CFC's Health Education Program started with the basics and has evolved into a comprehensive program that reaches students, parents, and the wider community. A central component of this program is our WASH plan that assesses water, sanitation and hygiene needs across all campuses and implements solutions, including clean water, locally sourced bio-sand filters, and new hand-washing stations and gender-friendly toilet facilities at our schools.
Classroom education emphasizes the importance of good hygiene and hand-washing habits. Hand-washing stations and generous supply donations make it easy to put those teachings into practice. Clean drinking water is available for students and villagers every day. Monthly maintenance and cleaning as well as quarterly water quality assessments enforce strict oversight. As a result, our WASH program has contributed to a reduction in diarrhea, bronchitis, and other infectious diseases throughout our entire CFC community. And, equally important, fewer illnesses mean increased attendance and learning.
CFC Health Education Program Manager Own Nemoll notes the significance of our robust WASH program:
"All of this is really helpful to our students' and families' health for everyday living. And, we believe that students can only learning well if they are healthy."
Australia-based SoapAid recently donated over 30,000 bars of soap to support our WASH programs. SoapAid is a non-profit organization that works closely with partner hotels, to collect used and unused soap, reprocess and repackage it, and then redistribute to areas in need of better sanitation. We are incredibly grateful that they chose CFC as a recipient of their efforts. Thank you SoapAid!
Another rewarding service trip for Bullis School
Eleven students and two teachers from The Bullis School in Maryland traveled to Cambodia in late December 2016 as part of the school's Global Services Program. It was the school's sixth annual service trip, offering a unique opportunity for Bullis students to ring in the new year while immersing themselves in Cambodian culture and forming new friendships with CFC students.
Prior to their trip to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, the group did considerable planning, fundraising and educational preparation, including a trip to Washington to meet with the First Secretary of the Royal Embassy of Cambodia. They raised USD$2400 through a variety of creativefundraisers that tapped into school and community supporters, and collected a sizeable amount of toothbrushes and toothpaste to help stockpile CFC's dental hygiene needs (at right).
The Bullis students proved equally industrious and enthusiastic during their time in Siem Reap. Service work was divided between manual labor and classroom time. The group completed construction of a concrete walkway at Spien Chreav Amelio Primary School which will help prevent flooding during the rainy season. Despite the heat, everyone stayed light-hearted and worked hard together to finish this important project. Students also assisted with ESL lessons at Aranh Primary and Spien Chreav Amelio, focusing on everyday vocabulary and pronunciation exercises.
When they weren't hard at work, the group enjoyed exploring cultural sights including Angkor Wat at sunrise, the Phare Cambodian Circus, and a local cooking school. Forging new friendships, Bullis and CFC interacted on personal levels, sharing discussions on everything from school to music to food. It was a memorable experience for all involved as voiced by Bullis student Sydney Smith:
“One of my most rewarding experiences was being paired up with Srey Roathe, a high schooler like me. We had so much in common. The next time I saw her, she gave me a bracelet with both of our names stitched together by a heart along with the sweetest card I had ever read. I cried. The final day we met, I stood in the swimming pool and held her hand as she learned to swim for the first time. We jammed out to Justin Beiber and played card games under the sun. When it was time to say goodbye, my heart broke.”
~ Sydney Smith, Bullis School
What a beautiful tribute to cross-cultural friendships. Thank you Bullis School!
Writing workshop encourages students to explore their 'place'
This year's Writing Through Cambodia (WTC) workshop was led by volunteers Patty Bierley and Tara Uythoven and held at Bakong High School and Aranh Sakor High School for students in the Gender Equity program. Founded by Sue Guiney, WTC facilitates interactive workshops to improve written and spoken English fluency while encouraging creativity, imagination, and confidence. Students put their thoughts and feelings into written words that share their hopes, dreams and fears. This was the fourth occasion for CFC students to work with WTC.
During the five day workshop, students worked individually and in groups on poems and short stories that focused on the central theme of "place" both literally and figuratively. Students explored their "place" in relation to their community and the world as well as their “place” as a friend, a student, a sibling, a daughter or son.
On the last day, students celebrated with their peers and parents, and received copies of their published magazines highlighting all their work (see excerpts below). The students brought terrific focus and enthusiasm to the challenging task of expressing themselves in English. Facilitator Patty Bierley was very impressed with "their willingness to take a risk, their devotion to learning, and the excitement and energy they gave to the lessons."
Well done everyone, and thank you Writing Through Cambodia!
By Koun Srey Rai, 17-year old student at Aranh Sakor High School
At first, I think that I’m the person who don’t have importance for everyone.
But now I stop thinking these ideas every day. I’m a person living in the world,
that place makes people happy, sad, excited, amazing.
In the world, the first place for me is to be a strong person,
although I’m a silent person.
But I will try to study for myself, my family, my society.
Because I want to be a good person in the world When I stay alone, I always think I don’t have anyone to care about me.
But I still have huge hope for me. My hope is success in my life and to be important for everyone,
to share my important ideas to everyone know all,
together and help each other when we have problems.
And, I will be happy with you.
I will be sad with you. My life will be light and get successful. At last, I will have more smiles for the world!
The Time, Weather, and Place
by Vong Nat, 20-year old student at Bakong High School
Sun rise in the east. Water is yellow and red.
The trees are growing, Animals fly on the sky.
Weather is cool and hot. Many people go to work and school.
Traffic signs tell person rules of the road.
The roads are always narrow.
Angkor wat temple, Many people like to visit it.
They feel happy. The cloud is dark,
Artist leaves lasting impressions at CFC schools
CFC welcomed Jeni Louise Ayodei(at right) for a busy two weeks during which she shared her knowledge and talents in art and ESL to students at Spien Chreav Amelio Primary School and Aranh Sakor High School. Currently living in Singapore and working as an art teacher at EvolveArts, Jeni's involvement with CFC began when she organized an art supply collection with her students as a way for them to give back. This project blossomed into something bigger when Jeni decided to book a trip over the Christmas holidays so that she could personally hand-deliver the donations and teach CFC students how to use them.
With the younger students, Jeni used Eric Carle's famous "A Very Hungry Caterpillar" as the basis for her art teachings at the Spien Chreav Amelio School, and students worked in groups to design a giant version of the book using collage and paint techniques. At Aranh Sakor, high school students first explored technique and expression with self-portraits, and then designed a massive Angkor Wat mural and full-scale wall mural for the far side of campus. With group effort, lots of spray paint, and happy singing in the sunshine, the project was completed and has received great reviews.
During her stay, Jeni also took time to assist teachers in the ESL classrooms with games and drama-based exercises that reinforced the vocabulary and pronunciation students had been taught earlier. And, another mural designed by Jeni now adorns the walls of the ESL classroom at Kong Much Primary School (below). Painting was completed by students and visitors from Lehigh University's Global Citizenship Program. A true global effort!
CFC is grateful to Jeni for her time, talent and unstoppable energy. Students were able to contribute to various art projects around the school, exploring their creative sides and learning that school is not just a place for English and Science, but for creativity and the arts as well. And our campus grounds are certainly brighter since her visit!
"I loved every jam-packed second of working in the CFC schools. The children were some of the kindest, most respectful people I've ever met." ~ Jeni Louise Ayodel
Thank you Jeni and everyone at EvolveArts!
TD Securities Visits Kravann Primary School
Last December, thirty-nine volunteers from Singapore-based TD Securities took a heartwarming and rewarding trip to Siem Reap where they worked on campus improvement projects at Kravaan Primary School. They spent the day laying paving stones for a new walkway, revitalizing the school’s garden, and playing basketball with the students. Volunteers also assembled ESL materials and participated in Food for Thought.
According to Director of Human Resources Cheryl Ford, who has traveled to Cambodia multiple times, "it was a great privilege to return with my colleagues, and, as a team, to make a difference."Chief Operating Officer Nikhil Bhambri agreed that the trip offered "all TD colleagues a chance to bond with each other and build friendships that go beyond the workplace."
Thank you TD Securities for making a difference at Kravaan!
Lehigh's Global Citizenship Program
visits Aranh Sakor and Kong Much
In December 2016, Dr. Sothy Eng of Lehigh University accompanied twenty-three undergraduate students to Cambodia with the school's Global Citizenship Program. This interdisciplinary program emphasizes traditional coursework and the value in applying one's knowledge toward the enhancement of a global community. Lehigh students spent time at various CFC campuses, working on campus improvement projects at Aranh Sakor High School and helping to paint a classroom mural at Kong Much Primary School (below). Their work contributed to the completion of the mural previously installed by Evolve Art instructor Jeni Louise Ayodel (see related story above).
Since the beginning of the CFC-Lehigh University partnership in 2010, more than 150 Lehigh students have traveled to Cambodia to work with CFC schools as volunteers, researchers, evaluators, and interns. Their time, energy and talents are valued greatly.
Thank you Lehigh!
Modeling volunteer service as a family affair
Many CFC supporters incorporate service in their family vacations, traveling to Cambodia to experience its rich culture and history while also looking for ways to give back to a country in need. These family volunteers leave our campus grounds more accessible, safer and more beautiful than before their arrival, and they offer memorable interactions for our student communities. Thank you all!
Sixth Annual Mother-Daughter Trip
In celebration of CFC Day in January, a group of fifteen women and children from Singapore (and one grandma from Florida!) joined forces for the sixth annual Mother-Daughter Service Trip. They laid paving stones for a new walkway at Kravann Primary School, painted flower beds, and assembled several hundred hygiene kits with donated supplies transported from Singapore. Friendships were made with young students eager to help and rekindled with older students on a Village Ramble scavenger hunt that ended with everyone singing songs in the new music room. It was another wonderful trip!
New Playground for Kong Much Primary School
In late December 2016, the Thornburg and Johnson Families traveled from Taiwan and Hong Kong to spend four days working together on a playground refurbishment project at Kong Much Primary School. Prior to their arrival, the Thornburg children organized a school bake sale to raise money to purchase the new playground materials.
ESL assistance at Kong Much Primary School
For two days in early January, the Levinson Family assisted in the ESL classrooms at Kong Much and Kravann Primary Schools. Dan and his wife made their first trip to Southeast Asia over twenty-four years ago on their honeymoon, and later adopted their two children from Vietnam. Having previously volunteered as ESL teachers in other countries, their children were "old hands" at incorporating games and other learning tools into the classroom lessons. They all enjoyed teaching English to CFC students: "We found the children warm, considerate and eager learners and received such a warm welcome during our visit."
Chatsworth International School
In conjunction with Year 8 Humanities lessons on Cambodia and helping those in need, students from Chatsworth International School in Singapore traveled to Siem Reap late last year for an international service project. The trip helped to strenghten bonds between Chatsworth and CFC in many ways. Students worked hard to lay new paving tiles and they forged new friendships with CFC peers that many hope will be revisited on future visits.
Some favorable reactions by Chatsworth students included the following:
"I've never been to Cambodia and I loved helping the school." ~ Nikita
"I really enjoyed socialising with kids who came from a different background
to me." ~ Meghna
"My favorite times were playing in the playground and making origami with
the CFC students. It was nice to meet new people." ~ Mihika
Thank you Chatsworth!
About Us - Caring for Cambodia (CFC) is a non-profit, non-governmental, charitable organization that provides a free education for over 6,600 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.