Performance for Women's Intl Group pre-COVID
Program update from the field ~ Mark's recent visit Cambodia
We have a lot of catching up to do!
Mark was able to travel to Cambodia in May , making it his first visit to Cambodia since February 2020. By coincidence, his last trip to Cambodia coincided with COVID related travel shutdowns across the region which began in late February and early March of 2020.
During the three year period when Mark was unable to visit Cambodia in person, our local staff in Cambodia at Champey kept things running smoothly despite considerable challenges relating to repeated local government mandated closures and the staff’s own concerns about COVID. Throughout this difficult period, our team kept us up to date and informed and helped us to keep our programs at Champey up and running.
Finally, in May of this year, when Mark returned to Phnom Penh, he was reunited with our staff and once more able to see, in person, the remarkable talent and dedication of our staff in action at Champey and the wonderful impact that our programs at Champey have on our students.
The big picture
Our Champey Academy of Arts continues to be a happy place for kids to learn while also providing a refuge for many disadvantaged young people in central Phnom Penh. Our students can attend all classes free of charge, 6 days per week.
In recent months our daily attendance numbers are averaging about 70 to 75 students per day. Those numbers are split between the morning and afternoon sessions with the afternoons generally experiencing higher attendance due to the fact that some of our students must work in the mornings.
The music classes have become so popular that the teacher must routinely split the class into two groups, asking one group to wait their turn outside because of limited space and instruments in the classroom.
We continue to operate on a half day model which fits neatly with the government schools’ schedule where students are assigned each month to attend either the morning or the afternoon class sessions. Champey Academy students in grades 1 through 12 normally attend the government school in either the morning or the afternoon and then come to Champey classes to study during the other half of the day.
Sadly, some of our kids no longer attend the government schools because of their own lack of motivation, a lack of parental encouragement or supervision or because their families’ poverty requires that they do work outside to help support the family. Even so, we welcome them to participate in our programs, making it an even more important part of their life.
We have a total of 9 regular staff plus 4 student assistants for a total of 13 members of our team at Champey. In addition to our school director, we employ four full time teachers (two for dance and one each for drawing/painting and music) and three office staff (two full time and one half time) as well as one teacher’s assistant in the dance class. Finally, we provide salaries of $40 or $50 per month to four of the most accomplished dance students who help with the instruction of the young, beginning students. These outstanding students also form the core of our team for outside performances.
In addition to the staff and students listed above, we provide monthly stipends of $15 to $30 to just a few of our students who come from extremely poor family backgrounds. The amount of their stipend varies from month to month based on their attendance record the previous month with $30 being given only to students who achieved perfect attendance in the preceding month. It offers a win/win situation to encourage committed participation and growth in our programs while offering a bit of much needed income.
The total annual operating budget for our school is approximately $72,000 ( $6,000 per month) This includes all salaries and stipends, rent, utilities and classroom supplies. That figure typically greatly exceeds our available funds but fortunately, in normal times there is significant income which we receive from the tourists who visit our school daily during Cambodia’s high season for tourism (October through March). About 35 to 40% of our school’s annual operating expenses are covered by the income the school earns during the tourism season but which still leaves Kasumisou Foundation’s Champey Academy with a very significant funding challenge each year.
These days, in general, it seems that we all comment on just how much our money DOES NOT buy. However, consider this: your donation of just $ 2 per day can make all the difference! If we average 72 students per day x 6 days per week x 50 weeks per year, that is an estimated 21,600 student visits. If we assume an annual operating budget of $72,000 , this means that the average cost per day per student visit to attend classes is about $3.33. About 35-40% of this amount is covered by tourist revenue, which means that we still need to raise roughly $40,000 + per year or about $2 per day per student or $48 per month per student to keep our school in operation providing access to our free classes 6 days per week.
Wednesday, July 12, is GlobalGivings Donor Match Day. Donations of $100-$1000 are eligible to receive a match of 50%.
The photos that we have attached will show you some of the achievements of our students, who pre-COVID performed for guests at the prestigious Raffles Hotel in Phnom Penh . You will also see drawings created by students. All of these photos represent both the accomplishments and the future potential of our students..
We hope that you will join us to help keep our school open, providing fun, education and a positive social impact on the many students who attend each day. We cannot do this without your support!
With our profound thanks for your generous support,
Mark & Barbara Rosasco
Our students at Rafffles Hotel pre-COVID
Our dancers at Raffles Hotell pre-COVID
Our students perform Sentimental Dance pre-COVID
Champey dance class June 19, 2023
Champey drawing class June 9, 2023
Champey music class June 9, 2023
Student Elephant drawing for Rafflles Hotel 2019
Student drawing copying a picture of a pug 2019
Afternoon drawing class January 2021