Sixteen years of caring, teaching, learning and supporting. Sixteen years of progress made and promises kept. Sixteen years of incredible generosity and volunteer dedication. Thank you all for being a part of our story, and thank you for contributing to the positive impact we have had on Cambodia's education system and its future. Here's to an even brighter future ahead!
Race to Better Education: Breaking Records!
Congratulations to all who participated in last December's Race to Better Education, raising over $6500 for CFC's primary education program. While the route and scenery were the same as in years past, the 2018 race was remarkable for two notable reasons. CFC had a record breaking number of participants with 224 runners, including students, teachers, family members and supporters. In addition, a record breaking level of local fundraising dollars raised by CFC participants was truly remarkable. We were proud and humbled to witness our staff's enthusiasum for the race and their success in raising funds from community members.
All smiles at the starting line, on the course and at the finish!
Pictured at right are Superintendent of Schools and Country Director Ung Savy and newly hired Deputy Country Director Rebecca Large. Even though Rebecca had just joined the team in November, she wasted no time in lacing up her running shoes and hitting the pavement for CFC!
Originally from the United Kingdom, Rebecca is an international educational practitioner with overseas experience in the non-profit sector. She has been working and living in Cambodia since 2014 and has developed a genuine understanding and passion for the country and its education development. Rebecca loves traveling (mainly to eat !) as well as learning languages, and she looks forward to continuing to improve her Khmer skills.
“I am thrilled to be joining the dedicated CFC team and to continue contributing to the development of the education system in Cambodia. I am particularly impressed by CFC’s commitment to capacity building in schools, especially teacher training and I am excited to be a part of CFC’s future.”
In addition to countless global contributors and new Cambodian supporters, CFC extends sincere appreciation to our generous event sponsors:
Gold Level ~ Banana Backpacks, The McConaghy Family
Bronze Level ~ Eleni Deoudes, Ivy Guesthouse, Barbara Levy & Steve Rozen, The Norris Family, Tara Angkor Hotel
Fond Farewell to Christin Spoolstra
At the end of December, Christin Spoolstra marked the end of her four years as Deputy Country Director with a touching and fond farewell celebration shared with CFC staff and teachers. Christin was instrumental in building CFC's leadership, program growth as well as implementing policies and procedures. She will be missed by all who had the privilege to work alongside her in creating positive change for Cambodia's education system. Christin's new role with the Pohreary Ly Foundation will keep her in Siem Reap, and we are excited about opportunities to collaborate in the future.
"I've loved working with the team toward a stronger education system and I will miss everyone dearly. I'm grateful that it is not goodbye, and I look forward to keeping in touch and collaborating together in future projects. Thank you to the whole CFC team! On to the next path in life!" ~ Christin Spoolstra
Best of luck in your next chapter, Christin!
Dental screenings and surveys:
Oral hygiene is improving at CFC schools!
Returning in early December for their third visit, a team of three volunteer dentists and ten dental assistants from Bliss & Wisdom, an international organization, conducted dental screenings for 540 students attending Spien Chreav Amelio Primary School. Barbara Levy, CFC's Health Committee Chair, supervised the screenings, and members of CFC's in-country team were instrumental in surveying and organizing students and critical data entry. Bliss & Wisdom dentists also worked with CFC staff member Sinat Kol on ESL classroom materials to reinforce proper dental hygiene (below left).
Overall, the dentists' impression was that oral hygiene continues to improve among CFC students with only 11% of students screened rated as needing significant improvement. Nonetheless, most students will still require follow-up care with local dentists and as an additional measure of preventative medicine, the Bliss & Wisdom team was able to apply sealants to eighty-six students (above right).
A significant number of parents accompanied their children, especially in the kindergarten classes (shown at right), which encourages better health hygiene for the entire family. Student survey results showed promise with roughly half of those surveyed having been to the dentist before, most brushing their teeth at least once daily, and most having toothpaste at home. This progress is the result of a combination of factors: in-class education, sufficient resources and in-kind donations, and growing awareness among community members about the importance of dental hygiene.
Thank you to Bliss & Wisdom, Barbara Levy and our incredible in-country team!
Introducing our new School Health Educator...
We are pleased to introduce Hing Kunthea, our new School Health Educator whose experience and education in nursing and pharmacy will help her become an excellent addition to our team.
Memorial garden honors Sue Barber
A memorial garden has recently been created to honor beloved Singapore American School (SAS) teacher Sue Barber, a long-time CFC supporter and international teacher trainer participant. Sue Barber tragically passed away at the beginning of the 2018 school year, and her second-grade students and their families wanted to find a fitting way to honor her memory.
As Ms. Barber had taught her students about plants and gardening, the group of SAS parents chose to raise funds and help establish garden beds that will be used by CFC students learning valuable life skills education. The gardens are indeed a beautiful way to honor Sue Barber's memory.
A memorable volunteer trip for
Singapore American School high school students
In November 2018, Singapore American School (SAS) teachers Kate Brundage and Craig Olsen chaperoned the CFC High School Club for a volunteer service trip that focused on improvements at the Aranh Sakor High School campus and strengthened friendships between SAS and CFC students. Leading up to the trip, the CFC Club worked hard to raise funds to support their campus improvement projects. The group was also extremely helpful in transporting over 575 donated hygiene kits for distribution among CFC students and ten direct projectors for use in high school classrooms.
Their projects included the construction and painting of bulletin boards to replace worn existing ones in some classrooms and laying paving stones around the high school walking path and bicycle path to prevent flooding problems.
Student bonds were formed over breakfast as well as during a Village Ramble scavenger hunt, and at day's end, the students were seen playing rugby together and exchanging email addresses. There was a true sense of accomplishment shared by everyone as well as a genuine desire to return someday and to encourage others to participate in future trips. Below are several candid reflections from SAS student volunteers:
"After our tour of the village, the CFC students who guided us helped us finish our project. This was my favorite part of the trip because we were able to bond over the work, and it gave me more insight into the students' lives. ~ Jennifer Pohly
"The trip was an unparalleled experience! We got to bond with each other as well as with the Aranh Sakor students. The exceptional buddies, hearty meals, night market, awesome hotel, friendly adults, and musical spirit all came together to make this one of the best school trips I've ever attended." ~ Haotian Yang
"This year's trip was different experience than I expected. I thought it was going to be more of a "let's meet the kids we are helping and then never see them again" kind of trip, but in the end, I really connected with my group. By the end of our time, we were telling inside jokes. I would do the whole thing over again, except with less hammering of my fingers and more peaceful bricklaying. ~ Sarah Datta
Thank you to the SAS CFC High School Club! Keep up the great work!