CFC has enjoyed another incredible month of caring around the world. It is such a joy to watch our orange camaraderie continue to strengthen, and I am in awe of the creative energies behind such a diverse array of activities and events.
My visit to Siem Reap and Singapore in April was equally awe-inspiring. I engaged with CFC teachers, staff members and volunteers all working at the height of professionalism and all working towards a common goal of ensuring quality education for Cambodia's next generation. Every time I leave our CFC schools, I leave buoyed by a feeling of strength and renewed faith in our team. This time, however, I could feel the strength coming from them. It's a long hard road to change, but our shared commitment to our mission is obvious in the faces of our students. Education matters.
Join others from around the world to work as a team dedicated to improving our schools. Have a chance to meet our incredible students and experience the power of CFC's work. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
2014 Chairman's Award
We are so very pleased to congratulate Maureen Pond as the recipient of this year's Chairman's Award. Volunteers around the globe will recognize her name and smiling face as the calm, organized and 'forever orange' Chairperson for Volunteer Trips and Projects.
Now living in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, Maureen and her family have been strong supporters and ardent volunteers for CFC since 2009 when they were living in Singapore. Maureen's early volunteer roles covered a variety of committees and roles, including events and sponsoring tables for the Singapore Caring Tea fundraisers. As CFC expanded its scope and the number of visitors to our schools increased, there was a need for someone to manage these trips and ensure proper alignment for service projects. The Volunteer Trips and Projects role was created and Maureen willingly stepped into the role as Chairperson. She developed the committee's initial structure and eventually expanded it to include specialists for each trip category - individual, school, corporate and the ever popular Make-A-Difference group service trips. Maureen continues to manage the team from her home in New Jersey and she also serves as one of our United Nations representatives. Maureen cares deeply for CFC and goes the extra mile to develop relationships with the team members in Siem Reap, Singapore and United States.
Maureen has expertly managed thousands of volunteers with effective training and assistance while ensuring that all visitors have a meaningful experience. Her behind-the-scenes efforts guarantee that people carry positive messages back to their home communities. What is most impressive about Maureen is her ability to keep the focus on our mission and philosophy, and to always help move CFC forward for our students and communities in Cambodia.
Maureen ~ You are so deserving of this award and distinction for the wonderful, giving and selfless leader you are. Congratulations from the entire CFC team!
Singapore Chapter organizes 'Paddle with a Purpose'
Over one hundred and thirty paddlers braved the lightning and heavy rainfall in the early hours of Saturday May 2nd to gather for the third annual Dragonboat "Paddle for a Purpose" Race at Kallang Riverside Park. The event was meticulously planned by our Singapore event team led by star volunteer Holly Kruetter.
Due to the unprecedented number of paddlers, two separate races were held this year. Participation was widespread with diverse teams formed from the ranks of CFC volunteers and their friends and families, supporters from the various international school and corporate communities in Singapore. Our thanks to the team at Clifford Chance Pte Ltd who paddled in their corporate boat and generously supported our schools with the purchase of a USD$2500 Platinum Sponsorship.
Thankfully, by the time registrations had been completed for the first race, the skies had cleared. Paddlers were led through warm-up exercises and instructions by Ann Maroni and her crew of American Dragon volunteers. Our thanks to them for training paddlers and running races. Once prepped, everyone manned their respective boats. Competition was fierce, and each race was decided by mere seconds. Congratulations to the Palladino Boat for winning the first race, and to the Tanglin Trust School boat for winning the second race.
As the day ended, one participant summed it all up perfectly by remarking that "combining an introduction to dragonboat racing with an opportunity to contribute to CFC was the best aspect of the event." Proceeds from this year’s race will go directly to support the educational efforts at all five CFC primary schools in Siem Reap.
Thanks to all the participants and spectators for their enthusiastic support!
Northern California Chapter News
On Friday, April 24th, a packed audience at the Piedmont Center for the Arts was treated to an educational and entertaining evening. Chapter Leader Edna Cooper and the CFC California Chapter organized and hosted the event. Guests were treated to a variety of cultural performances by the Khmer Angkor Dance Troupe and accomplished Cambodian dancer and choreographer Charya Burt (at right). In addition, there was a showing of "Angkor's Children", a compelling documentary film by Lauren Shaw about Cambodia's cultural and artistic renaissance. Following the entertainment, guests were treated to a buffet of delicious Cambodian food provided by Phnom Penh House Restaurant in Oakland.
The Khmer Angkor Dance Troupe is comprised of local Cambodian school-aged children from The Church of Latter Day Saints in Oakland. Charya Burt is a graduate and former dance faculty member of the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh. and a member of Cambodia’s Royal Dance Troupe. She is currently the artist-in-residence for San Jose’s Cambodian Cultural Dance Group.
Attendance exceeded expectations with more than 100 people joining the evening, including a strong showing from the local Cambodians connected with the Khmer Angkor Dance Troupe. CFC is grateful and excited by the outpouring of support and interest from this community. In addition to raising awareness for CFC in the Bay Area, the evening raised USD$2,027 in unsolicited donations.
Photographed at right are key members of our California team: Tess Olcott (CFC Youth Club Leader), Grace Riggs (CFC Santa Barbara), Mary Hang, Edna Cooper (CFC California Leader), John Cooper, and Kendall Connors (CFC School Liaison for the Bay Area). Photo by Sovandy Hang
The evening was a tremendous success and kudos to Edna Cooper and her West Coast team for continuing to bring more 'orange' to California!
Midwest Chapter News
Under the leadership of Carolyn Viens, the Midwest Chapter has expanded its reach since launching last year with a variety of outreach activities in the community and growing support at several area schools. The past few months have been no exception!
Volunteering at Feed My Starving Children
In mid-April, chapter volunteers spent an evening at the Libertyville, Illinois offices of Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) helping to pack seventy-seven boxes of fortified rice--enough to feed forty-six children for one year! FMSC, a Minnesota-based non-profit organization committed to feeding hungry children around the globe, has partnered with CFC since 2013. Our Food for Thought program has benefited from generous donations of fortified rice, vegetables and protein boosts for our schools' nutrition. This Chapter outing gave our volunteers unique insight into the operations of one of our valued partners.
Special thanks to everyone who came out to help, including long-time CFC supporters Kelly Zotos, Stacey Zolt Hara, CFC CFO Kristie Hess and members of the Libertyville High School CFC club who will be traveling to Siem Reap in June.
Empty Bowls Fundraiser...
On May 6th, Chapter Leader Carolyn Viens hosted an Empty Bowls fundraiser at her beautiful home in Hinsdale, Illinois. Attendees enjoyed a delicious bowl of chili and listened to the latest developments at our schools in Siem Reap. The event welcomed twenty-five newcomers to the CFC Midwest Chapter and raised USD$715 to support Food for Thought. The evening was a wonderful step towards expanding our orange circle in the Chicago area, and all are excited for the next BIG step when CFC Founder Jamie Amelio visits in September.
Special thanks to Lori and Liam Kaufman for cooking the delicious chili and to several key supporters including CFO Kristie Hess, Kelly and Peter Zotos and Anne Wilhoit for their contributions to the evening.
Go Chicago, Go!
Singapore Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon
On Wednesday, April 29th, CFC Founder and CEO Jamie Amelio hosted a beautiful luncheon at Sopra Cucina & Bar as a thank you to Singapore's wonderful volunteer team. It was an afternoon to celebrate accomplishments, friendships and caring. Jamie welcomed new volunteers and bid a fond farewell to those volunteers who are moving from Singapore to start new adventures. Our thanks to luncheon organizer Sandra Smith(photographed at right with Singapore Country Manager Vanessa Moore).
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Introducing CFC's Youth Representatives
We are pleased to introduce our Youth Representatives to the United Nations and our Youth Ambassador. Together, they bring a fresh vitality and an important link to the younger generation!
James Harding(at right) accepted the role as CFC United Nations Youth Representative in 2014 after graduating from Lehigh with a Masters degree in Globalization and Educational Change. James has previously carried out grant projects and building an alumni database as a part of CFC's partnership with Lehigh University. This NGO - University partnership and experience was highlighted by James' involvement in Program evaluations for CFC, on the ground in Siem Reap in 2014. James works at Lehigh in Development and Advancement is now pursuing an MBA also at Lehigh University.
Sharmishta Sivaramakrishnan (at left) was recently selected as CFC's United Nations Youth Representative. Currently, she is an undergraduate double majoring in International Affairs, concentrating in International Economics, and minoring in Sustainability, focusing on Southeast Asia. She is an alumnus of the Singapore American School and of CFC where she served as a general and executive board member of CFC HS club. Her vast internship experiences range from long-term involvement with the NGO UN Women Singapore to the annual meetings with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, as well as recently hosted event "Cambodia:Global Context and Contemporary Challenges” at the Elliott School of International Affairs Sigur Center for Asian Studies.
Adrienne Barlia(at right) is CFC's Youth Ambassador. This newly created role will focus on youth outreach and liaise with the youth population at high school and university levels. Adrienne will be instrumental in helping young supporters start CFC clubs and organize fundraisers and collection campaigns. Adrienne has been an avid CFC supporter ever since she joined an in-country volunteer service trip organized by her former high school, The Bullis School, in 2011. She is an Economics major at Boston University where she also organizes philanthropic events.
Welcome to the team; we are excited to have you on board!
The gift of giving
Recent contributions prove that CFC volunteer efforts come in all sizes and from all corners of the world!
Young supporter proves a mighty force (Singapore)...
First-grader Lucy Nelson is a shining example of how to embody the simple motto of 'caring is sharing'. Bothered by what she learned of Cambodia's violent history and poverty, she was determined to make a difference. She solicited donations through hand-made gifts and support of two athletic endeavors - a 14 mile bike ride along East Coast Parkway in Singapore and the completion of a mini-triathlon. Lucy was incredibly successful with her efforts and has raised over USD$1100! She recently traveled to Siem Reap with her family and was able to put those donations to immediate use. Lucy purchased over USD$400 of items from the Siem Reap Book Centre (at right) and donated the remainder to the Student Stars Fund. What an amazing young girl!
Bracelet sales to support school funds (Singapore)...
Young supporter Julia Knox has been involved with CFC for the past five years, and she recently decided to kick off a campaign to raise enough money to send 10 children to CFC schools for one year. Her goal is USD$1800, and she has linked up with Bravelets, an on-line website (www.Bravelets.com) that sells specialty bracelets and donates $10 for every Bravelet purchase to specified charities. In Julia's case, $10 will be donated to CFC. For more information and to contribute to her efforts, please click here. We applaud Julia's initiative!
White Elephant Sale for CFC (Singapore)....
Members of Brownie Troop 48 at Singapore American School earned their service badge by selling their personal items at a white elephant sale. Proceeds raised SGD500 in support of CFC.
Thank you Troop 48!
Toiletry donations (Singapore)...
Thanks to Shivani and Roshin Gandhi who reached out to their friend network and collected over one hundred toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and various other toiletry items in support of CFC's April Calendar of Giving campaign.
Students helping students
Thank you to all school communities near and far --
you are all making a difference!
Piedmont High School
The CFC Youth Club in Piedmont, California participated in the Calendar of Giving for the month of April and collected a box full of toiletries. Pictured at right are CFC Youth Club leaders Audrey Meyersieck and Tess Olcott holding some of the toiletry donations collected at Piedmont High School. Well done!
Trinity Episcopal School (Austin, Texas)...
Lauren Brown and her second-grade classmates sponsored a bake sale to raise funds for CFC. Having previously lived in Singapore, Lauren remembered donating toiletries and uniforms to CFC when she was a student at the Singapore American School. At her new school in Texas, she shared her experiences and persuaded her classmates to choose CFC as their class charity. Their efforts and baking talents raised USD$154.
Thank you Lauren and Trinity Episcopal School!
Canadian International School (Singapore)...
Led by eighth-grade student Ella Paterson, a group of civic-minded students have been busy spreading the word about CFC within the Canadian International School community. Ella and her friends led presentations to middle school and high school assemblies, and they helped to host CFC Founder Jamie Amelio during her visit in late April. In addition, Ella organized a collection campaign that gathered more than 4,000 school supplies. These donations were hand delivered to our schools in Siem Reap by Ella and her mother during their April visit to Siem Reap. CFC is excited to nurture this growing relationship. Well done Ella!
Tanglin Trust School (Singapore)...
Organized by parent Mark Pocklington, four-and five-year old students from the Leopard class at Tanglin Trust School participated in a sponsored two-mile walk on Sunday March 15th and raised SGD$2300.
Fantastic efforts and athletic achievement by these young supporters!
About Us - Caring for Cambodia (CFC) is a non-profit, non-governmental, charitable organization that provides a free education for over 6,400 impoverished children in 21 schools spanning pre-school to high school. CFC professionally trains its teachers, and provides everything a child needs to succeed, including food, clean water, uniforms, school supplies, computers, transportation and basic healthcare. CFC relies heavily on global volunteer support which ensures that the majority of dollars raised directly support the education of a child.