Please send out on the 11th July 2020
Project Report: A Ray of Light in our Troubled World
By: Catherine Louise Geach
Project Location: 1, Ousaphea, Pleauv Eikreach, Kampong Bay, Kampot, Kingdom of Cambodia
Thank you so much for your most incredible support and solidarity.
Even though our world is going through a very difficult and seemingly tumultuous time, your marvellous help shines through.
Your support has helped us take care of seven new little children together with all our other children already resident at our school. In the last two months, the local authorities and Kampot Childsafe agents, alerted our school to several children from different families who were suffering severe distress and were at risk. Some had been abandoned by their parents and left with an elderly, disabled grandparent in a remote rural area, two little children had been beaten for a prolonged period by their stepfather and one little girl lost both parents to AIDS herself being infected with HIV. These were all emergency cases requiring swift research and intervention.
Our wonderful staff with great care and loving attention have been looking after our little children. They are all settling down well and are integrating remarkably rapidly into our school. Our other children are kind and caring towards them.
In my last report I wrote that our blind students had gone to stay with their families during lock-down, as some had health problems which put them at risk from Covid-19 complications. Thankfully for now the Cambodian Government has taken stringent measures to control the spread of the virus and there have been no deaths. Our blind students were in touch with our school and finally said to our director Mr Sothy that they were very bored at home and could they please could come back to our school!? Since mid-May they have been living at our school and have continued with their music studies. They cannot yet go to their physical therapy training classes nor to their state school lessons, as state schools are still closed. All our children and students, whether sighted or blind, do some studying and homework in the morning at our school. Our smaller children then do drawing, reading and other creative activities after homework. Our children also made a vegetable garden too!
We are also immensely grateful to GlobalGiving who awarded us a $1,000 emergency Covid-19 Grant. Our school has kept going all this time. Even though we’ve been isolating to prevent infections, we have continued to look after all our children and their myriad needs every day. We’ve continued to teach traditional Cambodian music, dance and Yike theatre. We’ve been able to do this because our staff chose to isolate with our children in order to provide continuity, protection and education for them. We must not close because our children don’t have anywhere else safe to go. The GlobalGiving Grant as well as your donations present and future go towards providing nourishing meals for our children, clothing, electricity, water, bedding, mosquito nets, sanitary materials, face masks, hand sanitisers, repairs and also adds to our medical care budget. We also use your donations to continue our arts and childcare programs and provide scholastic and arts materials.
Please may I ask you all to help us by sharing the news of a special and important fundraising day on GlobalGiving, which will benefit our school. This fundraising day will be held on Wednesday 15th July, starting at 09.00 (ET) and ending 23.59.59 (ET) or until matching funds run out. GlobalGiving is encouraging larger donations and will be matching unique donations from $100 to $499 at 15%, then from $500 to $749 at 30% and from $750 to $1,000 at 50%! In order to be sure that matching funds don’t run out, it’s important to give as early as possible (after the official start time of course). Due to the fact that it is a one day campaign, GlobalGiving can only accept credit card, debit card or Apple Pay.
The Matching Funds day on 15th July is very important for us because we want to be sure we can take care of our children, feed, clothe, care, house and provide education and arts for them into 2021, especially as the world’s economic situation is so uncertain and we may not be able to gather any official funding from foundations or organisations.
I would like to thank each and everyone of you as well as the GlobalGiving Team from the bottom of my heart.
May you and your loved ones all stay well and safe,