Thursday, March 23, 2017

Keeping Education Afloat

Hello Everyone

Hope this finds you all well? Back in December we wrote about a small school that was sinking in a floating village called Peckchekry in a small fishing community on the Tonle Sap Lake.


We took out some badly needed school supplies and helped decorate the school thanks to K.I.D.S. donors. We also promised to buy bamboo for this school that was barely afloat so it could continue to stay above water and bring education to the kids living in the village.


Thanks to Compassionate Eye Foundation www.compassionateeye.org ​we ​were able to buy and ship 750 pieces of large bamboo. We needed to wait until the water of the Tonle Sap Lake dropped due to the dry season and the school sat on the lake bottom. Then the villagers could remove the old bamboo and place the new bamboo under the school...no easy feat as you will see in the attached video and pictures. However in true Cambodian fashion nothing is too difficult for these amazing resilient people to accomplish. A big thank you to Compassionate Eye Foundation, who continue to support our work and so generously support the children and families living in very challenging situations.


Together we continue to overcome obstacles to keep kids in school and change their futures and the futures of generations to come.

Akun Cheran (Thank You) from all of us.

Adrianne and Rick

Friday, March 17, 2017

Back to Otasak

Dear Friends,
We recently finished renovating a very poor primary school in an isolated area in Cambodia. A Big Thank You to Sarah Gilks and the Healthy Role Models (HRM) program participants, who raised funds to assist the children and teachers at this school that serves 125 rural children. We first visited this school a couple of years ago. After taking van​s​, motorcycles and boats to get to the school what we found was an amazing principal who travels difficult roads to teach these children and at one point lived at the school for two years as there was no accessibility by road. After making this trip many times ourselves we have a true appreciation of the the dedication of the principal and the staff.






We asked K.I.D.S Cambodian builder and team if they would go there to work on the school and he said yes so they traveled with their gear down there and lived at the school for one month...now that is dedication.








The children at the school had no access to clean water and had to drink from ponds or the river, both very dirty. Now the kids have access to clean drinking water every day and can drink as much as they want.








 The children also have access to the World Food Program which provides them with breakfast however there was not a real kitchen or eating area. Now they can eat in in a comfortable outside building and enjoy their meal.

















The school was very run down and needed some help so we had it painted and bought book shelves, desks and tables for the teachers.









Some of the children have to walk on dusty roads an hour to two hours each way to get to school. Thanks to HRM we were able to make sure the the children who did not have bikes received bikes and now they can get to school without being exhausted.

















Together we continue to bring relief, hope, education and good health to kids here. Thanks to all for your support and for making such a difference.

The best,
Rick and Adrianne

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Building Houses with Lush Charity Pot Project

Dear Friends,
Last post we talked about partnering with Lush Charity Pot to build six houses, install six bathrooms, rain water catchment systems and provide 33 solar systems for our Smart Kids sponsorship program. We are incredibly grateful to Lush Charity Pot for not only providing funds for this project but also for bringing some of their North American staff over to build the houses and connect culturally with the families living in poverty and mostly working for the brick factories. Twenty-three Lush staff including Karen Wolverton,
​ ​
the owner of North American Lush, joined us for a great experience that positively changed families lives forever.  The closing ceremony was incredibly moving as families stood up to thank Lush and to say how much this meant to them. One woman, with tears in her eyes, said she never dreamt that she would ever live in a good house outside the brick factory. Although these houses are very humble they are a huge improvement from what they lived in before. We were also able to visit some of our other projects and have some fun with the kids. Do check out Lush Charity Pot and see the inspiring and compassionate work they do for our world, they definitely are a company with a vision and a commitment to social justice. Thank you Lush!!
All the best to you and yours,
Adrianne and Rick
 




















 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Hope and Houses

Hello Everyone,

We have written before about our Smart Kids education sponsorship program. The program supports 33 students who are caught up in a multi generational cycle of poverty and hard labour in brick factories.

Many families live in horrible housing conditions, with a total lack of toilets, running water, electricity or bathing facilities on the brick factory land. Speaking with the families we have heard of wages that border on slavery. Some husbands and wives working together earn as little as $25 USD to produce 10,000 bricks that take about a month to make, a very difficult wage to live on. This sadly forces families to make their children, as young a six or seven, work to help boost their income so they can survive and feed themselves. The working conditions are very poor and often dangerous, with children operating machinery at a young age.

Needless to say there is not enough money to fix a leaking roof, rotting floors or disintegrating palm leaf walls. KIDS has replaced and rebuilt several houses in the last few years.



This year we partnered with the LUSH Charity Pot Program to build three new houses, rebuild 3 houses and install 6 new toilets/bathing facilities. In addition LUSH Charity Pot provided solar lighting for each of the 33 Smart Kids student's homes and large concrete jars and rain gutters to catch rain water as wells here are very difficult to drill.






One student Cha and her family actually lived in a small dark corner on the factory floor. Her mother has lived there for 27 years since she was nine years old. She told us a few years ago that she had two dreams. One was to see her daughter graduate from grade 12 and escape a life of hard labour that she has endured, that dream will be realized soon as Cha is now half way through grade eleven thanks to KIDS donors. The other dream was to have a home of her own and to live outside the brick factory.......this dream will come to a reality very soon.



We started the homes a month ago and the LUSH team of 23 arrived to help finish them. We will send along and update on their work and of the completed housing project in a few days.

Wishing you and yours all the very best,
Rick and Adrianne

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Computer Dreams


Hello Everyone,

We hope all is well with you.

Imagine a high school with 4,500 students and only twenty computers. The twenty computers and one printer are also used by all the teachers and the administration staff. We recently doubled the number of computers and added another printer and will work on more in the future.



Education is a very strong focus for KIDS and over the past couple of years we have set up computer labs at high schools, KIDS home for girl's, our Smart Kids sponsorship program and an inner city free school.


Like our world at home computer skills are a necessary for any student to move on to university, business or self-employment. Access to computers is still very limited in Cambodia and many students hit a wall when it comes to writing papers in university, vocational training or applying for jobs.

The students are voracious learners of computer skills and many are well on their way with typing skills acquired by a print out of a keyboard on a piece of paper that they practice on before they even have access to an actual computer.

Thank You once again to KIDS donors and supporters for putting opportunity into the hands of these students and greatly improving their chances of a better future.



Bye for now,
Rick and Adrianne