Dear friends and supporters of our school,
Thank you so much for having supported us all through this last year. Your generosity has helped keep our school open and running. Thanks to your help we have reached out to many children from local villages, who come daily to our school for their music and performing arts lessons.
We have been teaching Pin Peat and Mohori music, Yike theatre and shadow puppet theatre. This year our Mohori teacher has had health problems. He was held prisoner by the Khmer Rouge and miraculously survived, but this and the years of deprivation took a toll on his health. We wish him good health and strength for the New Year!
Cambodia is often assessed as doing quite well economically in comparison to ten years ago. However those who make these kinds of assessments are looking only at the capital city Phnom Penh and the rise of urban development there. Yet the majority of Cambodians live in rural areas. Their lives have not improved and many live without clean water, electricity, toilets, or proper health centres. Although schools are supposed to be free, the reality is that rural children have to bring gifts of money or rice to ensure that they can get the schooling that they need. When someone in a family gets sick, family members have to sell livestock, even their houses to get medical treatment for their loved ones. Even then many people die of preventable diseases, because of lack of expertise in medical doctors and poor hygiene in hospitals.
People who are in their late thirties and upwards suffer from trauma linked to the decades long war and the Khmer Rouge genocide. This has resulted in severe affectivity problems, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, having a knock-on effect on the younger generation of Cambodians. There is now a sharp increase in drug-use, glue sniffing and alcoholism amongst the young. Many very poor people in the middle-age bracket, to alleviate their suffering take to gambling and alcohol with cheap rice spirits, devestating to their health. The government is mired in corruption and Buddhist religious institutes are no longer the bulwarks or role models they were ten or twenty years ago. This means there is no symbolic figure or meaning in people's lives to focus on and help them look up to a better future or better ideals.
Teaching young children and youth who face difficulties in their families, or who come from a life of poverty, helps them to look to new horizons. It helps them train as professional musicians. The very act of learning music and concentrating on something that is in itself so harmonious and positive, brings wonderful pyschological and emotional benefits. It also disciplines the mind and increases concentration levels. Because traditional Cambodian culture is in danger of dying out, it is extremely important to give high quality tuition by real masters to pass their knowledge and skills onto the next generation of Cambodians.
If you would like to really help these children who come during the day, as well as our orphaned and blind children who are resident at our school, then please join our End of Year Campaign 2017.
The End of Year Campaign has been running since November 29th and will end at 23.59.59 on December 31st 2017. Global Giving will give prizes to those NGOs who raise the most funds and the most donors. Please tell your friends and relatives to join in too.
You can donate to this project here. Donations can be made using Paypal, Credit/Debit cards, Gift cards and transfer.
The End of Year Campaign is of vital importance to our school, because it helps us raise significant funds to keep our school going. Cambodia no longer receives the attention or aid it used to, this has an effect on projects working with children and youth, like our school. If you help support our school, not only do you ensure tuition is given to local village children, you also help those of our children resident at our school who have no parents and who have nowhere else to go.
Our school does not have any expatriate overheads or administrative costs, so that each donation goes straight to the heart of our programs and to the children we assist.
Thank You for Your Help!
Hello dear friends,
We would like to invite you all to participate in our two most important fundraising events. These are #Giving Tuesday on the 28th November and our Year End Campaign from 29th November to 31st December 2017.
It is because of your wonderful help each year, (indeed there are some of you who help each month), that our school is able to keep on running.
Your precious help enables us to provide food, medical care, clothing, schooling, Braille for our blind students and traditional arts education to all our children resident at our school and to children from local villages too. Today special care centres are no longer considered by international NGOs as a priority and so children who have lost their parents, or who have been abused by their extended family are left by the wayside. Cambodian society is not ready to take care of children properly by fostering them. Blind children are completely forgotten both by the state and society and the traditional arts need help to survive more than ever. Taking loving care of children in a small family-like centre like our school is for now the only solution. So please keep on helping us.
We would like you to know that Global Giving has visited our school twice now and that we have acquired Superstar status and Top-ranked organisation for the last two years running.
What is #Giving Tuesday?
This begins at 00:00:01 EST (Washington DC time) on 28th November 2017 and lasts nearly 24 hours until 23.59.59 (EST)
Firstlly and importantly, Your Donations will be matched by Global Giving, but also if we can raise more than twenty donors and $5,000 we will also be able to win a prize as well. Because the campagin on Giving Tuesday is so short, only payments using Paypal and Credit/Debit card wil be accepted.
What is The End of Year Campaign?
This Campaign begins on the 29th November and lasts all the way until 31st December 2017 at 23.59:59 (EST). By raising more than forty donors we will be eligible for a prize too. In this campaign we aim for $10,000. You can participate in both campaigns, your donation will be considered seperately.
Donations for this latter campaign, can be made using Paypal, Credit/Debit Card, Apple Pay, Gift Cards, Transfer and Cheque (Cheques are best in before 20th December).
Please kindly donate for both Campaigns on this Project: Education/Arts Orphan, Disabled Children Cambodia - #16371
Because, though the funds raised will go to all our school activities and all our children, if we try to raise funds on too many different projects, we won't be able to gather enough donors and funds to one single project, in order to be eligible for a prize at the end.
Thank you dear friends for your kind understanding, your thoughtfulness and the time you have taken to read this, and of course for all your help.
Before I begin this report I would like to thank you on behalf of us all at our school, for your most generous and vital support.
Those of you who have supported this particular project know that the children who live outside our school and come here for lessons, have quite challenging lives and greatly benefit from being able to come to our school.
Today this report will be about the lives of our students who are musicians. All of those who come for music lessons, whether Mahori or Pin Peat are very talented. They come to study with our masters, not only because of love of music, but because they are so gifted that they will almost certainly become professional musicians.
Whenever we do an official performance say for His Majesty the King, or at the National Theatre or for a special event at our school, such as when both the U.S. and British Ambassadors came to our school together with the Secretary of State for Culture. Then you will find our outreach students performing in the wings. They perform together with our residential students and they form an orchestra. If there is a dance performance or a shadow puppet performance, they will sit to the side unoticed by the audience and create beautiful music. As the dancers perform or the puppeteers make theatre, the musicians watch closely, so that their music is in exact time with the dancer's feet or the intricate story lines of the puppetry. The Roneat Ek player (Alto xylophone made out of bamboo) is the leader and on his or her shoulders lies the responsibility to set the pace and start at the right time, with everyone following in harmony. Often the Pin Peat master Sambo takes this role, but gradually in time one of his students will take over.
Musicians all over the world know the experience of perfoming in the wings, sometimes out of sight, but with a role so important that if someone were to play wrong, it would send everything in tilt.
Some of our Mohori students are from a previous course, a partnership we did with Epic Arts, where we gave free tuition to their disabled students in traditional Cambodian music. Even after the course had finished, some were so enthusiastic they stayed on of their own accord. One is a youth who lost both arms in an accident when he worked in an ice-crushing factory. He has the most beautiful voice and has learned and is learning a large range of Mohori and Plein Ka (wedding music). Another young woman is blind in one eye and losing the sight in her other and is a wonderful Roneat player.
These our students who have come out of very difficult backgrounds, but yet come with good humour and self-discipline even when it's raining, show what is possible and help make our school a better place. We wish for them every success and we will go on teaching them until such time as they feel able to start their professional lives, solo. Thank you so much for supporting them!
Just a quick note (and that is not a pun)........for those of you who are interested in supporting our micro- project # 29610 "Saving Lives Through Providing Transport" for those of our special needs children who need urgent medical care in hospital 137km away from Kampot in Phnom Penh. We still have a few days left, if you want to help.
(Photographs kind courtesy of Steve Porte: Permission was granted before taking photographs).