Happy Khmer New Year!
On behalf of the Tiny Toones team and children, thank you for supporting our Education Program in 2014. Your kindness has enabled us to raise $4,654, providing over 700 children from the poorest slum areas of Phnom Penh to access free education.
Looking back over this project; five teachers ran classes in English, Khmer, math and computers for the 242 kids who come to our center, as well as directly assisting 24 children – aged from eight to fourteen – to attend primary school. The six kids who had previously never been inside a school before, are now well into the swing of school and are continued to be supported by Tiny Toones with daily school fees.
Our adjusted class sizes now emphasis participation, creativity and – most importantly – fun to provide these vulnerable children with an alternative to the streets of Phnom Penh. Our smaller class sizes have provided the children with a more “hands on” approach, and allow the teachers to closely monitor the progress of each student, both academically and socially.
Tiny Toones founder KK- “These kids really need Tiny Toones support and the education project to keep them off the streets and out of harms way. Our teachers started off as these kids, and they were inspired to change their lives, expressing themselves through break dancing. These same teachers now inspire the new generation, building confidence and teaching self-respect to each kid that comes to our center."
Learning is a two-way street
Belinda from Australia Volunteers International, who joined our team in 2013, has worked closely with the teachers to build their capacity as well as further develop our classes to change each child’s life. We are thrilled to report that our classes now involve engaging, inspiring lessons, which improved class delivery and student involvement.
Tell a friend
With $846 remaining on the project, we need your help to raise the remaining funds to continue throughout 2014. We need your help to break the cycle of poverty, and give these children a fighting chance! Please spread the word about our campaign. Tell people they can support us on Global Giving or Global Giving UK, with either a one-off donation or a recurring monthly gift.
Thank you again for your kindness and supporting Tiny Toones!
Tiny Toones education for all
"I'm so thankful to all of the teachers, they teach me about dancing, Khmer and English and they also give me new ideas. Tiny Toones is so important because they help kids with no money or school. I hope more and more kids come to Tiny Toones" – Phanna (12), Tiny Toones student
Thanks to your assistance, Tiny Toones provided over 700 children with not only education during 2013 but also opportunities to be creative and to have fun together.
“Here at Tiny Toones it is my second family. We work together, dance, we show love to each other and always stick together” – Fresh (20), former Tiny Toones student and current Tiny Toones teacher
From May onwards, our 'new term' offering the kids more classes than ever before. With the emphasis on participation, creativity and – crucially – fun, we ran 9-10 classes simultaneously throughout the day. This also helped us to make the classrooms smaller – no more than 15 in a class – allowing for more personal support and increased the total number of teaching hours to over 11,000 across the year.
"I was scared when I first came to Tiny Toones but now I have friends and I'm so happy to study all of the classes, especially English, rap, dance and Khmer. I want Tiny Toones to help all the kids in Cambodia" - Dany (13), Tiny Toones student
These changes were driven by the appointment of a non-formal education adviser, Belinda Delaney, on a two-year placement from Australia Volunteer’s International. She has been training up Tiny Toones teachers and key staff and is helping them to come up with exciting and innovating lesson plans.
In October, the Women's International Group of Cambodia also helped out by donating brand new tables and chairs, books for the library, paint and art supplies and new fans installed in all the classrooms to beat the stifling hot Cambodian afternoons.
So, as we head into 2014 our classes are smaller, more varied, and better equipped and our teachers are really blossoming with the support provided to them. The last Friday of every month is now dedicated to celebrating the achievements of the kids. Guests are welcome so if you want to visit the centre and attend the next 'show and tell' please contact us.
Tiny Toones teachers speak out
“I used to hate my life, my family and myself before I found Tiny Toones” – Voch (22), Tiny Toones music teacher and producer
During December we produced three short films telling the stories of Tiny Toones teachers. To find out how Tiny Toones helped Homie, Diamond and Voch to not only turn their own lives around but also inspire and educate the next generation at Tiny Toones visit http://www.tinytoones.org/videos/.
“I am so grateful to have been shown the right direction. Honestly, if it wasn’t for Tiny Toones, I would still be doing bad things or be in prison” – Homie (22), Tiny Toones Creative Program Coordinator and teacher
And now 2014...
As we enter the New Year we have exciting plans to free up more space for creativity and fun, to introduce more learning through play for the under 10s and to develop our own Tiny Toones curriculum. Most of all we want to continue delivering over 300 hours of classes to under privileged children every week. To support this aim we are re-naming this project ‘Provide 500 Cambodian kids with ONGOING education.’ 2013 was a big step, now we want to help them to keep moving forward, keep learning and keep growing.
We wish you all a very happy New Year!
Tiny Toones education for all
By the start of October, with your support, almost 700 children had benefitted from Tiny Toones education classes this year.
The library class is one of our newest sessions and of late we’ve seen the kids really blooming as more and more of them actively try out reading for themselves for the first time. Just this last week a whole host of new books arrived in the Tiny Toones library, kindly donated by the Women’s International Group (WIG) of Cambodia. Included in the new library collection are books on oral hygiene and food safety which will help us kick-start efforts to educate the kids about the importance of staying healthy and looking after their teeth. Food safety and hygiene are two huge problems in Cambodia and yet sadly many people are not educated enough about their importance.
WIG also donated new desks, chairs and fans for the classrooms so the kids (and teachers) can stay cool during the daily hot weather in Cambodia. Along with the addition of the library class, we’ve also incorporated more math into our Khmer and English classes of late. In fact, we are now teaching more different subjects than ever before.
The computer class is a big hit with the kids who would have no access to information technology otherwise. They’re excited to learn how to type quickly and effectively. As for our English class, it’s hard to believe the confidence our kids exhibit when talking to foreigners who visit the centre. All of these classes and opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the support of our generous donors who support the education and future of Cambodian young people.
“I’m happy that I’m attending Tiny Toones and I want to learn more. I’ve made new friends and I’m much happier now. “
Sok is 13 and lives with his mother and five siblings in one of Phnom Penh’s poorest slums. His mother does general manual labor work for people in the community. Before he came to Tiny Toones, Sok would spend most of his time picking up recyclable goods around weddings and from trash bins to help the family raise some money. While those economic pressures still exist, now that he is coming to Tiny Toones he also has the opportunity to learn, to enjoy being creative and to spend some time just having fun with other children.
When asked about his ambitions, Sok says: “In the future I would like to work in a Bank.”
Help us support more kids like Sok by donating at our Global Giving page.
UNICEF Sport for Education Award
During September, Tiny Toones dance teacher Fresh spent a week in Philadelphia at the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards Ceremony. The awards are an annual celebration of organisations who support social development through sport and Tiny Toones was one of only three projects from around the globe to be shortlisted for the UNICEF Sport for Education Award for the second year running.
It was Fresh's first time traveling to another country alone and he returned with a wealth of new experiences (and new sneakers). Inspiring speakers at the event included Olympic athletes, professional sports players and Chris Waddell, the first man in the world to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in a wheelchair.
The award ceremony was held on the 11th of September and we were all waiting to hear the results with baited breath. Unfortunately, Tiny Toones didn't take first place but we would like to congratulate Skateistan, a very deserving organization doing amazing work in Afghanistan and Cambodia.
Looking to 2014
It’s unbelievable how the year has flown by but we are already looking to 2014 and how we keep Tiny Toones going for another year. Throughout September we were trying to raise desperately needed funds for Tiny Toones through our second annual Dance School Challenge. On September 21 we threw a party at Showbox with performances by the Tiny Toones kids, guest appearances from locally renowned artists MCG and Kosal Khiev, and an awesome dance battle, won by Diamond and Fresh!
The party helped us raise funds, the atmosphere was electric and everybody had a great time. You can check out great photos from the event here. We still desperately need to raise more money to keep Tiny Toones going and so we've extended the appeal. You can donate at our Global Giving page.
New term at Tiny Toones
On 6 May Tiny Toones launched our 'new term' offering the kids more classes than ever before.
With the emphasis on participation, creativity and - crucially - fun, we're now running 9-10 classes simultaneously throughout the day to smaller groups of children arranged by age. This means at least 250 hours of classes every week. Most importantly it means more support for every child and that ever child gets to participate in every class, from dance and music to English and computing. The enthusiasm and excitement has been an instant reward and shows us how well it's working.
After the first few weeks of the new term Dany (13) said "I was scared when I first came to Tiny Toones but now I have friends and I'm so happy to study all of the classes, especially English, rap, dance and Khmer. I want Tiny Toones to help all the kids in Cambodia."
Phanna (12) says "I'm so thankful to all of the teachers, they teach me about dancing, Khmer and English and they also give me new ideas. Tiny Toones is so important because they help kids with no money or school. I hope more and more kids come to Tiny Toones."
Tiny Toones leading the field in sport and education
For the second year running, Tiny Toones is one of only three projects from across the globe to be shortlisted for the UNICEF Sport for Education Award at the Beyond Sport Awards.
Beyond Sport is a global organisation that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change across the world.
Almost 400 projects applied to the Beyond Sport Awards and we are honoured to have been selected as one of the strongest projects once more. Last year's summit in London drew the likes of Muhammed Ali, David Beckham and Tony Blair (as well as our own KK). The award ceremony this year will take place in Philadelphia in September - keep your fingers crossed for us.
You can find more information on Beyond Sport and see the full awards shortlist on their website.
Tiny Toones music video and album
Tiny Toones and 391 Films have together produced a music video for the all-new Tiny Toones song “Anakut,” featuring the new generation of Tiny Toones performers. The song is the title track from the new album and was written and recorded by six Tiny Toones rappers aged between 12 and 15 and MC Voch, Tiny Toones’ music teacher.
The song is all about the hopes and dreams of the young rappers: how they want to become doctors, engineers and artists. The video depicts them in their dream occupations and the kids had a great time making it in locations across Phnom Penh. Our favourite part of the lyrics comes when they rap about how they want to help rebuild their homeland, Cambodia. The kids involved were interviewed by Phnom Penh's entertainment weekly 'the Advisor' for an article which you can read here.
Contact us if you're interested in getting a copy of the album. Our thanks go to the Prince Claus Fund and Sabay for making both the album and the music video possible.
End of month 'show and tell'
The last Friday of every month is now dedicated to celebrating the achievements of the kids and showing off what they've learnt over the preceding weeks.
Children gather in the courtyard to applaud those getting certificates and to show off their dancing, singing, and basketball shooting and some of the students read out speeches they'd prepared in English. For a short taste (sandwiched between two short dance clips) check out this young man's speech on youtube.
Guests are welcome so if you want to visit the centre and attend the next 'show and tell' please contact us.
Tell a friend
Incredibly we hit our original campaign target of $3,000 BUT we still need to raise funds to continue running our education project, especially now we are running so many more classes. We couldn’t have imagined this at the start and we’re so grateful to everyone who has donated. We now hope we can raise even more and, in turn, help even more.
Thanks again for your support.
'A Fresh Start'
"I danced two, three years, then my Dad he passed away. And I don't know what to do with my life.”
Fresh first joined Tiny Toones in 2005 when founder KK used to teach break-dancing to the local kids in his front room. Now he is teaching and inspiring the next generation and studying for a degree in management with Tiny Toones help. Watch the film that tells his story at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qhgBNlYlNc&feature=youtu.be.
“Here at Tiny Toones it is my second family. We work together, dance, we show love to each other and always stick together.”
Tiny Toones engages the most vulnerable and excluded young people in Phnom Penh. A survey of students was undertaken in February 2013. 170 respondents from across the age range and across both the Education and Creative Program classes reported the following:
150 attend Tiny Toones everyday (88%)
148 attend English class, 130 of whom felt they had improved in the subject (88%)
116 attend Khmer class, 97 of whom felt they had improved in the subject (84%)
46 attend computer class, of whom 38 felt they had improved in the subject (83%)
48 of the students were aged over 12 years old and we asked them some deeper questions about Tiny Toones impact on their lives. They reported that since coming to Tiny Toones they considered themselves to be:
More confident: 96% (71% said ‘a lot more confident’)
Able to communicate better: 98% (67% said a lot)
More motivated to learn: 96% (86% said a lot)
So what has been happening?
Thanks to the generous donations of Tiny Toones supporters we have been able to provide over 400 hours of lessons each month in:
The participating children benefit from enhanced skills, confidence and self-esteem, all of which benefit them now and will increase employability and life options in future. Tiny Toones provides a safe environment in which children enjoy their learning, explore their creativity and develop a positive sense of identity and community.
In January Tiny Toones recruited a ‘Non-Formal Education Adviser’ through Australia Volunteers International. Belinda Delaney is an education specialist and is now on a two year palcement. Since then she has observed every class and implemented measures to improve the quality of teaching and of the classroom experience for the kids. With more games, more creativity and more participation in every classroom there’s a real buzz around Tiny Toones right now.
Tell a friend
We still need to raise further funds to be able to run this project throughout 2013. Without it many of these children will not receive any education at all. Please spread the word about our campaign. Tell people they can support us on Global Giving or Global Giving UK, with either a one-off donation or a recurring monthly gift.
Thanks again for your support.
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