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Apr 25, 2018

Meet The Students You Funded at Epic Arts - part 2

Sok feels the beat in music class
Sok feels the beat in music class

Thank you for supporting the students on Epic Arts Inclusive Arts Course.

We’re now eight months into the Inclusive Arts Course (IAC) and the students that you helped fund have settled in and found their feet.

 Although the course focuses on a range of art disciplines it’s not just an arts course. It’s a way for these young people to explore themselves, develop skills, confidence & new attitudes to their own ability.

 Our entry-level course transforms lives. Previous students have gone on to work as performers for Epic Arts and find work in other NGOs.

 Socheata an IAC graduate, recently donated to the course after graduating and securing a job with WaterAid Cambodiashe said, “I would not be where I am today without Epic Arts. I want to thank you and help you to help other young people with disabilities like me”

We have 13 new students on our course that we believe will be just as successful as Socheata and the many other graduates. In our last email update we introduced 3 new students. We’d like to introduce you to 3 more:

Sochon

Sochon is from Prey Veng province in the North-west of Cambodia. He spent most of his childhood and teenage years at Domnok Toek organization in Phnom Penh and he studied at public school with their help.

He has always loved the arts, but his disability stopped him from pursuing his passion. “Because I can’t see, I used to feel very helpless”

Sochon heard about Epic Arts and jumped at the chance to learn more about the subjects he loves but never had the confidence to try. “Now I’ve joined Epic Arts I know that everyone around me wants me to be involved. I always have an assistant describing activities to me”

Kakada

Kakada has severe hearing impairment, he lost the majority of his hearing when he was 6 months old after falling ill and not receiving the proper medical care. Kakada is a determined and persistent young man.

Kakada’s mother and father are both teachers and they refused to let their son give up because of his disability. They made sure he learnt how to read and write Khmer, a difficult task for those with hearing impairments, teaching him at home after school to make sure he didn’t fall behind his peers.

Kakada completed his formal education to grade 12 without any knowledge of sign language. After completing high school Kakada joined the Deaf Development Program for two years where he learnt sign language and was introduced to the deaf community of Kampot.

Kakada loves to dance and had heard about Epic Arts through DDP and the deaf community. As soon as Kakada found out that there were places on the Inclusive Arts Course he signed up for interviews.

Sok

Sok was raised in Kampot Province; he began primary school later than other children.

Sok has a visual impairment and when he was 14 he decided to finish his schooling. “It was difficult for me to see or read what was on the blackboard. The teachers didn’t try to include me”

Although he’d gotten to grade 6 he felt like he was wasting his time. With primary school education completed Sok thought that this was enough and started working on the family farm.

Sok heard about Epic Arts on the radio and wanted to join because he wanted to learn more skills and gain more knowledge. “From the interview I heard on the radio, I knew that Epic Arts would include me and I wanted to start learning as soon as I could”

Your Gift Means a Lot

These are just three of our students, over the next few months - we'll be sending you updates on their progress and introducing you to the other students that you've helped with your kind donation.

Thank you again for our helping us to get these students onto the Inclusive Arts Course, we're so grateful for your donation. We receive no statutory funding for this course so we rely hugely on donations from generous donors like you to fund our course.

If you can, please consider setting up a monthly donation to help us continue to deliver this life-changing course.

Thank you

Sok, Kakada and Sochon
Sok, Kakada and Sochon
Sok during dance class
Sok during dance class
Sochon during dance class
Sochon during dance class
Sok feels the beat in music class
Sok feels the beat in music class
Apr 12, 2018

An Exciting Update at Epic Arts

Mother and son at Epic Arts
Mother and son at Epic Arts

Thank you for donating to Epic Arts Inclusive Education Programme (IEP) because of your donation we’re able to transform lives by providing education to young people with disabilities, who without our programme wouldn’t have the chance to have access to education. 

Currently we have students aged from 7 to 27 involved in our Inclusive Education Programme.

  • Children with learning disabilities aged 6 – 12 study in Peace Class
  • Young adults with learning disabilities aged 14 – 27 join Independent Class 
  • Young adults with and without disabilities aged between 18 and 27 study arts and independent life skills on the Inclusive Arts Course

We felt we were missing an important demographic, so we have an exciting update for the IEP. 

In May we’re opening our classrooms to pre-school children with disabilities from 3 – 6 years old. 

Ten children with disabilities and their parents will join an informal weekly class where they’ll build important social skills and learn through play. The children will make new friends and their parents will find a supportive network with each other and with our teachers.

Following a three year project with Aide et Action, to integrate children into the public school system, we’ve seen the need for children with disabilities and their parents to be supported into that process. 

We believe that our new class will help change families perceptions around disability and what their child can and cannot do. 

“I’ve met a lot of parents who don’t believe that their children can learn just because they have a disability” - Chanthat, Social Worker

When the time comes, Social Worker, Chanthat will work closely with families to create an individual exit strategy for each child. The student will be assessed and supported in their next step whether that’s moving to another class at Epic Arts, or Epic Arts lobbying for the child to be enrolled at their local school.

We’re creating this new class because learning benefits every human being and we believe that every child deserves an education regardless of ability, gender or race. 

If you believe that education should be available to all children consider setting up a monthly donation to help us work towards the Global Goals  #4 – Qualtiy Education & #10 Reduce Inequalities.

Mother & son at a parent meeting
Mother & son at a parent meeting
Peace Class student in Art Class
Peace Class student in Art Class
Epic student happy to start public school
Epic student happy to start public school
Jan 29, 2018

See the Change YOU Funded for Kids in Cambodia

So happy during drama class
So happy during drama class

Happy new year from everyone at Epic Arts! Thank you for supporting our Arts in Schools project. 

In 2017 we delivered 48 arts classes at 2 schools in Kampot province. We also employed two new facilitators who graduated from our Inclusive Arts Course in April and showed talent for facilitation and performance. 

Chea is one of the new members of the team and he enjoys going to teach children on the  Arts in Schools project every week. 

“I really love teaching the children on the project. At first I was shy in front of them and they seemed a little scared of me. Over time I’ve built relationships with the children, I’ve seen a change in how they are around me and my disability. At the start they seemed frightened and laughed, they didn’t want to touch my arms. Now they are happy to work with me and they feel comfortable around me.

What I like about Arts in Schools is how happy the children are to join in. Their teacher told me a few times that they can’t wait for us to come every week.”

Chea joined Epic Arts Inclusive Arts Course in June 2015, here is his story:

“I didn’t know that when I joined Epic Arts I’d grow in confidence and that I’d discover a talent and passion for arts”

Che dropped out of school when he was 16 to help support his family. He worked on construction sites around his home town for five years. In 2011 Chea started working for a new company. 

“It was a good job, I’d been working there for 20 days when my boss asked me to install a roof. I’d done this loads of times before so I climbed up the 4 metre-tall concrete column to begin my work. I don’t remember much after that except my life changed forever. I was holding the metal roof panel. I didn’t notice the electricity cables above me. Thinking about it now, it was a death trap.”

Chea was electrocuted and was catapulted through the air down to the ground. The accident led to Chea losing both his forearms. Chea spent three years in a deep depression, hiding himself inside from the world. With the help of his family he slowly started to come out of his depression and soon after he heard about Epic Arts. 

“When I went to Epic Arts for the first time I was so surprised, the people all had disabilities but they were having fun and they were happy. That’s when I knew I wanted to join Epic Arts”

After three years of studying & working at Epic Arts I  am myself again! I wake up happy everyday something I never thought I’d feel again. I think that because of Epic Arts I have a future and I can do anything I want. 

If you’d like to support Chea and the team delivering the Arts in Schools project please consider donating again or setting up a recurring donation to our project. Your donation will help support Chea’s salary and materials for the children who take part in the programme.

Chea
Chea
Chea during an art session
Chea during an art session
 
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