Apply to Join
Feb 24, 2015

New scholarship students join our program!

Performance of outreach & resident Yike students
Performance of outreach & resident Yike students

 

 

News from Kampot

 

I recently returned from a trip to our school in Kampot, Cambodia to be with our staff and children and to see how our programs are progessing.

You have all been helping sponsor over 400 primary and secondary school children mainly from the Di Pok state school, but also from other local state schools, who all come to study traditional Cambodian music, dance and theatre at our school. Many are very poor and come from quite degraded and difficult backgrounds. The tuition of the arts in this form gives these children not only an opportunity to learn about their heritage, but it also provides them with an objective, keeping them away from street-life, glue sniffing and youth gangs.

After more than a year each sector from Pin Peat music and Mahori music ensembles to folk dance and Yike have begun performing in special public concerts in order to show their achievements and gain a certain professionality in stage skills. When they perform they are very proud of themselves! The interest in this program is such that now two new groups of state school students want to join our program.

 

What we've been doing Recently

In a local competition our school represented the different aspects of traditional Cambodian culture, from the different music forms, from the Yike to classical dance. Linking these different themes was a group of high school students on our training program from Di Pok school. In a form of narrative theatre they took the audience through different stages of the peformances. In the storyline they appear as high school students attracted by drugs and rave culture, but then they meet an old wise man who instructs them on the beauty and harmony of their ancient cultural heritage. The performance witnesses the transformation of this group of students from intolerance to tolerance from impatience to patience and from hate to peace and open-mindedness. The students were excellent in their performance.

 

Scholarship Students

Both our Mahori music and Pin Peat music teachers in their spare time formed two different ensembles with rural children, not connected to the free arts training program, ie not part of the state school and KCDI program. These very poor students were drawn to study the different musics from their own individual interest and passion for Cambodian music. The Mahori ensemble is with slightly older adolescent students, while the Pin Peat ensemble is with younger mostly pre-adolscent students. The talent of these different children is such that in a short space of time they have learned over 30 different Pin Peat pieces!

The younger Pin Peat students come from a rural area outside the town and towards the cement factory. They are not only very poor, but their families have significant problems. Coming home from school they often don't have anything to eat because their parents have spent all day gambling and drinking. The children tend to work very hard helping their parents in the rice fields, therefore learning music for them is a very important release from the pressures and difficulties of their daily lives.

Our school has now decided to officially insert them into our teaching timetable, providing food, care and assistance for those children worst affected by negligence and poverty. With the permission of their families and in coordination with them, we have formed this special group of highly talented scholarship students.

 

Please keep on Helping us!

 

Please continue helping our program. Your generosity has provided wonderfully diverse arts tuition for so many children and now our scholarship students too. Unfortunately the gap between rich and poor in Cambodia is ever-widening. Exacerbating this divide is the rising cost of food and rice. In order to help our scholarship students study they also need to be supported and to eat. This is one way of lightening the burden of costs for their families and ensuring that they continue studying and have a future away from alcohol abuse and addictive gambling. We also need to support out teachers for their priceless work, not only passing on their knowledge to new generations, but for their kindness, patience and skills.

During my visit to Cambodia, I also met the Minister of Culture who praised our school for our work and promised to protect us in the future. Our work is considered of vital importance, not only as a social development and vocational training, but representative of Cambodian people's desire to remember and restore their treasured culture.

Please tell your friends and collegues to support our work!

Thank You All from everyone at the Kampot Traditional Music School - Khmer Cultural Development Institute (KCDI)

Scholarship students perform Pin Peat
Scholarship students perform Pin Peat
Getting ready for the competition!
Getting ready for the competition!
Di Pok theatrical students
Di Pok theatrical students
Meeting the Minister
Meeting the Minister

Links:

Nov 30, 2014

Join Our Christmas Appeal!

Should I go into Space? Photo by Silvia Gomes
Should I go into Space? Photo by Silvia Gomes

Dearest Friends and Supporters of our Kampot Traditional Music School KCDI,

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your wonderful support for the year 2014. You have been a most marvelleous help and your contributions have allowed us to reach our goal for 2013-2014 and to continue our project for free arts training for over 400 very impoverished children into 2015!

As we go into 2015, we are welcoming new little children on our free arts training program and we are planning to expand our program to include Lakoun Sabaik Toch, which is the ancient art of small Shadow Puppet theatre. This will be a wonderful new skill to learn and we will become the first puppet troupe in the province of Kampot. I will be posting more details in our next report.

Recently both our day children on the Free Arts Training Program, as well as our orphaned children on our Residential program were involved in a spectactular event. We hosted the Hanuman Space Project and collaborated and partnered with the Australian Theatre Company "Intimate Spectacle", the international Cambodian Rock Group, "The Cambodian Space project" and the local contemporary art space, "Light box"

Our children joined in to do workshops to make puppet space monsters, paint pictures of their idea of space and then participate in the performance itself. We fused traditional Cambodian music and dance with contemporary music, theatre and stage effects to make the first ever pscychadelic performance of the "Hanuman Space project". The story of a Cambodian monkey who finds pieces of old Soviet spaceship in the jungle and who decides to travel to space, facing many challenges and dangers on the way. It is also a very relevant story about the transition and changes that many rural Cambodians must face as they migrate to urban areas.

We had a most wonderful time working together with our Cambodian and Australian partners and our teachers and students found the experience, exhilirating and healing. It was also a great learning experience for us, as to how to create a professional stage setting, lighting and stage effects. Some very famous Cambodian artists also participated, such as the international rock star Chanthy, but also the greatest Master of the Chapeye tradition, Kong Noy. Professional dancers from the Royal University of fine Arts also came to dance with our children and the whole experience really brought home to them, the richness of their own cultural heritage and how far one can go with the arts.

Here is what the Australian theatre director said about working with our school:-

"This project has been a fantastc experience. It is such a privilge working with so many talented people. (The) KCDI atmosphere is very healthy and fun. Bravo to all the artists, students and teachers. Very blessed to be a part of the show".

and here is what the founder of the Cambodian Space project rock group said,

"It's been an inspirational experience woring with all the staff, teachers and students at KCDI. We couldn't have had a better project partner than KCDI for developing the Hanuman Space Project" 

 

Christmas Fundraising Appeal

I am writing this report early, because I would like to invite you all to participate in our Christmas Fundraising Appeal.

We have been fortunate to have been selected by GlobalGiving, to participate in this great event, from Monday 1st December 00:00 (midnight) EST Washington DC time until 31st december at 11-.59pm.

We must raise over $3,000 with over 30 donors participating to be able to be eligible for a prize of $3,000 from GlobalGiving. We are aiming to raise $10,000 because we really need this sum to keep on going.

Recently we were turned down by a major donor because we didn't fit into their criteria. This happens quite frequently because we work with both the arts and orphaned children, which is quite a difficult area to fund. We won't give up, because we believe in what we do. 

If you would like to be involved please also contact your friends, family and colleagues as well as spread the word on your Social network. Please read here below so that your donation goes as smoothly as possible!

 

° ** Please donate to our central project on GlobalGiving:-

Education/Arts Orphan, Disabled Children Cambodia # 16371

We are one entity and whether you prefer supporting the arts training program for external students or whether you want to help our residential program all these children study at our school; By joining this Appeal and giving to One Project Only, you ensure the best possibility of our winning a matching prize. Funds raised go towards food, clothing, medical costs and teaching costs, electricity and water and help to keep our school open. We work in very close coordination with the Department of Social Affairs and so all our activities are strictly regulated and in line with Cambodian welfare law. If you give to the free arts training program for this appeal, it won't be counted (although it's very kind of you) and with too few donors we won't reach our goal of over 30 donors to one program. So please stick to the same project listed above, it's really important for us to raise these funds to keep our school open and running!

° Donations made by cheque must kindly be donated by 23rd December.

° Giftcards and Texts are not eligible for this Fundraising Campaign.

° Unfortunately recurring donors are not counted. If you can't make a donation, please ask a friend who can!

 

Thank you for having taken the time to read this.

From all of us here in Kampot, wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and every Well being and Peace for the New Year  2015!

butterfly dancers photo courtesy of Silvia Gomes
butterfly dancers photo courtesy of Silvia Gomes
Making space monsters by David Rosenberger
Making space monsters by David Rosenberger
Space Monsters! Photo courtesy of Silvia Gomes
Space Monsters! Photo courtesy of Silvia Gomes
The Hanuman Team outside KCDI photo by Rosenberger
The Hanuman Team outside KCDI photo by Rosenberger

Links:

Nov 28, 2014

Hanuman Space Project and Christmas Appeal!

Butterfly dancers photo courtesy of Silvia Gomes
Butterfly dancers photo courtesy of Silvia Gomes

Dear Friends and Supporters of Kampot Traditional Music School KCDI,

December is nearly here and on behalf of everyone at school I would like to thank you all for your marvelleous support to our program and to our children here in Kampot that you have given. In a short space of time we've raised over $2,000 and it's all thanks to you.

We recently completed a spectacular event which we hosted but which was organised by the Cambodian Space Project rock group, Intimate Spectacle Theatre group from Australia, Australian theatre directors and in partnership with the local contemporary art space, Lightbox. Our children and staff were delighted to be part of an incredibiliy imaginative and creative event, combining traditional Cambodian music and dance with contemporary music, theatre and stage effects! The story about a monkey who finds a piece of old space rocket in the jungle and decides to go to the moon, reflects the story of the migration of many Cambodians from rural poverty to urban living and the many challenges and changes they face along the way. We were honoured to have both the very famous Cambodian rock star Chanthy, as well as the great master Kong Noy, most famous of the Cambodian Chapeye musicians.

Our children were involved in workshops to create puppet space monsters, to paint their own ideas of space and to try out different sounds on their traditional instruments. They learned new choreographies and fused their traditional music and instruments with modern ones. Our staff and children learned many things not only about contemporary music, but also their own traditions and there was a happy mix of ideas from round the world, culminating in 2 evening performances at our school to packed audiences. The event was also widely publicized in Cambodia and abroad.

Here is what the theatre director said about our school,

"This project has been a fantastic experience. It is such a privilege working with so many talented people. The KCDI atmosphere is healthy and fun. Bravo to all the artists, students and teachers. (I felt) Very blessed to be part of the show!"

and the head of the Space Project rock band said,

"It's been an inspirational experience working with all the staff, teachers and students at KCDI. We couldn't have had a better project partner than KCDI" 

Recently we welcomed 4 new little children into our school, according to the requirements of the Ministry and Department of Social Affairs. We are now busy integrating them into daily life and helping them adjust to their new lives, which is certainly a big challenge for them and requires a long period.

We are preparing the way for university for our biggest girl who received her maturity exam and was only one of very few (30%) to be successful in the whole of Cambodia. We are looking into the possibility of reintegration through vocational training and apprencticeship for 6 of our largest students in their village of origin. 

We are creating our own miniature instrument making and Yike drum workshop and we are looking forward to creating our first Lakoun Sabaik Toch (Ancient small puppet theatre) for 2015...but I'll talk about that in our next report!

 

Christmas Appeal!

We have a big opportunity to reach our goal of $10,000 if you all join our Christmas appeal in December 2014.

Last week, we were turned down once more by a major donor, because we don't fit into their criteria. This happens very frequently, because we are involved both in the arts and with orphaned children, which can be quite awkward, although to us it feels the right decision. Also Cambodia is not on people's thoughts very often. Very rarely is Cambodia mentioned on the news and because of the appalling political fallout at the end of the Khmer Rouge genocide, many people througout the world, never got to know how dreadful it really was. This means that we have a double job of creating awareness about the past, in order to achieve recognition of our presence and our future. We are trying to be more and more economically self-sufficient and miniature instrument making and puppet theatre is a way forward, along with our CD sales and performances. However your help is vital!

From December 1st 00:00 (midnight) EST (Washington DC time) until 31st December at 11.59 pm we have been fortunate to have been selected by GlobalGiving to join the Year End Campaign. Please Join Us To and Make a Huge Difference!

We have to raise over $3,000 and have at least 30 different donors to be able to win $3,000 from GlobalGiving. We are aiming to have 100 donors!! Because we really want to ensure our school is supported through 2015.

All donations go towards feeding our chldren, clothing, medical care, teaching programs and child carers. There are no unecessary overhead costs and no expatriate costs. All contributions go directly to our school.

This is how you can help. If you have given an occasional donation, then please do give a donation to our school. Tell all your friends, use your social network, invite your work colleagues, everyone you think might be interested.

Please kindly take note of a few GlobalGiving regulations here below, so that donations can be made without any hitches! 

° If you wish to donate by cheque, please do so by 23rd December 2014.

° Giftcards and Texts are not valid

° Reccuring donors cannot be taken into consideration. if you have given an occasional donation, then you can still participate in our challenge, but if you are registered as a Reccuring Donor, sadly your donation cannot be included. 

Please make sure to donate to this project Education/Arts Orphans, Disabled Children Cambodia #16371

We have a Free Arts Training Project, please don't donate to this, because if some of you donate to one project and others to the other, then we won't win $3,000 from GlobalGiving. Please remember that all donations go towards all our projects at our school, because we are one entity and both our orphaned children and our arts-training children benefit, if our school is supported and remains open!!!

From us all in Kampot. Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a truly Peaceful and Happy New Year

Should I go into Space? Photo by Silvia Gomes
Should I go into Space? Photo by Silvia Gomes
Off to the moon! Photo by Sivia Gomes
Off to the moon! Photo by Sivia Gomes
Painting workshop photo courtesy David Rosenberger
Painting workshop photo courtesy David Rosenberger
The fishing dance KCDI
The fishing dance KCDI

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.