V O I C E S
FROM SIEM REAP
 
Update on progress and growth at CFC schools
November 2015
 
CFC celebrates our students - past and present
Many of our recent high school graduates are embarking on new adventures. CFC strives to provide our students with the education and schooling that will help them work towards a meaningful future. Over sixty-three percent of CFC graduates go on to university, post-secondary training programs or the workforce. Here are shining examples of what we strive for at CFC - a bright future for Cambodia's youth who will make a difference for Cambodia's tomorrow.
 
Pursuing Psychology degree through Harpswell Program
Oul Salav, a nineteen-year old graduate of Bakong High School (at right), was recently accepted into the prestigious Harpswell Program to study psychology at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. One of eight children born to farmers, Salav is the first in her family to complete high school. The prestigious Harpswell Program is an American-based NGO wtih a mission of empowering a new generation of women leaders in Cambodia. Program recipients receive funding for education, housing and leadership training. Reflecting on her CFC education, Salav appreciates that "CFC has connected me with a lot of good people who are role models I can learn from, who listen to me and share my experiences."
 
Oasis of Hope program provides interest-free study loans
Three male students from Bakong High School qualified to receive interest-free loans for studies at University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh from Oasis of Hope (OOH), an inaugural program started by Eddie Chee (at left with CFC students). Mr. Chee took a personal interest in Cambodia and CFC after watching CEO Jamie Amelio's TED talk, "Be Bothered, Stay Bothered", and visiting our schools in May 2015. The mission of OOH is to provide opportunities for financially disadvantaged university students to become next generation leaders. Loans cover tuition and living expenses, and the program also focuses on personal skill and technical skills development as well as supplemental conversational English classes. All three CFC students are excited to have this opportunity to attend university and pursue their Bachelors in Information Technology while benefiting from the added counseling from OOH.
 
Seeking careers in hospitality at Sala Bai School
Bakong High School graduates Lot Soleab and So Phalla were accepted by Sala Bai Hotel and Restaurant School for vocational training in culinary and hospitality careers. Soleab (at left) is training as a housekeeper at the Sokha Hotel and hopes to become a hotel supervisor. Phalla (at right) is in the midst of restaurant training as the first step towards her goal of becoming a hotel general manager. To qualify, candidates must demonstrate financial need, be able read and write, and have at least six years of schooling. Most Sala Bai graduates find employment during their one-year training program and continue on to stable, professional careers in the hospitality industry.
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Outstanding Faculty Graduates
Through generous donations made in support of CFC's Faculty Fund, CFC teachers and staff members are eligible for scholarships to support their continued education at the university level. Scholarship recipients continue to fulfill their teaching commitments while attending a minimum of 18 hours of class each week, and they must commit to at least three years of working with CFC schools following completion of their studies.
This past academic year, twenty-one teachers completed their bachelor studies in programs ranging from Khmer language, mathematics, management and law. These candidates included Voeun Vantha, CFC's ICT Program Manager (above right), who graduated with a Bachelors of Law from Build Bright University in Siem Reap. Another recipient of a Bachelors of Law degree was Ouk Chanda (at left), Secondary Schools Coordinator and Vice Principal at Aranh Sakor High School, who graduated second in her class!
Congratulations! You are inspiring role models for so many!
 
Outstanding Model Student Demonstration
As a new school year begins for students across CFC's twenty-one schools, our top students were honored for their results, accomplishments and leadership at a ceremony in early November. They were presented with backpacks and school supplies as part of the celebration by CFC Chairman Bill Amelio. Our entire team is so proud of these students for their dedication and ambition to be the best they can be!
Congratulations to all!
 
Introducing our newest team members
It is a mark of success and positive change for all of Cambodia that CFC is continually able to hire talented Cambodian professionals to fill important teaching and coordinator roles at our schools.  We are so pleased to welcome the newest members of our team!
 
Recently hired as School Health Coordinator, Oun Nemoll (at right) will work alongside CFC's School Health Program Manager to help oversee the four key components of our health program: WASH Project; skills-based Health Education for our students and broader communities; screening and access to health and nutrition; and health-related school policies. Nemoll previously worked as a clinic coordinator and nurse. He is pleased to be joining the established CFC team and looks forward to working across a broad student population from the pre-school through high school years.
 
Chhum Ratha (at left) was promoted to Gender Equity Program Manager. With a background in social work, Ratha is passionate about working in the education sector and helping his country move forward. He views the Gender Equity Program as "a valuable way to empower students to see their value as individuals, their strengths and their right to education access." In this new capacity, he will manage an important and growing program that promotes gender equity throughout our entire school and community network. He will engage with program staff to continually update the curriculum and methodology to address evolving gender issues in the schools and train student representatives and staff members on gender issues. Another critical component of the role involves working collaboratively with students and staff to develop solutions to lessen absenteeism and drop-out rates.
Good luck in your new roles, Newoll and Ratha!
 
Students' voices shine through prose and poetry
In early November, fifteen high school students from Aranh Sakor and Bakong High School participated in the second annual Writing Through Cambodia (WTC) workshop. These workshops improve written and spoken English fluency and enhance self-esteem by encouraging and valuing self-expression. The week-long workshop structured around a theme of risk-taking culminated in a celebration attended by a captive audience of parents, classmates and teachers, all of whom listened to the students as they read aloud their individual works. Over the past two years, Writing Through Workshop has become a valued component of CFC's ESL curriciulum, introducing new teaching techniques that are replicated throughout the academic year. Aside from creative writing skills, the program also fosters a sense of trust and comfort among students and their English teachers.
 
WTC founder, Sue Guiney was joined by volunteers Patricia Bierly and Dani McArthur to deliver the program and all were impressed by the students' willingness to learn and support each other.
 
Each creative piece gave an insight into the students' lives, hopes, struggles and dreams. As one highlight, here is a poem written by sixteen-year old Thai Vuthea (below):
 
A Leap of Faith
When I’m strong and feel high confidence,
I do the hard things and have more potential.

We believe we can do it.
How can we do this?
Trust in our faith.
Let’s start out and do it.

Sun shines behind the rain.
Success is our passion.
Set it up and make it appear.

People can do and make everything,
and can do unbelievable things in the world.
Always think big.
     ~ Thai Vuthea
 
CFC students and families give back to Aranh High School
In an incredible and unprecedented show of gratitude and pride for their school, incoming twelvth-grade students at Aranh Sakor High School and their families collectively raised over USD$400 to donate to their school. Their gesture is all the more poignant given the known financial hardships endured by many in the Aranh community. The funds were used to purchase a chair for the main office, sixteen new benches for the campus, and plants and materials used to design beautiful gardens at the front of the school. As the first ever twelvth-grade class to attend Aranh Sakor High School, these students and their famillies are leaving their mark in more ways than one.
Profound thanks to all for this incredible gesture!
 
 
Singapore football club sponsors donation and sports clinics
In early November, members of SingTims, a mens football club located in Singapore, traveled to Siem Reap for a two-day immersion at a CFC school. Their stay started early each morning with Food for Thought and included time spent painting desks for CFC classrooms. Each afternoon, the SingTims coaches organized football clinics for the CFC students which culminated in a spirited four-team playoff tournament.
The group also delivered generous donations that included more than one hundred toothbrushes along with playground toys and sports kits that will certainly be put to good use by our active students! Without a doubt, the CFC students had a great experience but the feeling was shared by SingTims members who said "We encourage anyone who is ever thinking of volunteering for something like this -- don't think; just do it!"
        
Thank you SingTims Football Club!
 
M.A.D. volunteers 'go green' with garden project
The annual October Make A Difference (M.A.D.) service trip originated from Singapore and brought several families to Siem Reap to work on the completion of a new garden at the Bakong Primary School. They also participated in our cornerstone Food for Thought program one morning. CFC students joined in the groups' efforts creating a spirited bond of friendship and teamwork. All volunteers were engaged and eager, and many adult members of the group commented about how pleased they were with the many ways their children could engage in service through CFC.   Thank you M.A.D. volunteers!
                         
 
Paving a schoolyard and paving a path towards friendship
An enthusiastic group of Year 8 students from Chatsworth International School in Singapore arrived in Siem Reap on November 4th for two days of work laying paving stones at the Aranh Sakor High School. In a continued effort to foster friendships as well as service-mindedness, the visit also included a Village Ramble scavenger hunt with ESL students from Kong Much Primary School.
CFC is very fortunate to have the continued and growing support from the Chatsworth community, and plans are already underway for future service trips and the initiation of pen-pal programs with CFC students.
Thank you Chatsworth!
 
 
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Follow all CFC news through stories and pictures posted on our facebook page [click here] and on our Twitter account [click here].
And, CFC is now on Instagram!
For updates and photos from our schools in Siem Reap, follow our Instagram account @caringforcambodia.
 
      

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