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
Jan 25, 2018

Meet The Students You Funded at Epic Arts - part 1

New students - Malis, ChanDoeb & Ly
New students - Malis, ChanDoeb & Ly

Meet The Students You Funded at Epic Arts – Part 1

 Happy New Year from all of the students and staff at Epic Arts!

Over the past few months the students you helped fund have been settling in to life at Epic Arts. Two new students join the Inclusive Arts Course bringing the total number of students to 13. In late December the students completed the first term of their course and the teachers were singing their praises.

 A huge part of the first term is dedicated to the students getting to know each other and finding creative ways to collaborate and communicate. The students have a wide variety of disabilities from visual & hearing impairments to cerebral palsy.

Now that they're settled in we'd like to introduce you to some of the students:

Malis

“Malis is a strong leader with clear creative vision, she’s great at bringing a group together. She’d make a great Director!” - IAC Dance Tutor

Malis loves to dance and was inspired to join Epic Arts by her friend, Socheat, who works as a professional wheelchair dancer at Epic Arts. Like Socheat, Malis uses a wheelchair to get around because she contracted polio when she was an infant and was left with limited use of her legs. Before she joined Epic Arts Malis studied at a school for children with disabilities (Lavalla School.) Maly went on to study at University of Phnom Penh with the help of a scholarship from Lavalla School.

 ChanDoeb

 “Chandoeb has beautiful improve skills and a lovely flow to his dance movement. He’s very independent and has very creative ideas.” – IAC Dance Tutor

ChanDoeb was raised in Kampot Province but went to study at Lavalla School near Phnom Penh as a child. After finishing Grade 5 at 18 years old Chandoeb was put forward for a year-long vocational training course in Farming. He then moved back home with his parents to look after their cow and help with the housework before hearing about Epic Arts’ course through a neighbor.

Ly

“Ly is hilarious in his drama performances. He’s a talented dancer and he’s a very confident performer” – IAC Dance Tutor

 Ly is a deaf student from the outskirts of Kampot. Ly was born with a hearing impairment. There are isn't sign language integration in the public school system and hearing aids aren't readily available. Ly spent two years learning sign language with the Deaf Development Programme in Kampot followed by a year of hairdressing training.

 “I saw the Epic Arts videos that’s why I joined the course. I want to be a star in the next video! I’m excited to study drama, practice and improve.” – Ly, IAC Student

  

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 our Inclusive Education Programmes so we really rely on donations from generous donors like you as well as sustainable income from our social enterprises.

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

Malis during dance class
Malis during dance class
Ly dances together with a student who is blind
Ly dances together with a student who is blind
 
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