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.
YC Summary and Funding Needs
As another year is just around the corner, and with it another year of opportunities to invest in some great young people, we hope you will consider making a donation. Our ever-growing number of students depends heavily on the schools and programs of EYC, and we rely upon YOU to help us.
This coming year has the potential to have the largest impact yet. To recap the services currently offered every week in each of our 4 community centers/schools in poor communities, otherwise known as slums (i.e. residents do not hold land titles), including;
• English classes (all 650 students attend English classes daily)
• computer classes
• leadership training
• medical and dental care
• scholarships and education assistance
• job placement and more.
While many of our students and classes are doing great, we have additional financial needs to be able to keep doing what we do in 2014 and we hope you can help us out.
There will be an opportunity to give through Global Giving and get matching funds on your donation on the morning of December 3 rd (Tuesday). We will send a reminder the day before, but if you would be able to time your donation to take advantage of this then wait to donate. The link is (use only on the morning of December 3 rd ) is http://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/preparing-30-cambodian-youth-for-job-placement/ To make a donation otherwise U.S. citizens can make a tax free contribution online via our partner Village Earth . Donors outside of the U.S. can make an online donation via our U.K. based partner Camkids .
Making a donation with your credit card will take just a few minutes and will go a long way to help us provide for our students.
EYC’s Medical Program:
Empowering Youth in Cambodia (EYC) provides medical care weekly at each of EYC’s 4 schools. Students in the schools are provided a basic but holistic set of health services including regular health and hygiene training, weekly medical clinics at each school, referrals for serious cases that can’t be treated in the clinics, and quality dental care through our partners. Additionally, the people in the community receive health services including family planning training and long term birth control.
EYC started in 2006 providing education and leadership development for young people, but did relatively little to help with health in their first 3 years despite their being a big need. The EYC team was good at inspiring and training young people, but when people got sick we felt pretty helpless. Then EYC’s medical partner One-2-One started to form and they were able to provide a whole new level of support for students and their families. The team in EYC was able to work to support the health workers with volunteers from the communities and follow up on individual cases.
Currently there is some impressive results which are hard to understand without seeing it firsthand; sick people being treated, cavities being filled (smiles returned), behaviors changed and hygiene improved, a new generation that understands reproductive health, woman in control of their bodies, and real care being shown to people who are in a tough situation. Each week there is a line of people waiting to see the medical team, there are tuk tuks full of kids going to the dentist, and there are trained young people on the ground to educate and help in all kinds of situations.
Last year EYC (with help from our partners) accomplished ;
• 2,515 Patient-visits with a doctor.
• 1,152 Patient-visits to a dentist.
• 73 Women received long term birth control (IUD or implant).
While the road to improving the health of a community is not an easy one, these results along with a continued health education message will affect long term changes in the communities EYC works.
Lakeside School – a small community school with a big heart!
The Lakeside School is a dynamic learning center in a slum community in Phnom Penh serving 160 students each day. Started in 2008, the successes of students coming from this project show that with a hand up young people can be empowered to obtain quality employment and valuable life skills.
Lakeside's programs include 7 hours of English per day for various levels, computer classes throughout the day and evening, a weekly medical clinic, biweekly trips to the dentist, reading (in their new library), community organizing, as well as weekend activities including leadership development, an under-14 soccer team, yoga, cycling, and field trips. Currently 8 students are given financial support for their high school or university education and EYC’s job placement service is open to all. The kids really enjoy going to class and teachers incorporate life skills training and fun activities into teaching lessons. Outside of the school are tough conditions for living with run-down shanty houses, garbage, people drinking, gambling, and in some cases neglecting children, while inside the mood is cheerful and the staff and volunteers are positive.
Lakeside School is primarily an after-school program since government schools teach only 4 hours each day. During the morning and afternoon students are primary school-age, while in the evening they are in high school and university, as well as youth who have dropped out of school and are working, unemployed, or underemployed. Lakeside has an excellent network of supporting partners, committed Cambodian staff, international and local volunteers, and a student team leader group that volunteers and runs much of the operations of the school. Lakeside is more than a school since it is also a favorite gathering place for like-minded young people who are on their way to somewhere better. The school is open most of the day and serves multiple purposes including a gathering/play area for young kids, it has 2 sinks with soap for anyone to use, books for people to read on-site or borrow, and computers with Internet.
At the heart of the school is some excellent staff including Ky Hao, the English teacher from 6:30 to 8:30pm (2 different levels). He is a graduate of a government university “Institute of Foreign Languages” (IFL) and has a bachelor’s degree in English Teaching. He has a grasp of the English language far beyond most non-native speakers. Ky Hao likes to use current events as part of his lessons which also serve to engage students in social issues happening in their country.
Veng Chenghuor is a 20 year old student who has studied at Lakeside School since 2009. She is now a 2 nd year university students and has 2 jobs. Chenghuor says “the best part of Lakeside School is her teacher Ky Hao because he is hard working, has good ethics, makes good lesson plans and asks students lots of questions. He also makes class fun and explains things well.” Another thing she likes is that “the school is close to my house and is free for students in the community to study. It is also a place where the community can have a meeting and children can gather to take action, such as a garbage clean-up.”
EYC has plenty of challenges to be able to work in the chaotic slum environment, but the involvement from the people in the community help to make things go smooth. In 2013-2014 additional students will be awarded scholarships to continue their studies at university and EYC is seeking donors to make this possible.
Please visit http://www.eycambodia.org
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Copyright © 2013 Empowering Youth in Cambodia
Our mailing address is:
#9A, Street 370, BKK1
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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Thanks for taking the time to read our first newsletter of the year. We have had an unprecedented run of activities and exciting news in 2013. Each of EYC’s 4 schools are filled with activities and we have increased enrollment at each school, which now totals 650 students on a typical day. The increase is largely due to our expansion of primary-aged English lessons and adding teachers to allow for multiple levels to be available during the daytime, so we now have lots of little students.
We recently spent a significant amount of time reviewing all staff and doing some reorganizing, bringing in new staff with more experience and ability to manage classrooms (our students can get pretty wild). While it wasn't all fun, now that the dust has settled our organization is stronger than ever . Our team has grown in size and competency, and we are grateful to our donors who make this possible.
It is hard to find the words to express all the gratitude we have for our donors, so I'll just say thanks much to everyone who contributed in 2013 and thanks in advance for any additional generosity you can extend. We can't do it without you!
855 (0)92 982581
From the HKUST-Kellogg EMBA alumni class, 28 of us with several family members visited “Who Will” Children’s Village situated in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was our one-year graduation anniversary so we took the chance to visit this village as our class gift donation was for a volunteer house there. We had an overall great time getting to know the children there, who are mostly orphans or without supporting family.
The school sited at NW, 50 kilometer of Kampong Tralach Children Village, which was created by Chairman Gerald Trevor. This is a non- profit organization registered under orphan, vulnerable children and poor Cambodia community to provide free education to those children. Also, it gives them a chance to integrate into the community, make sure they will not be discriminated as "group of orphans". Regardless of age, race, religion, belief, and health condition, these children can come and study. Warm-hearted teachers and volunteers will team basic skills so they can pursue further study and eventually work in society.
We finally arrived at “Who Will” at 3 pm after a three-hour bus journey. We met Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Trevor and all the students. Gerald led us to the pavilion, where we had a nice conversation with the children. Then Gerald introduced to us the history, development and management, as well as future target of the school/village. The bright-eyed students showed us their homework and school life. The next stop was to see the classroom, office and the dormitory. As souvenir and token of friendship, we brought with us laptops, stationery, iPad and daily essentials like toothpaste. To end our visit, we had a friendly soccer game with the children. To my classmates’ surprise, the kids (who were ages between 9-18) were the victorious ones!
The primary purpose of this trip was to visit the volunteer house, which our class raised funds to help build in Jun 2012. The building resides by lakeside and consisted of six rooms. It took one year to finish and it was used as the place for the international volunteers to sleep and live. From the feedback of two German volunteers, they thought the environment was excellent and nice.
Three hours on site with the smiling and energetic children soon evaporated. Looking at their face, hearing them talking about their dream loudly, we were deeply touched and feel their happiness and dreams. Dear children, we offer you the best and give you support, to “sail your dream boat to arrive the shore and achieve your goal.”
We remember because of love; we care because of remembrance and we will be back because we care. We will come back to see you, dear children.
By Michelle Tao
KH14柬埔寨金边Who Will 小学行记
2013年9月21日，我们28位Kellogg-HKUST EMBA14班的校友们参观并访问了坐落于柬埔寨金边郊区的Who Will 小学，并和老师及孩子们进行了深入的交流。
Who Will 小学位于金边西北方向50公里的Kampong Tralach儿童村，是由主席Gerald Trevor 创办并投资的一家非政府非盈利组织。Who Will组织注册在孤儿、弱势儿童、和贫困的柬埔寨社区，旨在给当地的孩子提供免费的教育，同时让孩子们完全融入周围的社区，确保这些儿童不会受到不合理的 “来自一个孤儿院” 耻辱。孩子们不限年龄，种族，宗教或信仰， 以及健康状况都可以在这所学校学习，直到老师们认可孩子已经掌握了基本的技能，可以去其他地方进一步的深造或进入社会工作。
经过3个多小时的车程，我们一行人于下午3点左右到达了Who Will小学，远远就看见校长Gerald Trevor，夫人和同学们一早就在等候了。Gerald首先把我们领到了学校用于集会的一个亭子里，和孩子们进行了轻松的交流。校长介绍了学校的历史，发展过程，现在的运作，和未来的发展目标等，同学们也自告奋勇的介绍了他们的学习和生活情况。接下来，校长带着我们参观了学校的教室，办公室，和宿舍。我们赠送了精心准备的大量的文具，手提电脑，生活用品及玩具等礼物给同学们，并与孩子们进行了一场足球友谊比赛，比赛结果当然毫无悬念的以我们这群“老弱病残”失败告终了。
We are truly humbled by the efforts of the HKUST EMBA students. USD 46,000 (HKD 362,900) was raised by these incredible students to help the children Sakka Foundation supports in Cambodia.
It is our great pleasure to let everyone know the massive difference that funding of this scale can make for these kids. Sakka team members worked closely together with the students to allocate the money. The following as accomplished:
Built a volunteer house on Who Will's property
Sponsored all the expenses of one house of children on Who Will's property for one full year
Purchased a generator, providing power to a community of over 65 people on Who Will
Paid for 2 teacher's salaries, teaching English and computer classes in Phnom Penh for more than 1 year
Food allowance - paid for the food for the whole Wat Opot community for 10 months
In celebration of their graduation - the students visited Cambodia in September this year. Photos to come!
Our true thanks to:
Khai San Banh
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