Please read on for some highlights from the second quarter of 2016 and stay connected with CFC to continue to hear stories of our impact and progress!
Fond farewell to a valued contributor of
CFC's robust Health Education Program
In May, CFC bid a farewell to Health Program Manager Im Uom (pictured at right with Superintendent & Country Director Ung Savy and Deputy Country Director Christin Spoolstra), a driving force behind the growth of our Health Education Program since 2012 when he joined our team. From our early days, CFC realized that we could only make a sustainable difference in our classrooms once our students were healthy. Efforts to address community health have since developed into a robust Health Education Program that is administered across all CFC schools through the leadership of Im Uom and three full-time school nurses. Together with our volunteer-powered health committee and valuable resources from International Medical Clinic and Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, this incredible team provides quality health education services to our entire community.
Uom was hired in 2012 through a partnership with Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) where he had worked for ten years, and he now returns to AHC in a different capacity. CFC's three full-time nurses -- Loan Ratha, Sok Phy and Oun Nemoll(pictured at right) -- are ready and able to take the reins and continue to develop and enhance our health education curriculum.
"After I started with CFC, I saw that everyone was curious and wanted to learn about health lessons because they know that good health is important for their studies and their communities. This makes me really proud of myself that I have changed their mindset on taking care of their health." ~ Im Uom
Uom has worked diligently with CFC staff and the Department of School Health, and he leaves a legacy that highlights the strengths of our health program: broadened health education and resources across all grade levels; increased health screenings (vision, growth and dental); improved WASH facilities at all campuses; engaged teachers and Student Council members; and new programs, like first aid training. In addition to three full-time nurses, CFC employs cooks who are trained in safe food preparation, and staff members who clean our water filters and ensure that supplies of soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes are readily available. Uom and his team have led regular community presentations to disseminate teachings to our school family communities.
Uom says he is most proud of his efforts involving first aid training which now extends throughout the entire CFC school network using real life scenarios and first aid skills to educate teachers, staff and students. To date, over 1100 participants have been trained in basic first aid response (pre-school training at left). The impact has been both powerful and immediate as exemplified by stories of a pre-school mother who saved a child from drowning, a teacher who stabilized a child for transport to the hospital after a snakebite, and a student who now knows to clean a simple abrasion with soap and water.
"Uom has many qualities that has made the Health Education Program successful; intelligence, patience, determination, professionalism and dedication. Plus he is just one of the nicest people I know. He cares deeply about the mission of CFC and knows that the Health Team is now strong and ready to carry on without him. He will be missed, of course, but he has done his job well. Our ongoing success will be the proof." ~ Barbara Levy, Health Education Chair
Best of luck Im Uom - you will be missed but not forgotten!
International teacher training focuses on literacy
International teacher trainers from Tanglin Trust School in Singapore led by training veterans Katie Sansom and Angela Dawson recently organized two days of workshops for primary school teachers focused on literacy. With the help of Mentor Teachers, the trainers demonstrated interactive lessons on literacy through games and story telling and coordinated instruction across all teachers from preschool through sixth grade levels.
As always, the trip culminated with a community presentation that included speeches by Country Director Ung Savy and Tanglin teachers that reinforced the importance of CFC's primary school curriculum, in particular the importance of reading with young children. This message only reinforces ongoing efforts by CFC primary school teachers and staff who regularly organize community reading events with parents of primary school students.
Thank you Tanglin teachers!
The success of these training workshops were aided in large part by the work of CFC's Education Committee who spent countless hours preparing materials for the literacy workshops. Led by Christy Machulski and Kay Schot, these volunteers meet regularly in Singapore to prepare resources, and recently traveled on a group service trip to Siem Reap where they completed their projects and added some finishing touches to library and classroom bookshelves. Thank you Education Committee!
Dental screenings address oral hygiene needs
In early May, Health Education Chair Barbara Levy was joined by a team of volunteer dentists and assistants from Bliss & Wisdom, an international Buddhist organization, as well as CFC's in-country team for important dental screenings of all 486 students at Kravaan Primary School. The Angkor Hospital for Children's Dental Clinic has agreed to conduct follow-up appointments providing essential access to quality care for those students needing fillings or extractions.
In addition to dental check-ups, the students were given a short survey that asked questions about their dental hygiene practices as well as their general knowledge of good oral hygiene. Survey results are forthcoming but are expected to highlight areas of success for those students without cavities and areas where more education is needed.
The trip concluded with a community presentation attended by three hundred adults and children as well as the Kravaan Village Chief, the local health center director and school administrators. CFC Health Education staff discussed screening outcomes and proper dental care for children beginning as early as six months of age. All attendees received donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Celebrating CFC's teacher scholarship program
Since its inception in 2013, the Cuong Do Scholarship Program has offered all CFC teachers the support needed to obtain a University degree and study English in return for a future commitment to teaching at CFC schools. For the 2015 academic year, the program graduated an impressive twenty-three teachers!
In late March, CFC Board Member Cuong Do and his family traveled to visit our schools in Siem Reap. They hosted a reception celebrating the graduates (pictured above), Mr. Do spoke to the audience and shared his feelings of pride in how hard the teachers have worked towards their advanced degrees. He encouraged them to keep learning and sharing their knowledge with their students and others in their communities. During their time in Siem Reap, the Do Family also spent time engaging with students at Kravaan Primary School during ESL lessons.
CFC is profoundly grateful for the continued support and guidance given by Cuong Do whose generosity over the years has provided CFC schools with enhanced technology resources, innovative programs, and needed campus improvements.
Thank you Do Family!
Impressive progress by Student Council groups
Student council members are leaders at each CFC campus, working on eight different projects throughout the year, including library, grounds keeping, sports and leadership. In early March, representatives from four schools - Bakong High School, Bakong Motwani Junior High School, Aranh Sakor CFC High School, and Aranh Cuthbert Junior High School - gathered for the Second Annual Student Council Exchange to share their progress reports. The students were active, attentive, and energetic. They demonstrated strong public speaking and leadership skills as they presented to an audience that included Department of Education Vice Chief Uk Sao Sokha, CFC management and school administrators. Their presentations also provided opportunities to showcase their technology skills through PowerPoint and video features. It was a proud moment for all involved, and the feelings of camaraderie and enthusiasm towards a positive exchange of ideas and experiences were palpable.
Bravo to all Student Council members!
Highlights of our volunteer service trips
Second trip for Credit Suisse volunteers
Heartfelt thanks to Pawan Khanna at Credit Suisse AG who organized thirty Singapore-based volunteers to travel to Siem Reap for a corporate service project at the Spien Chreav Amelio Primary School in April. Their generosity contributed USD$2600 to fund a variety of projects which the group embraced with great enthusiasm and energy. Together, they painted desk sets, laid paving stones, and completed exterior painting at the Amelio School. This was the second group service trip organized by Credit Suisse AG demonstrating a fantastic effort and great participation!
Commemorative family trip leaves a lasting legacy
Michael Olson, a long-time supporter of Kong Much Primary School, and his family traveled to Siem Reap and volunteered their time over several days to build a volleyball and basketball sports court as well as a study hut that provides a shady place for students to study. Books were also donated to augment the Kong Much School's library collection. The family's trip and projects commemorated Michael's mother who passed away in 2015. We are forever grateful for their generosity.
Painting projects engage numerous families and brighten CFC classrooms
CFC has been fortunate to have numerous families travel to Siem Reap and donate their time and resources towards needed painting projects. The photos below capture a select few of these recent trips. Thank you to all!
Sarah Absolom Coole, a teacher at Singapore American School, and her three young sons worked on a half-day painting project at Spien Chreav Amelio Primary School. (below left)
The Rimmer Family from Singapore painted desks and stools at the Aranh Primary School campus and participated in Food for Thought (below center).
Brent and Sharon New of Austin,Texas and their children spent a day at the AranhSchool campus painting desks - and they had the paint in their hair for days afterwards to prove it! (below right)
Group family vacation centers on CFC and giving back
Singapore Executive Committee member Vanessa Moore and her children were joined by several close family friends from Singapore for a service trip to Siem Reap in May that had the group working hard at the Aranh School campus. Adults and children banded together to move gravel, lay paving stones, and paint sensory tables. A job well done!
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.