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Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia

by Globalteer
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Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
Free education for 300 children in rural Cambodia
The breakfast lines are back!
The breakfast lines are back!

Dear Helping Hands friends, 

We hope this finds you well and hope that you and your loved ones are getting through this unprecedented time as best possible.  We’d like to update you on what's been happening here, and we’re particularly excited to share some positive news with you!

Welcoming our Students Back

As you may know, schools across Cambodia were closed in early March, but we’re very excited to announce that last month we were able to re-open Helping Hands school, much to the delight of teachers and students!  While schools were shut, the staff continued to check in on students and ran lessons for them in their homes.  Visiting all the students and covering as much as possible in significantly reduced time was definitely a challenge, but both teachers and students appreciated their time together, and the students, as ever, amazed us with their enthusiasm and motivation to continue learning. 

Home-school lessons focused on Health and Hygiene, English, Khmer and Sports, and although this worked well, there's no doubt that the reduction in lesson time had an impact on our students learning.  It's now a priority to ensure they have understood all the material and are on track, and the last few weeks have largely focussed on reviewing the material covered in home-school.  This month we are working towards providing our full educational programme again, including Maths, Arts and Crafts, and Music and Dance.  The re-opening of school also means that daily breakfasts are back!  Ensuring our students have the nutrition and energy to take on the day has long been a priority of ours, and we're happy to get back to filling them up with a balanced meal including freshly picked vegetables from our garden!

Bringing our Students Back and the Importance of Social Care

Unfortunately over the months of home-schooling, some of our older students became less and less available to meet with their teachers, and when school re-opened there were a number who didn't return.  In an effort to support their families who are suffering from significantly reduced job opportunities, these students are spending much of their time foraging and looking for opportunities to make a little money. It’s clear that at times like this survival instincts kick in and education takes a back seat, however after all the work and commitment these students have put into learning, we’re determined to do all we can to encourage them to continue their education.

School Director Sopheap and Social Worker Kong have been working particularly hard to arrange meetings with these students and their families to discuss their situation and encourage the students to return to school. Much to our relief, we now have 90% of our students back in classes, and we’re continuing to work with the other families to help find solutions. Without our in-house Social Worker, this simply wouldn’t be possible.

Our holistic approach is what makes Helping Hands a success. Without proper nutrition, health, and social care, our students wouldn't be in a position to learn, and to enjoy having space and time where they can be themselves, be kids, play and have fun.  

Our Ongoing Concerns and a Big Ask!

The last 6 months have been strange, unsettling and worrying times for the Helping Hands staff and community, as they have been for you and for many, many others around the world. Although the re-opening of school eliminates some concerns, much of the worry and uncertainty remains.   The repercussions of this year have unfortunately left us struggling to fund and run our full programme. Without volunteers and with a few long-term supporters no longer being able to support us, the financing and future of Helping Hands is a concern for us all. 

Our students need us more than ever.  Our mission and goals remain the same, and we are doing out utmost to continue providing education, nutrition and health and social care for all our students. But we need your help to do this.  We’re humbly making a big ask today.  To ensure the future of Helping Hands we need an additional 20 people to commit to a monthly donation of US$25 (£20 or currency equivalent) a month to secure the future of Helping Hands.  Can you help us?

We completely understand that you may not be able to make this commitment at this time, and if that’s the case we ask that you share our ask with friends, family or colleagues who you think may be able to support us.  If you’re in a position to offer a donation of a different amount, whether a monthly donation, or a one-off donation, we would be immensely grateful to receive your support.  No amount is too small.

Monthly donations gratefully received here: http://bit.ly/HH-M-GlobalGiving

One-off donations gratefully received here: http://bit.ly/HH-LittleByLittle

Thank you so much for all that you’ve done to support Helping hands.  We hope to share more positive news with you soon.

Best wishes to you and your family

Jess, Sopheap and all at Helping Hands

Happy to be back in the classroom.
Happy to be back in the classroom.
Enjoying play time with friends.
Enjoying play time with friends.
Sports classes back in the school yard!
Sports classes back in the school yard!
Happy faces at the end of a full day of learning!
Happy faces at the end of a full day of learning!
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Our quiet, empty school yard
Our quiet, empty school yard

Dear friend,

We hope this finds you and your loved ones well.

As you may know from our last report back in March, schools across Cambodia are currently closed.  News of re-opening changes almost daily, but currently it sadly seems that we may not be granted permission to re-open untl November.  While we may not be able to continue in our normal pursuits, the health, well-being, and education of our students is now, more than ever, our key concern and responsibility.

Pushing Forward With An Adjusted School Programme

After a frustrating few weeks of feeling helpless and at a loss as to how best we could support our students and their families, we finally received some good news; the Village Chief and Commune Leader granted us permission to visit our students at home.

Now, our devoted team, armed with soap, toothpaste, workbooks and homework are out and about daily, making visits to each family. Beginning with thorough lessons on hand washing, they are then checking in to see how our students and their families are coping at this difficult time. Khmer, English and Sports classes are then taking priority, with lessons being held for individual families, or neighbouring households where appropriate.

Our students' dedication to learning is inspiring, they are all very happy to receive visits from our teachers and to continue studying. Many have expressed their wish to get back to school as soon as possible, and we hope to grant their wish soon! We’re all so grateful that despite these uncertain times, we’re able to maintain a strong support role in our local community and keep the vital connection between students and teachers alive. Receiving positive feedback from our students makes us all the more determined to provide the maximum support we can.

Utilising Our On-Site Garden

Many of our older students are currently making daily trips to the local forests to collect fruit for their families to eat and sell, but without the tourists passing through Siem Reap and the Temples, there is little opportunity for them to make much of an income. As is sadly the case around much of the world, many parents are losing jobs or having their income reduced, but with families already on such small salaries, and with no savings, this loss has detrimental effects on daily life and diet.  Without daily breakfasts to make, our gardeners are instead focussing their efforts on increasing productivity in our on-site garden, producing as much fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs as possible. This produce is shared amongst staff and students to help alleviate some of the food shortages created by loss of income within families. 

Current Goals

The disruption, uncertainty, and inability to run our normal programme is challenging and unsettling, but until we can return to some sort of normality our goals are simple:

1. ensure our students and staff are healthy

2. motivate our students to continue learning at home

3. keep our staff engaged, in work, and on salary to ensure the well-being of themselves and their families

However, without the usual flow of volunteers giving us a helping hand, support and donations are reduced, making our efforts even more challenging. The support of our Helping Hands family and wider community has never been more important. So today, we’re humbly asking you for your support. This coming Wednesday, 15th July, GlobalGiving will match donations of $100 USD or more. The higher the amount of the donation, the higher the match. In the spirit of this matching campaign, we’re making big, bold asks of our supporters – and that’s you! Can we count on you to support our work with a one-time gift of $100 or more on July 15th? We know times are worrying and unsettling for you, but if you’re able to, please donate what you can. The match campaign starts at 9am ET on Wednesday (2pm in England, 8pm in Cambodia and 11pm in Sydney). If you’re unable to donate at this time, you can still show your support by sharing details of the match campaign and this link bit.ly/HH-GlobalGiving with your friends and family.

We hope to have positive news on the re-opening of schools for you soon, but until then we will continue to do our utmost to support our students and their families through these difficult times.

Thank you so much for all your previous support, please do consider making a donation this coming Wednesday if you’re able to, and please share our news and details of the match campaign with anyone who may be interested.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Love and best wishes

Jess, Sopheap, and all at Helping Hands

Thorough hand-washing to kick off each home-visit
Thorough hand-washing to kick off each home-visit
Continuing to study hard at home
Continuing to study hard at home
Enjoying warm up in home-school sports class
Enjoying warm up in home-school sports class
Improving stamina, balance and coordination!
Improving stamina, balance and coordination!
Thun Pun working hard to increase productivity
Thun Pun working hard to increase productivity

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Our newly formed Green Team
Our newly formed Green Team

Dear all,

This is a very strange and scary time we find ourselves in, I hope you and your loved ones are well and managing to keep some element of normality.  Now, more than ever community spirit is key.  How we show this community spirit may have to change, but a simple phone call or message to check in, or simply asking if you can support in anyway can mean the world to someone and show you care.  Lets try and keep this at the centre of our thoughts.

As I’m sure is the case for you, the situation is changing here on a daily, if not hourly basis, making everything very uncertain.  At the beginning of the week, The Ministry of Education made the decision to close all schools, so for now, Helping Hands school is on a break.  This doesn't mean we stop.  Instead we have to think outside the box to show our care for the community, and we need to ensure we are fully prepared for when the situation begins to settle.

Many of our students will be forced to seek work to help them and their families through this difficult time, and once we’re able to re-open they will likely need our support more than ever.  It’s imperative that we keep our garden healthy, to ensure we have plenty of fruit and vegetables growing to provide the much needed nutrients that our students will require on their return to school.  On top of that, the health and well-being of our staff is of the utmost importance, and despite not being on their normal work schedule, we want to ensure they still receive their salary and are able to look after themselves and their families.

I’m sure this is a very disconcerting time for you, with so many questions and uncertainty.  If you find yourself in a position where you can spare a few pennies to help us, we would be immensely grateful.  GlobalGiving are running a 5 day long match campaign starting 9am ET, this coming Monday 23rd March and during this time they will match any donation up to $50 by 50%!  No matter how much you have to spare, your donations really can go far and have significant impacts on our staff and students.  Please consider supporting us at this time if you can.

In other news, I have some happy and hopefully uplifting updates for you.  Read on for all the details.

Our newly formed Green Team

Plastic, and the build up of general waste are big problems in rural Cambodia.  There are no waste disposal or collection services that cover these areas and there is little education and awareness of the damages such issues can cause to the environment and personal health.

A group of students who are keen to learn more about, and take action against single use plastic and rubbish in our local environment, recently came together to form our Green Team.  These inspirational students will lead the way in the fight against plastic and rubbish around our school and in the local community.

Their first task was supporting Director Sopheap in organising and running a clean-up in our village, and what a wonderful job they did!  Following an eye-opening presentation on the detrimental effects of plastic and waste, our Green Team led the rest of our students through the village, sharing their knowledge with the locals and clearing up the rubbish as they went.  Everyone made sure to separate items they could recycle, and despite the hard work and hot sun, everyone had a fulfilling (and fun) time making their village a cleaner space!

Going forward, the Green Team will support with monitoring and maintaining the school environment, support teaching of the younger students, and organise more clean-ups in the village and surrounding areas.  We're so proud of the team for showing an interest and taking the initiative to improve their environment.

Child Safety Module Outreach

As you know from our last update, at the end of last year we launched our new Child Safety Module.  This initiative is developing well, both within and outside school.  Members of the local community have shown great interest in learning themselves, so our Social Worker, Kong, has been running workshops for parents and others in the local area to cover the topics that our students have been learning about.  We’ve also had interest from other schools in the area who are keen to have us deliver workshops to them as well.  We look forward to seeing how this can continue to grow once schools re-open.

Sports Programme continues to grow

Following our Sports Festival in December, the Globalteer Sports project has gone from strength to strength.  The team is growing, and following training from Senior Sports Coach Lak, our new Sports Coaches are able to run the sports Programme at Helping Hands while Lak is focussing on rolling the programme out to other local schools.  We’re thrilled to be given the opportunity to take the sports programme further afield, reaching more students and impacting more lives in the community.  We look forward to updating you on more developments soon.

Please take care and look after yourselves and loved ones.  Stay safe, but take care of your community where you can.  

Love and best wishes

Jess, and all at Helping Hands.

Smiles as our students head out for the clean-up!
Smiles as our students head out for the clean-up!
Happy to be making a difference in their community
Happy to be making a difference in their community
Kong running a Child Safety workshop for Mum's
Kong running a Child Safety workshop for Mum's
Un Sokhim, one of our new Sports Coaches
Un Sokhim, one of our new Sports Coaches
Please support our community if you can
Please support our community if you can

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The sack race at our Sports Festival
The sack race at our Sports Festival

Dear supporter,

As we near the end of the year it’s a great time to reflect on all that has happened over the last 12 months at Helping Hands. It’s been a wonderful and successful year, with significant developments in our curriculum, the installation of fans in the classroom and a new toilet block amongst other things.  We’re incredibly grateful to you for the role you’ve payed in supporting us. Thank you very much.

The last couple of months have been particularly exciting with our new school year starting.  As well as welcoming new students, we've distributed new uniforms and bicycles and held a fun Sports Festival for our students and their families.. Read on for all the details.

Uniform

November marks the start of the new school year in Cambodia, and for our students to be able to enrol at Government school, they are required to have the correct uniform.  Sadly this is a cost our students' families simply cannot afford, so part of our commitment to our students is to provide the uniform necessary for them to be able to enrol and attend Government school. This year, with huge thanks to AmmanyA, we have yet again been able to provide this. Our students are therefore able to access the Government school education, as well as receive the additional support of Helping Hands.

Bicycles

The journey to and from school is a long one for some of our students, particularly those who are studying at junior high school. They rely on bicycles, often sharing rides with friends to make the journey, but thanks to the incredible Ponheary Ly Foudation and Eyes Open, we were able to provide 50 of our students with brand new bicycles last month! These new bicycles make that journey just a little bit easier! No more sharing rides with friends, and our students can be fully independent and safe in the knowledge that their new bicycles are in perfect condition and won't let them down!

Child Protection and Curriculum Developments

Earlier this month, the Globalteer and Helping Hands teams came together to launch our new Child Safety Module, which will be a part of the curriculum going forward. Child Protection has always been an important focus among our teachers, staff and volunteers, and we’re now implementing lessons for our students, which include online safety, home hazards, safe and unsafe touches, and stranger danger.

Through a variety of activities, we will bring awareness to some of the risks our students face, and ensure that close, open relationships are built between students and teachers, ensuring our students feel safe to talk to, and potentially report to, our teachers. The goal is that when a dangerous situation does arise, students will be able to identify it, and will have a support network to report it to and seek help from. Through this program they will be empowered to act on their rights.

Going forward we plan to grow this program to cover other topics such as electricity, exploitation and abduction, all of which are areas that children in Cambodia are at risk from.

Sports Festival

Last week, in partnership with the Globalteer Sports Project we held our first Sports Festival Day at Helping Hands. Students of all ages participated in events ranging from relay and sack races, to football and local Khmer games. Parents, local school Directors and the Village Chief all came along to enjoy the event. It was a huge success and so much fun for both participants and spectators! 

As mentioned above, the last 12 months have been a huge sucess at Helping Hands. Thank you so much for your support this year, we hope you are able to continue giving us a helping hand in 2020. Happy holidays and we all wish you the very best for the year ahead.

Jess, and all at Helping Hands

Excitement at trying on their new uniform!
Excitement at trying on their new uniform!
New uniform
New uniform
Receiving their brand new bicycles.
Receiving their brand new bicycles.
Meeting to launch our new Child Protection Module
Meeting to launch our new Child Protection Module
An impressive long jump at our Sports Festival
An impressive long jump at our Sports Festival

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Ready to start the Temple Run 2019
Ready to start the Temple Run 2019

The last few months have seen some wonderful training opportunities for both our students and teachers, and we’ve also celebrated a couple of very exciting graduations! We held our 3rd annual Temple Run in August, and we’ve also gained a brand new building at school! It’s been an exciting few months, read on for all the details!

Graduations

Teacher Yoeuy has been attending Interactive Teacher Training workshops every Saturday this year, all whilst working full-time at Helping Hands and studying for his degree in the evenings! Yoeuy’s commitment to learning is inspiring, and we’re all so proud to announce his graduation from The ITTSR training course. From his initial observation, through all the weeks training, right up to his graduation, his teacher expressed such enthusiasm for his development and we’re all excited to see him putting his new skills to practice in lessons. Huge congratulations Yoeuy! All that hard work was definitely worth it.

Another very exciting graduation took place at the end of August. We're very proud to announce that a very hard-working and determined young man that Helping Hands has supported, graduated from the prestigious Haven training school. Having completed his Chef training with Haven, Koan now goes on to a 4 month internship to perfect the skills he has learned. With the vast majority of Haven graduates going on to secure full-time employment with their internship placements, we're confident that Koan will soon find himself in the workforce. Congratulations Koan and the very best of luck for the future!

Workshops

We’ve also had some amazing workshops put on at school for both teachers and students over the last few months. Soft Skills 4 Life ran a workshop on various topics from team building to time management and adapted the content for each audience. We were very happy to be able to open up this training opportunity to other teachers from the area and other members of the local community too. It was a fun and educational day, as well as a great community event! Thank you to the trainers for all the work they put in and to Sopheap for arranging this great event!

On top of this, we’ve also had a number of people give up their time to come and talk to our students about the importance of continuing education, whether at university or in practical training programmes. Having outside members of the community come and talk to our students about these topics is invaluable in helping them understand the opportunities available to them in the future. 

Our brand new toilet block

We were very lucky to have the lovely Natalie visit us a few months ago, and after learning about the structural problems with our toilet block, Natalie pledged to give us a helping hand. Together with her friend Henry, they donated the full amount of funds necessary for us to build a brand new toilet block, that will stand up against the Cambodian weather and last for many years to come!  Thank you so much to this wonderfully generous pair for enabling this project to happen. Take a look at the finished toilet block below.  It was very kindly painted by a group of students we had volunteering, which was the perfect way to complete this new addition to the school.

Temple Run 

Our 2019 Temple Run was another huge success. We had a lot of members of the local community come and support the event and all of our students had a blast! Each and every student displayed incredible team work and determination, it was a close race, but in the end only one team could come out on top, and the winners were...

Teacher Lak and his team Rabbit Run. Congratulations to all!.

Thank you so much to each and every one of you for supporting our school, your helping hands are invaluable to us!  Please continue to support us when you can, to not only enable us to continue running our current programme but also to continue making improvements to the services we supply for our students and local community.

Many thanks

Jess, and all at Helping Hands

Teacher Yoeuy graduating from ITTSR
Teacher Yoeuy graduating from ITTSR
Koan graduating from Haven with his very proud mum
Koan graduating from Haven with his very proud mum
Fun whilst training, with Soft Skills 4 Life
Fun whilst training, with Soft Skills 4 Life
Our brand new toilet block!
Our brand new toilet block!
Mid race at the Temple Run 2019
Mid race at the Temple Run 2019

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Organization Information

Globalteer

Location: Totnes - United Kingdom
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Project Leader:
Stephen Elliott
Totnes, United Kingdom
$38,897 raised of $45,000 goal
 
554 donations
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