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Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey

by Kasumisou Foundation
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
Arts for Cambodian Children & Orphans at Champey
CAA Music class
CAA Music class

 

As with every school and nearly every business in Cambodia, the Covid-19 virus has dealt a serious blow to our operations at Champey Academy of Arts.  By late March the Cambodian government had ordered all government schools to close in order to prevent the spread of the virus and nearly all private schools then also closed and remain closed even now.  Reluctantly, we closed Champey Academy for the last three weeks of April but then reopened by the first week of May. However, student attendance in May ran only about half of our usual rate because many parents, fearing that their children might be exposed to the virus, kept them at home and did not allow them to attend classes at Champey. 

Now, as we enter the second week of June student attendance is slowly increasing as it becomes clear that, at least for the time being, Cambodia has avoided any serious impact from Covid-19.  In fact, since the start of the contagion, a total of only about 120 cases of Covid-19 infection and no resulting deaths have been confirmed in Cambodia.

At this point it looks as though the greatest impact from the virus at Champey Academy will be on our revenues from tourist visitors and outside performances.  The tourism high season in Cambodia runs from late October through mid April and during that time we welcome to Champey Academy foreign tourist groups on  a daily basis.  The guests pay a small admission fee and often also put something extra in the donation boxes at the school .  This  money covers a very significant portion of our operating expenses during each month of the tourism high season.  However, this year, the government closed the country to most foreign nationals beginning from mid March and that meant that, at Champey Academy, we lost all of the revenues from foreign guests for the final four weeks of this year’s ‘high season.’  What’s more, because we expect that this year the start of the tourism high season will be delayed from October until at least the beginning of 2021, we are facing a loss of revenues from tourists which we estimate will be at least $12,000 to $18,000 or equal to approximately 20 to 25 per cent of our annual operating expenses. 

In addition to the devastating loss of revenues from tourist visitors, Cambodia’s annual “wedding season” peaks in March and April and which  usually brings a number of invitations for our dancers and musicians to perform at wedding parties.  The revenue earned from outside performances at weddings combined with the occasional invitation to perform at hotels in Phnom Penh usually brings us at least a few thousand dollars each year so the cancellation of all of those events this year represents the loss of an additional approximately 5% of our operating budget. 

Finally, every year in April, in the days preceding the annual Cambodian New Year, our students and teachers receive many invitations to perform a traditional New Year dance called the “Trot.”  This dance is meant to bring good fortune in the New Year and so many businesses including hotels and even vendors in the city’s markets invite our team to perform it on their premises.  Part of that New Year dance involves the passing of a cloth bag through the audience who are expected to put money into the bag in order further to insure their good fortune in the New Year.  This year, due to the Covid-19 crisis, the government cancelled all Cambodian New Year celebrations so all of our invitations to perform the “Trot” dance were rescinded resulting in a further loss of $2,000 or more in income for our school and our students and staff. 

In total, we anticipate that the impact of the global Covid-19 crisis on Champey Academy will be the loss of income equal to at least 30% of our annual operating expenses.  This is a devastating blow and one from which it will be very difficult to recover.  As a first step, we cut all of the staff members’ salaries by 15% effective from May 1.  The loss of that portion of their salaries, while very painful for the staff, will save Champey Academy only about one quarter of our expected revenue loss this year. 

As you can see, Champey has been deeply impacted, but we are hopeful that our students will return as the world adjusts to the " new nomal" and  that Cambodia will see a return of turism. In the meantime,  Champey faces seriousl challenges to keep is programs operating without interruption.  We are deeply grateful to you, our donors for your continued support to help us to keep the school open. This school serves not only the children in our programs, but the small stipend and other family support is essential to the continued well being of many for many of our student's family.

Barbara & Mark Rosasco 

Caa Dance Class
Caa Dance Class
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Full house !
Full house !

Update on Champey Academy

Our update consists of photos of our students in our art program and dance program. Monday through Saturday, Champey offers free instruction in art, dance and music. There are two daily sessions, morning from 7:30am to 11:00 am and then the afternoon session from 1:30 to 5:00 pm. The afternoon session tends to be most popular as many of our students are either coming from school , which is why so many of our young men in the art class are wearing identical blue school uniform shirts, or if not coming from school, we have a number of students whose  family situation requires them to work, most often, in the mornings in market stalls.

These classes are a world apart from the daily routine of work/school/work/school on a strictly limited budget.  Our classes  provide opportunities and a safe space for students   to make friends and   to learn for the sheer joy of learning. and personal satisfaction.   Additionally, these voluntary students are building skills  like teamwork and discipline which will help them as they go through life.

Your donations make this oasis possible for our young students, many of whom have faced or currently face significant challenges life and  these classes truly provide " a world apart" from daily realities. 

The photos were taken in September when Mark was in Phnom Penh.

Our heartfelt thanks to our wonderful donors  for your generous support and providing these  opportunities to our kids.

 

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

Art class 2
Art class 2
Preparing for performance
Preparing for performance
Hard at work in class
Hard at work in class
Practice
Practice
Ready to perform
Ready to perform
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Lunch party  1
Lunch party 1

Monthly lunch parties bring an element of joy into the lives of students at Champey Academy of Arts

In addition to  the skills and instruction that students receive at Champey, the school in and of itself has evolved into a unique  community where friendship, trust and happiness also  flourish. Champey is a " safe space" where children and youth can gather.  

We are blessed at Champey Academy of Arts to have a head dance teacher who really loves her students and who also really loves to cook. Late in 2018 she prepared a delicious lunch (curry with baguette-style bread) for some of her students at Champey Academy.  Ms. Kanika’s delicious food created so much anticipation and excitement among our students, especially those from very poor families, that we decided to try to make her ‘lunch parties’ a more regular event at Champey Academy and to include the students from all classes plus the staff.  So far, in 2019, we have been able to stage five such ‘lunch parties’ and are hoping to have two more – one in November and one in December – before the close of this year. 

 For the children from extremely disadvantaged homes, a simple thing such as a delicious lunch prepared by their beloved teacher and shared with their friends brings an element of joy which is too often missing from their lives. Lunch party days are big days  where students and staff alike pitch in, share tasks and stories, friendship and community, setting aside, for a short time the challenges of life. 

 We are very grateful to some kind and generous friends and especially to the Elementary School students at the American School in Tokyo for sponsoring some of these lunch parties in 2019 for the children at our Champey Academy of Arts.  This sponsorship is truly a wonderful  gift to our students.

 One monthly lunch parties usually cost $75 to $85 and always provide ample helpings of food, soft drinks and fun for about 50 to 60 students and a few of our staff members.

The  music, art and dance programs at Champey Academy are only possible because of you, our generous and loyal donors.  The oasis that Champey provides is extremely important to the students it serves. We are deeply gratefulk for your gennerous  support.

The photos show the tables set up in our art school classrooms and stage areas of the dance school. The artwork that you see has been done by our students.

Barbara & Mark Rosasco 

Lunch party 2
Lunch party 2
lunch party 3
lunch party 3
lunch party 4
lunch party 4
Prep & Clean up
Prep & Clean up
Many hands at work - Team effort !
Many hands at work - Team effort !
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" Bustin' a move !
" Bustin' a move !

We are always so proud  to show  photos of our students all  dressed up  for performance .... but there is of course, another side to our students. 

For our project update we are attaching some photos of our students in action.  It can take hours just to get a particular movement just right . Here are photos of some of our students " busting a move" as they work toward improving and perfecting their skills.

Student programs at our Champey Academy provide  " at risk " children and youth with a safe space to learn about their rich heritage of art, dance and music as well as providing hours of fun,  friendship and mentoring.  These wonderful programs are only possible due to the kind generosity of our donors.

Little x Little Matching donation campaign

This week, August 12~ 16 , GlobalGiving has a Little x Little campaign which celebrates the  significant role that small donations play in the success of small non-profits like  Kasumisou Foundation.  There is a 50% match on a per organization basis  on new donations up to $ 50, with "Superstar" ranked projects like ours eligible for another 10%. We realize that you may have  recently made a donation, so please do not feel obgligated to participate, but of course, if it fits... then we would be very grateful. 

One last thing - you can help  us to  spread the word about our work and continue to grow our community of supporters like you. If you’re willing to share the story of our work with your network, we’d be incredibly grateful.if you forward our progress report to a friend. 

Warm regards and sincere thanks, 


Barbara  & Mark  

sharing the stage
sharing the stage
positioned for success
positioned for success
sounds of music
sounds of music
artists in the making
artists in the making
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New tables offer students a better environment
New tables offer students a better environment

Great news from Champey Academy of Arts

Mark was in Cambodia in April and here is an update on some important developmets. 

Our heartfelt thanks for the  wonderful  support  of our donors. This year, at Champey Academy of Arts the generous support of our donors  has allowed us to continue to offer arts  programs to our students , expand our “ community stewardship”  support for  several students and to make some urgently needed improvements to the school.  Watch for more on “Community Stewardship” in future updates.

Table(s)  please!   Thank you !  

 A most wonderful  gift  came from one of Mark’s former banking colleagues who is  generous supporter. This gift  has allowed Champey  to purchase full size tables and chairs for the  drawing/painting classroom.

The photos below show how previously, since the very start of Champey Academy,  the students sat on the floor and did their work on very low tables. Although it is  visually charming to see the students hard at work  while seated on the floor, it is not the most comfortable way to work and  it can be difficult for students who may have some physical limitations. This is a wonderful improvement for our students and we are thrilled to be able to modernize and upgrade the classroom.

A new roof over our heads!

The same generous donor who sponsored the purchase of tables and chairs for our art classroom also gave a gift which allowed us to replace the sagging, leaking roof over the dance stage.  This gift enabled Champey to  install a corrugated sheet metal roof to replace the  rapidly degrading plastic tarps held in place with steel wire cables and  which had served as a roof over the stage since our school opened in 2013.

The new roof should eliminate the persistent problem of leaks and sudden  floods from  rainwater that collected in the tarps and   which  frequently occurred  during every rainy season.  The photo below  which shows the rain pouring down the wall , flooding just one side of  the stage area, does not really illustrate the problems that heavy rain caused, but it can give you a general idea.  What you don't see are tarps bulging under the weight of water which often  collected overnight and which then  had to be emptied the next morning by students and staff  pushing the tarps up with poles to cause the water to flood out. 

In addition to replacing the roof, our  construction team, made up of a group of CAA students and CAA staff, also  worked with  an outside  contractor’s team  to repair  many broken areas of the stage floor.  We are now well prepared for the coming rainy season and  we will  no longer have to fear that the dance stage roof might collapse under the weight of rain trapped in the folds of the tarp during   the rainy season’s  frequent heavy downpours.  

What your support does

Because of your support, Champey Academy (CAA) continues to provide accessible (free) instruction in Cambodian traditional art, music and dance to disadvantaged children and youth.  CAA gives these kids a safe space to learn, socialize and mentally escape from what are frequently very hard lives of extreme poverty. It also gives these students an opportunity to create dreams for “ some day” and to see how other students continue to work their way forward.

None of this would be possible without the wonderful  support of our generous donors.  Please accept our  heartfelt thanks  on behalf of our staff and students at CAA,

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

Old tables with  students at work
Old tables with students at work
Old roof fails to hold back rain,floods stage area
Old roof fails to hold back rain,floods stage area
Old roof in dry season, with ceiling tarps
Old roof in dry season, with ceiling tarps
Champey's new  metal roof !!!
Champey's new metal roof !!!
New roof coverage of stage area
New roof coverage of stage area

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Organization Information

Kasumisou Foundation

Location: Menlo Park, California - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Barbara Rosasco
Secretary/Treasurer
Menlo Park, Ca. United States
$42,309 raised of $75,000 goal
 
379 donations
$32,691 to go
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