Sep 19, 2016

Somnang Goes to Phnom Penh!

Somnang during his music lesson
Somnang during his music lesson

Dear friends,

Thank you all for your generous and swift response to our urgent appeal for Somnang's medical care in Phnom Penh. You have all been wonderful and helped us reach our goal very quickly!

On the 1st September Somnang was taken by his housemother Thiyeu to the Kunthea Bopha Paediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh. The visit itself was free, but we had to travel 137km to Phnom Penh and Somnang stayed overnight in hospital. The doctors visited his ears and checked his general health before deciding what medical treatment to give him.

He was allowed home back to our school and prescribed three different medical therapies with the reccomendation that he be brought back to hospital immediately should his condition get worse or the medicine have adverse affects. To date, the pus in Somnang's ears has retreated and is almost entirely gone and his reaction to his treatment has been very positive. He is due shortly for his general HIV check-up and we will see the outcome. His general state regarding HIV is now much better and he no longer has fever or digestive problems and his skin is less prone to itchy rashes and blisters. Checks also show his lymph-nodes to be in good form.

We are incredibly grateful that our little boy is doing so well. He used to have understandably difficult moments just after the death of his mother where he got very angry and upset, but our housemother and staff have been so good, just gently waiting for these moments to pass. Now he is in a better place both emotionally and physically and he has lots of friends, loves football, drawing and his schoolwork, as well as dancing and music.

We are happy to share this photo of Somnang at the Gong Vong Thom instrument - Pin Peat music.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

From us all here in Kampot

 

* For reasons of privacy, Somnang is not his real name.

Playing football with his friend Phi
Playing football with his friend Phi
Somnang, Catherine and Map
Somnang, Catherine and Map

Links:

Sep 7, 2016

One Journey away from a better life

Artistan puppets made by students
Artistan puppets made by students

If you go into rural areas in Kampot, away from the main road, you will find many people still without electricity and running water. None of the water whether in the city or the countryside is drinkable without being boiled. Children often go to school barefoot and sometimes miss lessons to work in the fields and assist their families.

Due to lack of government policy regarding the past and the Khmer Rouge genocide (1975-79), there has been no form of truth and reconciliation. An entire country has been left to overcome enormous traumas while their former perpertrators go free. The result is not suprisingly a mess. Many older generations suffer from PTSD and have affectivity, gambling and alcohol problems and issues with violence. The younger generation of Cambodians has felt the effect and too many middle class youth have drug, gangs and glue-sniffing problems. There is also an ever widening divide between the rural poor and the wealthy ruling class, with ordinary people dispossessed of their land, forests decimated and people's livlihoods along with it. Many people in rural areas are desperate to create a better life for themselves and their children and some leave their children behind with elderly relatives and head for Thailand to work there, sometimes never to return.

Outside Kampot town, there lies a village called Phum O' Toch, where there are children who struggle to get by day to day, because some of their parents are not only poor, but have alcohol and gambling addictions. They would very much like to come and study at our school. Our Pin Peat teacher lives nearby and discovered that many of them are naturally very talented artists. For them coming to our school would mean receiving serious vocational training, shaping their futures as professional artists in traditional Cambodian music, dance and shadow puppetry. However many of them are too poor to own a bicycle and are fearful of coming home from classes at our school by themselves in the evening on the main road from Kampot. They would like to come and study at our school if we can provide them with group transport. Coming to our school also means receiving a hot meal, medical care and help for the poorest and most vulnerable of the children, making a big difference in their lives. Please visit our micro-project to support their transport costs for this year.

Rithy* is eleven and has been a scholarship pupil and would really like to continue his studies. He is a very talented Pin Peat music student and last year performed at the first International Writers and Readers Festival as well as several other official events. He used to come and eat at our school and sleep there too, when things got too rough at home. Sometimes he didn't know when his next meal was coming, because his parents were out gambling. He loved coming to our school. However financial support for our programs has dwindled and because our school could not provide transport any more, Rithy could not come. We would really like to continue supporting and teaching Rithy and all those children from Phum O' Toch who dream about coming to our school.

Thank you for all the support you have given and your kindness and generosity through all this time. Please spread the word about this project to make it possible for our village children to have free lessons at our school too and create a real future for themselves.

Thank You!

*To protect his privacy, Rithy is not his real name.

Traditional Folk Dance!
Traditional Folk Dance!

Links:


Attachments:
Aug 17, 2016

One journey away from progress

Performing Pin peat for Shadow Puppet Performance
Performing Pin peat for Shadow Puppet Performance

If you go into rural areas in Kampot, away from the main road, you will find many people still without electricity and running water. None of the water whether in the city or the countryside is drinkable without being boiled. Children often go to school barefoot and sometimes miss lessons in order to work in the fields and assist their families. 

Due to lack of government policy regarding the past and the Khmer Rouge genocide (1975-79), there has been no form of truth and reconciliation. An entire country has been left to overcome enormous traumas while their former perpetrators have gone free. The result is not surprisingly a mess. Many older generation people suffer from PTSD have affectivity problems, alcohol and gambling problems, and issues with violence. The younger generation has felt the effect and too many middle-class Cambodians have drug and glue sniffing problems. There is also an ever-widening divide between the rural poor and the wealthy ruling class, with ordinary people being dispossessed of their land, forests decimated and people's livelihoods along with it. Many people in rural areas are desperate to create a better life for themselves and their children and some leave their children behind with elderly relatives and head for Thailand to work there, sometimes never to return. 

Outside Kampot town there lies a village, Phum O' Toch where there are children who struggle to get by from day to day because their parents are not only poor but also have gambling and alcohol addictions. They would very much like to come and study at our school. Our Pin Peat teacher lives nearby and discovered that many of them are naturally very talented artists. For them coming to our school would mean receiving serious vocational training which can shape their futures as professional musicians, shadow puppeteers and/or dancers. However, many of them are too poor to own a bicycle and are fearful of the main road to Kampot in the evening after classes. They would like to come if we can provide them with transport. Coming to our school, receiving training and when needed a hot meal and loving support, as well as medical care and counselling can make all the difference in their young lives. Please visit our micro-project to support their transport costs for this year.

Rithy* is eleven and has been a scholarship pupil and would like to continue performing. He is a very talented musician and performed last year at the first Kampot Writers and Readers Festival. He used to come and eat at our school and sometimes sleep there too when things got too rough at home. Sometimes he did not know when his next meal was coming, because his parents were out gambling. He loved coming to our school. However financial support has dwindled and not being able to provide transport, he could not come anymore. We would really like to be able to continue supporting Rithy and all those children from Phum O' Toch who dream about studying at our school.

Thank you for all the support you have given and for your kindness and generosity through all this time. Please spread the word about our project to help make it possible for our village children to have lessons at our school too.

Thank You

*To protect Rithy's privacy we have not given his real name.

Performing in a national cultural competition
Performing in a national cultural competition
Singing the national anthem at the KWRF Festival
Singing the national anthem at the KWRF Festival

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.