, “At the moment I am working on scheduling, materials, creating plans and talking with schools in order to launch more Arts in Schools projects in May.”

You can still donate to help deliver this project on Global Giving to help us reach our target of $7,000. We would also like to share our annual report with you take a look at the PDF attached to see what ese we've been up to. 

students showcase their artwork
students showcase their artwork
an illustration of a boat from the storybook
an illustration of a boat from the storybook

Attachments:
Dec 31, 2015

You Helped Us Reach our Goal And Sokun Smashed The Race

Sokun at the finish line
Sokun at the finish line

On a chilly Cambodian dawn in December, Sokun and I set off in a tuk-tuk to Angkor Wat along with 8,000 other runners.

"I didn't want to win, I just wanted to finish. After I got to the 10k mark I felt so tired but I remembered all the people who were supporting me and had donated and I knew I had to finish the race. It was difficult because the roads weren't in good condition and it was very bumpy but every time I was struggling the other runners cheered me on and told me I could do it!"

- Sokun after the race

Sokun completed the half marathon in just under an hour and 20 minutes placing fourth in the Wheelchair category and finishing strong overtaking four other runners in the final 20 meters.

Our fundraising goal for this project was $1,000 everyday Sokun would check the total and give me an update. In the end including cash donations we raised over $1,500 for our project to improve our students house. Thank you for sponsoring Sokun and supporting the developments in our student’s house.

In the new year we will contact an engineer to help us decide on the best ways to make the house more accessible for our students who have a range of disabilities.

Take a look at this short video we made about the marathon day and see Sokun in action!

Congratulate Sokun, share our video, or donate $5 today!

Wishing you all a merry Christmas and happy new year,

Sokun, Hayley and the rest of the Epic Arts team

Elated at the finish line
Elated at the finish line
Sokun and the winner of the Wheelchair category
Sokun and the winner of the Wheelchair category

Links:

 
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