Sakka Foundation team recently worked together with a children's charitable group in Hong Kong - Little Life Warriors. Based out of Prince of Wales hospital, this group supports children who are currently being treated in the oncology department. The goal was to provide support and love - and some fun too - for the kids there. We had special one of a kind scarves and hats knitted for the kids, and played games and provided treats for the kids. Sakka foundation also donated HK $5,000 to the organisation. Our hearts go out to these brave children and their incredible doctor's and nurses. We wish them all the best. (Due to privacy issues we will not be posting any photos of the children).
January to June 2015
The One-2-One Cambodia Happy Dental Clinic is funded by SAKKA Foundation and the Overseas Volunteer Fund, providing much needed basic dental care to vulnerable children from NGOs/Orphanages in Phnom Penh, especially those who are marginalised e.g. HIV positive children, cleft children or disabled children. The clinic is based in One-2-One Cambodia office on the ground floor and is open from 8.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Wednesday. One-2-One works cooperatively with senior dental students from the International University (IU) and the University of Health and Science (UHS) to operate the clinic. The work is demanding and challenging as we work with the most vulnerable group but also most rewarding, in knowing that we make such a great difference to them. Now they can eat, smile, sleep well and go to school or able to continue with their other treatment plans.
At the clinic, Dental students, Dentists and Dental Nurses provide a range of dental treatment including:
The Happy Dental Clinic has been very busy providing oral health care to children from various orphanages, NGO and slums across Phnom Penh.
The staff and volunteers are trained specifically to ensure the treatment is as pain free and as gentle as possible. Our Motto is “let no children cry”
The clinic schedule has been designed so that children from each orphanage, NGO groups visit the clinic at a specific time.
At the clinic, our team consists of Dentists, Dental Nurses and Dental Assistants all working to provide dental treatment for the children whether it is emergency relief or oral health promotion actions. Ms. Nary, manages the clinic to ensure appropriate dental treatment is provided to each child in a safe, caring and professional way. Good cross infection control is a priority for Happy Dental Clinic. Additionally, over the last six months, we have been fortunate to have volunteer dentists from overseas helping our team to provide more specialised treatment for the more serious oral health problems.
The Happy Dental Clinic provides a child friendly environment with educational toys and reading materials for children to read and play with while waiting for dental care. As a result, the children are happy to come and have dental check-ups and treatment without fear. It is always great to see the children engaging with their peers and having fun playing with the toys together. Our staff work hard to ensure it is a happy place.
After each treatment, our Dental Assistant provides basic oral health education to the children, teaching them how to brush their teeth properly and explaining to them how they must avoid sweet foods and drinks which can lead to tooth decay. To ensure the children brush their teeth twice daily, we have continued to provide toothbrushes and toothpaste to all children who visit the Happy Dental Clinic.
a total of 1032 children (an average of 172 children per month) from 13 orphanages/NGO have received dental treatment and oral health education at the Happy Dental Clinic. Additionally, we also see disadvantaged young women from the Bloom organization for basic dental care as needed, often weekly.
A priority for our team is providing preventative dental care, including protective sealants (the best preventative measure for molar teeth); which as you can see in the table above, 400 teeth were sealed over the six month period. There were also a high number of restorations and tooth extractions performed. Over the next six months we will continue to provide oral health education and topical fluorides which we hope will help prevent the need for high numbers of restorations and extractions.
During this six month period, our team encountered a variety of challenges. While we strive to create a warm and safe environment, it’s not uncommon for our staff to encounter children who are scared and don’t want to receive dental treatment. However, our staff work extra hard to befriend the children, patiently making sure they feel comfortable and relaxed preceding and during their dental treatment.
While we arrange with organizations to bring children to the clinic at 8am, it’s very common for them to turn up at 9am or 10am. Sometimes they cancel at last minute or cannot come if the raining is very heavy and the street floods. Sometimes their drivers let them down… Naturally this makes it difficult for our team to run the clinic smoothly and as scheduled
Next 6 months
It is anticipated that Happy Dental Clinic will continue to provide high quality dental treatment to young children from orphanages and communities surrounding Phnom Penh. We aim to promote and teach them how to brush their teeth correctly while also explaining to them how to avoid some foods which cause teeth decay. We know that for the best future what we do today is vital.
One-2-One would like to take this opportunity to thank the SAKKA Foundation for partnering with us to help provide these underserved children with the dental care and treatment that they desperately need. It is through this partnership that these children can improve their health and wellbeing, have a brighter future and a greater chance at living a normal and healthy life.
Date: 10-12 October, 2015
Participants: Eugene, Carolyn
Meeting with Dr. Callum and Dr. Huy Ly of One-to-One Cambodia
Who Will Village
Watopot Children’s Community
thank you again to all participants in our 5th year Sakka Foundation anniversary party! We had a great turnout - over 70 people, and donations came in at over HKD 40,000. Thanks to all you - you made a huge difference this evening - and we had a lot of fun.
Please join us to celebrate 5+ years of making a difference. Sakka foundation's fundraising parties have ALWAYS been a good time...expect the same this year - September 19th 2015 - FCC Club! See you there!
Written by Jacquelynne Tan, one of Sakka's long time volunteers
One to one with Who Will children as they move to Young adulthood…
In Sept 2014, while on a career break, I decided to make a personal trip to visit the Who Will village. The purpose of this solo trip was to have a 1 to 1 talk with the children above 16 yrs ie young adults I like to call them.
Just 4 years ago when I started to volunteer for Sakka while living in Hong Kong, these same children were 13 years old. So they were technically still children and I recall very fondly having Sakka Olympics and simple games like running with a baton across a field was a fun and fulfilling day as a volunteer. But today, these 13 year olds have now all grown up to become young adults and playing in the field are no longer relevant support for these older children.
Some background of my experience in Sakka, between 2011- 2013, I have managed to get my company Pepsi to sponsor these children to compete in the Annual Angkor Wat Bike Rally every December. In each race, some of the children would win top 3 in their categories and this was a very proud moment for them. For past 3 years, this annual event has turned into an annual holiday not just for the children competing, but for the whole school as their year end outing and reward trip for the staff too. However, while sports was a main motivator for me to volunteer, I have noticed that the older children’s needs would start to change and it was interesting for me to see what else I can do to support their adulthood. Hence in 2014, instead of the biking race, I decided to do a solo 1 to 1 chat to find out more about what these young adults are thinking abt regarding their future…
I had quick 5-7 mins chats with 9 of them – most of whom I have known for 4 years now. And these are my observations and personal views :
Personally I feel some of them are really at a cross roads like Sophea. If you see where they live, its literally in the middle of a field and away from interacting with others when they are in their dormitory – besides going to school. Being young adults I also feel that they will start to want to be with the opposite sex and they only have the same girls or boys in Who Will. They need a different type of environment.
Secondly, most of them are in Grade 11-12 and I believe its till Grade 13 or 14 to finish high school - so they have 2 more years before they are thinking about working or getting married. Moving forward, the volunteers needed are not so much for English lessons etc but more skills based or some technical learning. Perhaps now there are some others e.g SIA’s day with them on cooking. But these older ones will need higher learning environment so they can progress and not be confined to just Who Will or volunteers visiting to do day events.
We should think in the direction of how to give them further education or vocational training support or even internship with companies would be great exposure for them. This is the case of Sophea but I think some others will follow too in his footsteps to think vocational and for the girls who want to be accountants. How to give them that commercial and industrial experience will be the challenge. This probably needs us to connect with companies that will provide them that internship who have factories in Cambodia or offices in Cambodia. Not sure how we will do that and if Gerald himself have connections already.
Overall this small trip has got me thinking of the next phase of volunteership with Sakka. Personally I will continue to pursue the sporting opportunities in Cambodia be it biking in Angkor wat, and maybe new sports like rock climbing in Sihanoukville or 10 km run evens in Cambodia to ensure they have that balance and chance to get out to see other parts of their country. But definitely the next phase will be different and it will such great gratification to see them through the next 3 -4 years as they grow in to adulthood and to be able to open that opportunity for them to be part of the workforce and to do what they want to do in life.
Date: 4-5th December, 2014
Participants: Carolyn Chau and Eugene Ng
Who Will Children's Village:
One to One Cambodia - Happy Clinic
Empowering Youth of Cambodia (EYC)
Wat Opot Childern's Community
In light of the announcement today of the conviction of Khmer Rouge leaders Khieu Samphan, the regime's 83-year-old former head of state, and Nuon Chea, its 88-year-old chief ideologue — I thought about the state of Cambodia today, more than 3 decades after the genocide.
My experience of Cambodia closely mirrors the simple article referenced above. In and around Phnom Penh, where we do our work, there continues to be abject poverty. There are children and families living on the street, in the alleyways. Walking through the streets in the morning you can see for yourself the significant homelessness, poverty, struggles to survive.
At the same time, there are hopeful signs, nighttime marketplaces teem with families and children playing, buying toys, enjoying food/music/festivals/dancing. There are restaurants and business opening frequently, schools and functioning hospitals. We meet many people employed in the clothing industry, we support children that are in law school, nursing, art school.
All this being said - the announcement today brings to me a particular melancholy. This is a beautiful country, with peaceful, lovely people. Here we are ....so many years later...and the devastating loss of life, culture and community due to these Khmer Rouge leaders continues to define the country today. And though we see opportunity and success stories regularly - at the same time we see an enormous need.
The conviction of these leaders represents an incredibly long awaited justice - and yet at the same time these lives lost cannot be recovered and the moment is still bitter. The images from S-21 haunt me still, and I cannot even think of how children suffered and died. It breaks my heart today.
And, it makes me realize, once again - that healing comes from many sources. And that we can, eventually, recover from heartbreak, through the little bit we do to bring hope and life today.
Sakka founder Eugene Ng visited the kids in Cambodia in March 2014. Please see attached her full trip report.
Join our mailing list to receive regular email updates from us!