Thursday, November 9, 2017

Farewell for Now

Hi Everyone,

Hope this finds you all well? Hard to believe another complete set of seasons has come and gone and we are off on our 18th trip.Though we will miss family and friends we are keen to get to work in Cambodia.

Last year thanks to everyone's generosity we were able to bring hundreds more children and their families clean drinking water. Together we also were able to support our ongoing programs which include: the girls home, preschool/kindergarten and rural student sponsorship program. We bought hundreds of bikes so kids could go to school as well as books and other educational needs. We built houses, toilets and floated a sinking school, supported medical care in isolated areas as well as started new computer and English classes.

This year we are hoping to do it all again and are excited that KIDS will be able to build at least 2 new water projects, many toilets for rural families, hopefully a couple of houses for very poor families as well as other needed projects yet to be determined. If possible we are hoping to support more classrooms and continue to sponsor students so they do not have to live a life of hard labour working in brick factories.

On behalf of KIDS and ourselves we want to send you our sincere appreciation for your contributions of funds, support, volunteerism and well wishes.

We look forward to keeping you all up to date on the difference you are making in so many children and families lives.

Wishing you and yours all the very best,

Adrianne and Rick

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Community Computers

Hi Everyone,

Over the summer we have been working on bringing women and young people computer skills. In the N.E. of Cambodia we assist an amazing program called Stung Treng Women's Development Centre. K.I.D.S. has provided an onsite daycare kindergarten here for many years. Thanks to K.I.D.S. donors women can make a good living wage weaving beautiful silk products while their children are steps away receiving a good education at the K.I.D.S onsite daycare/preschool.

This year S.W.D.C. decided to expand it's education programs to assist women and young people to learn computer skills and they asked K.I.D.S. for our support. Learning computer skills enables women and students to improve and broaden their opportunities for employment and education and break the cycle of poverty. The poverty level is high in this area.

We are very happy to say that we have been able to open two computer classes recently. K.I.D.S. funded one and thanks to the Healthy Role Models program owned and founded by Sarah Gilks of Nanaimo, we were able to fund a second computer lab. Hundreds of people showed up to register for computer classes.

This is the first free computer program in the city and most likely the whole province so being able to support two computer labs will certainly change lives and improve futures.

Healthy Role Models is a women's fitness and health program. Women from all over Canada and around the world join this supportive and creative online program. The women also believe in giving back and creating a ripple effect of good.

Thank you to Sarah and all the women who helped raise funds to support other women in their pursuit to better their lives and thanks to all our donors for supporting this program. 

With Gratitude,
Rick and Adrianne

Monday, October 9, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone,

Hope that you are well on this Thanksgiving Day, sharing food and spending time with family and friends.

We received these photos recently of children in Cambodia who are thankful to K.I.D.S. and everyone who supports them to further their education. Together​,​ so far this year​,​ we have​ purchased over 120 bikes so children are able to travel the long distances to get to school.

A special thank you to children here who have baked, busked, sold lemonade and donated birthday funds to help improve the lives of children over there.

With Gratitude,
Rick and Adrianne

Monday, September 25, 2017

From Bricks to Books and Beyond

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are all settling into fall. We wanted to update you on the Smart Kids rural education program we started six years ago with eight children who were in grade 6. The students we started with grew up in a very tough environment with substandard housing, no running water, no bathrooms, no electricity, poor nutrition and facing a lifetime of hard labour in brick factories starting at young a young age. Families working together struggle to make enough money to just feed themselves and live in deplorable shacks, built by the brick factory owners. In some cases they live in a corner of the factory floor. Making low wages the families and children could only dream of getting an education, as public schools are not free in Cambodia, not to mention post secondary, vocational training or university.

Six of the 8 students
In 2011 we asked the student's parents if KIDS would provide the funding for books, backpacks, bicycles and tuition would they agree to support one child in each of the 8 families to be educated. The parents were very excited at the opportunity but sadly the decision would not be an easy one due to the fact that the margin of financial solvency was so thin. Taking the labour of one of their their children out of the family income would make survival difficult. However they somehow found the means.

Thanks to the support of our donors we are pleased to say that this month the first 8 students have moved on from grade 12 and are now attending a one year hospitality training program at a well respected Tourism School in Siem Reap. There they will study, hotel management, cooking or other aspects of the hotel and tourism industry. They should not have a problem finding employment as graduates from this program are highly sought after and the program is recognized in all South East Asian countries.

We now have 33 young people in our Smart Kids sponsorship program and together we are changing their lives and futures. Their world of possibilities to help themselves with further education and helping their families financially has improved dramatically.

We made a short video of one boys life in the brick factory (some of you may have seen this) it is only 7 minutes long but shows you the beginning of Pisu's story.

Here is the Link 

Pisu then and now...One Happy Guy!!!!

Thank you for your support it does change lives.

Till next time,
Rick and Adrianne

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Story of One Girl

Dear Friends,

Many years ago we were in Cambodia and heard about a poor village where quite a few of the children did not have clothes. We went out there with a van full of clothing and met with the local villagers and they were happy to receive clothes for their children.

While chatting and fitting kids in outfits a woman came up to us and pushed her daughter froward and said that her daughter could speak english. The daughter did not look happy, however she started to speak english to us and we were quite astounded at how well she spoke. Apparently there had been a woman in the area that taught a few kids english for a awhile. Sopeak rode her bike a long distance to learn. We asked her if she would like to continue to learn english and she shyly said yes; that was the beginning of a long relationship. Her family worked hard to make a meager living. Dad worked at a factory in another province and sent his salary home..he lived at the factory most of the year. Mom raised a cow and grew a garden and they worked very hard to feed their family.

Sopeak moved on to a better english school and rode her bike hours to and from extra classes as well as attending high school. After passing grade 12, the top of her class, in the government school K.I.D.S sponsored her to live in the city and attend a better english school as well as University. While in the city we found out that she had hearing problems and took her to an NGO where they told us she had lived with terrible ear infections and was mostly deaf in one ear. After medication and a hearing aide she could hear much better. Sopeak was top of her class in english and all her classes even though she was mostly deaf for a very long time...she had never been to a restaurant, driven in a car or seen a city and yet she managed to live in a small room and ride her bike to attend university and english school. Sopeak excelled in all her subjects.

Sopeak will soon graduate with a degree in accounting and english, she works part time teaching english at an NGO and both her sisters have lived with her in the city and now have good jobs, they all help their parents, who were able to build a decent house. While we were in Siem Reap this past winter Sopeak got engaged and recently married in her village, her husband also has a good job as a tour guide.

This is the story of one girl who persevered to live a better life. Her future is bright and so is her families thanks to a chance meeting, hard work and the generosity of all of you. We now sponsor many more young people like Sopeak and it is inspiring to see them following in her foot steps and changing their futures, the future of their families, communities and their country.

All the very best,
Adrianne, Rick and Sopeak

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Rain Water Collection Systems

Dear Friends,

We hope all is well. In Cambodia it is now the rainy season. This means for most families in the countryside it is the time to collect rain water, which makes life much easier. K.I.D.S is pleased to assist families by providing rain catchment systems for houses. The rain water catchment systems first flush out any dirt etc that comes in through the gutters and then goes to another pipe that fills the pots and the bathroom cisterns.

What this means is that for the next few month these families do not have to buy water and can drink and bathe as much as they want.

Thanks to Lush and all our donors for changing these peoples lives in such positive, healthy and beneficial ways. 

Thank You From the Village Children

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

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Reaskmay's House

Dear Friends,

We hope all is well with you and yours. We are now back in Nanaimo and settled into life here. Although we are home K.I.D.S. carries on with our ongoing programs and projects. We wanted to let you know that we have finished the house for one of the girls in our Smart Kids education sponsorship program. The building took a little longer as this house had some special building specifics that were needed. We are so happy to let you know that Reaksmay, her two sisters and her disabled father are now happily moved into their new house and they finally have a home of their own and do not have to live in the
community hall anymore. For many years the family has lived in the small open community hall building. Reaksmay, has been the main caregiver, for her disabled father and younger sister since her mother died many years ago.

Community Hall Where The Family They Lived for Many Years
Thanks to Lush Charity Pot we were able to build a new house with a large inside barrier free bathroom for the father and family. They now have solar lighting as well as lots of water containers so they do not have to get water from the pond or bathe in the pond behind their house. We also put in a tile floor as the father spends a lot of time on the floor as he cannot walk. Having a bathroom and a house with walls will certainly ease their situation.

Reaksmay's older sister has come home to help Reaksmay. Reaksmay is getting an education as is her younger sister thanks to K.I.D.S. and we also help support them with necessities. The family wanted us to pass on their deep appreciation for assisting them all and giving them a safe, clean home where they can live in dignity and comfort together.

For this family, a dream has come true... Thanks to you!
All the very best,
Rick and Adrianne