Mougins School – Theatre – for our Children!

In CategoryJohns blog


If this is your first time to our website – this is how it works – you have opened on The Blog; this particular Blog is about our wonderful friendship with Mougins School in The South of France, a new Theatre, a Show and what it all means.

If you scroll down you can see all the posts of the past years.

If you look to the left side of this page you will see an index of sections. There are sections on why? and how we do what we do, our mission and sections on history. one section is named ‘Donors’ and lists, obviously, those people who have helped us financially – this list is kept up to date. When you’ve explored the site perhaps you would like to help us financially. To give you an idea – some people have given one large (or small) amount and others give say $5 every single month. Everything is VERY welcome.

and now back to TODAY’s BLOG.

Mougins School – Theatre – for our Children!

I an writing from The South of France – from Mougins School herself! – just inland from Cannes and Antibes in a Province called Alps Maritimes. If you are a regular to our website you will know that there are many posts from Antibes and Mougins and the Theatrcal productions that help us so very much in our Schools and projects in The District of Kamchay Mear in the province of Prey Veng in Cambodia -

so – now – Mougins International School

If you open the above Mougins web link today you find a great article about the theatrical event, the school and our part in all this. Read this news item from the school and you’ll be well prepared for the rest of this blog.

Look back over the years – this year there are three posts related to fundraising in France; indeed this is the fourth theatrical production this year from The Cote d’Azur to help us. Its the second time that ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ has been performed but last October it was in Antibes and now with some changes in cast. So this time its Mougins International School in their NEW Theatre and at the time of their 50 year celebrations.

I have spent all of this week showing power point presentations to large groups, classes, and to tiny groups – talking talking, and a million good questions from all age groups. The 500 children at Mougins are truly engaged and fascinated by our Cambodian villages, schools and THEIR or ‘OUR’  Cambodian children. If you quickly look down to a February post you will see that on Valentines Day Mougins students decorated and sent HEARTS to us in Cambodia and we then sent painted hearts back from Cambodia..

Here are some photos of the Mougins children with me this week.

This is a large group of senior students – all very interested, amazed and terrific questions.

 after learning about our Cambodian children, lots of the Mougins children drew pictures and made a book for me to take back ( and we will do the same in return).

This wonderful poster along with several others and the book of pictures and notes will return with me to Cambodia. I’m looking forward to explaining it all in Cambodia and sending photos back to Mougins.

 A newspaper interview with the cast.

It is the 50 year Birthday of Mougins School AND a new THEATRE – so to celebrate all this AND help us in Cambodia, an amazing team (troupe) of actors with Amy their Stage Manager, has come over from Dublin to perform ‘ The Picture of Dorian Gray’ Heres just a few photos from a rehearsal (so obviously no audience!).

the second page summarizes well the relationship between the schools.

These are my poor photos of two pages from the Programme. The cast of Michael Winder, Duncan Hamilton, Simon Coury and Amy Flood their stage Manager – they are all in rehearsal photos below.

 Michael, then Duncan, Simon and Amy – in rehearsal. Audience were EVERYWHERE – it was more or less ‘in the round’.

It was simply wonderful. Radio and several local French Newspapers interviewed everyone (me too) and published good articles.

Thank you to all our friends in France – from the many 5 – 18 year olds with their teachers at Mougins School, to the entire Cote d’Azur region who came to the show and made all that we do possible.

Back to Cambodia soon and Guesthouse update very soon! John.






Our GUESTHOUSE – so far!

In CategoryJohns blog


A work in progress –

A work of LOVE

A work of centuries of Khmer TRADITION

A work of ART

Approximate timeline so far


  1. Every year since 2008 groups have visited us from The Rotary Club of Beaudesert and friends from Australia – and from Antibes in France and Sweden:  BUT only once has a group stayed overnight in the villages – on the floors of my wonderful neighbours in Chuor Ph’av village; and with no beds, one toilet, no plumbing, no electricity, no clean water and no shop – the experience is daunting to the point of impossible.
  2. At least once a month and sometimes once a week I receive email offers to volunteer – to teach English or to nurse – and that would of course be fantastic, but, however regrettable, with nowhere to stay and no food and no security, so far I have had to say ‘no.’
  3. This is a very significant development for us. In all practical terms our schools are in an extremely remote location and yet heavily populated. According to Lonely Planet (and me) NO ONE visits this part of Cambodia – there are NO tourist attractions. A Guesthouse for OUR visitors and helpers is a HUGE development.

We will very soon have our Guesthouse, within the main village. There will be paid SECURITY, toilets, hot showers and a good kitchen all in a large traditional Khmer (Cambodian) house.

We will handle twos and threes in a room and larger groups upto twenty people  in the large open area upstairs (see photos) – on mattresses.


The Guesthouse is funded privately by three people – no ‘donated money’ whatsoever.


We still need to add: Front stairs, Back stairs, a ground floor awning to the right to double the tiled floor space, a large tiled ground floor, an array of solar panels probably on the ground behind the main building, bathrooms and kitchen off the tiled floor area (ground floor) and an awning to the left to accommodate vehicles.

In January 2015, ten Rotary members and friends will sleep in the guesthouse for two nights. So long as there are stairs by then, it will be possible. – Certainly I am thinking that it January it could be very much a ‘camping’ experience.

The PHOTOS begin with a very brief video showing the two rice fields; we were considering buying ONE……. WE BOUGHT BOTH.

We had to raise the land by one metre so we built a six metre deep fish pond to the far left and used the 2000 cubic metres of soil to raise our land.

Please ENJOY the photos and videos and I will post again as work continues.

I’ll let the photos largely ‘TALK FOR THEMSELVES’

Many of the photos are of wood arriving and being stored – over the past five months. It was impossible to find six and a half metre lengths of hardwood for the many octagonal support columns, so they are all five metres long. The first one and a half metres is concrete. This will be cleverly disguised with an octagonal ‘sheath’ of cement and painted suitably. (this is common practice).

As you look at the photos try to imagine the wood properly oiled, lots more work and front and back stairs. As I add photos later – all will become apparent.  There will be a few video links in todays post about the Guesthouse. On the assumption that at this stage a ‘click on it’ link doesn’t work – just copy the link and paste into your address browser please. The videos are just a few seconds long but worth seeing.

The first video (above) shows the two rice fields that we bought. We were only going to buy one field (rice paddy) but were are VERY pleased we bought both.  This video (again if it doesn’t directly link please just copy it into the address line of your browser) follows the first.. Having bought the land we needed 2000 cubic metres of soil to raise the whole area – so now we have a six metre deep fish pond!

 Me front left, Chanthou using her calculator, Huot the Builder of the main structure (he doesn’t do stairs, kitchen, bathroom, plumbing, solar etc – but he does do a fabulous job of traditional Khmer building), and Chen our wood buyer (disappears into forests) and site coordinator. We have had many meetings like this. There are NO plans, drawings or measurements – so meetings are kind essential!!

 Deep foundations needed for what will become a very big and heavy building. ALL Cambodian hard wood.

As with all our projects, most of the work is done by locals and by hand.

if you’ve looked at the second video above you’ll know we have a HUGE fish pond to our immediate left, so providing us with the land fill to raise the whole are by one metre – so the first building job was a retaining wall to first hold the land and secondly to separate us from what is now our own fish pond

. we had four months of choosing, buying and storing wood.

  great old trucks delivered vast amounts of wood – as you will see almost the whole house is wooden.

 Delivering five metre lengths of hard wood that will become the heart of our Guesthouse.

Isn’t that just the best old truck you’ve ever seen!

Terracotta tiles arrive from the brickworks on the banks of The Mekong.

 Each tile is hand painted by local children to help make them strong and waterproof.

The ‘RAISING’ of the house is a ceremony and requires a lot of people. This A frame structure is moved around the site and used like scaffolding to raise the huge hard wood columns onto the concrete plinths (supports) (later these concrete supports will be painted).

The skeleton of the guesthouse takes shape.

The beginnings of an outside walkway to an open coffee room off to the right.

This photo shows quite clearly how the ‘raising’ works, with more columns and men waiting their turn.

Meanwhile behind the scenes lots of things are happening. These strips are being painted and decorated as part of the roof trim.

We brought in this diesel powered combination saw and plane. Its used all day every day, preparing weatherboards, flooring etc etc. This is a video of the machine in operation both sawing and planing.

Our tuk tuk (see earlier blog posts) delivers window shutters (in this instance) to the house.

and so, with the floor in, its time to prepare the shutters for the next stage.

work on the roof starts – tiles on, edges and traditional Khmer ornamentation – and remember those painted strips earlier?

The upper floor from ground level. As will be discussed later the ground floor will be completely tiled and also contain the kitchen and bathrooms.

 shutters ready.

and more.

 After the shutters, the doors are fixed and last the internal wall and external weatherbords. The double doors to the right are eight feet high.

This will be a double room at the front. There will be a triple room towards the rear. The rest of this floor is open plan – photos below.

The triple or maybe four person room at the rear. Can also be set up as one large couples room with amazing views.

Our excellent builder, Huot.


 One of my personal favourites – the roof of the coffee area.

Me showing the hugeness of the areas

Taken from below the coffee room – note there’s a door through to the main room.

Some of the wood for stairs. It is massive. To cut cut for treads. See me pen on top to see the size.

and more stair wood.

Imagine all this finished and oiled. There is hundreds of years of tradition in this Guesthouse.Weatherboarding to go on and this room is finished.

Work on one of the verandah arches at the front.

Do you remember the six metre deep trench we dug to get the 2000 cubic metres of fill to raise the land? well its now a fish pond!

Very good so far we think so we give the wood gathering team a party.

Obviously lots more to come but we hope to most of it done by January. John.















No shops? How do you buy things?

In CategoryJohns blog

This is a collection of 35 photos of how things are sold in and  around our villages. Some of of the photos are new and others are from earlier posts and sections within this website. I took the spider photos in Kompong Cham province, the frog photo in Kratie town and there is also Prey Veng Market which is our nearest large town 90 minutes away by motor bike.

First, you have to understand just how basic our villages are. This is how we cook in the house where I live. There is no running water or mains electricity. In this house I have installed one solar panel for lights at night. I’ve installed a toilet in the house and the ladies do the laundry on the toilet floor.  Mostly, fish aren’t bought, they are caught. This is a photo which you’ll also find in the village life section. As water recedes from the irrigation holding dams the children feel for tiny fish and snakes. The man with the white electric stick is there to kill snakes that bite the children.  Those small fish are then gutted and salted to supply family protein.  With good planning, some fish are kept to grow. This is Chanthou in June 2014 washing fish with ground water pumped into large pots. These pots also take rain water.  This photo is also in the Village Life section. Nat prepares rice for cooking.

 If you know this website well, you will know that there are many photos of rice planting, growing and harvesting – so our families don’t have to buy their source of carbohydrate – rice – everyone grows it. In this earlier photo the man is walking past our second school building carrying hundreds of rice seedlings ready for planting.

Next – some photos of our various home grown tuck shops at the schools.

 This was taken on the opening day of the Prey t’Baing (Antibes School) School. The tuck shop, run by mums, was set up BEFORE the school opened.

 Several small tuck shops at the larger Chuor Ph’av Schools.


 Families set up small shops usually right next to or inside their house selling whatever they can – but very little. (this is Kamau who features in the village children section.)

 This shop in Chuor Ph’av is right next to the family bed – used as the ‘office’ during the day.

 In the three ‘ant’ photos the children show us how to eat ants. These are sugar ants and are naturally sweet. Indeed and fortunately a lot of the village food is ‘free’ – weeds growing in water courses, all manner of insects from ants to cockroaches and crickets; and frogs and tiny fresh water crabs.

 Deep fried frogs for sale in the town of Kratie.

 and deep fried tarantulas. What do they taste like – chicken? …. No, they taste like tarantula!

All towns have a market (phsar). This is PreyVeng Market -

  In this second photo taken at Phsar Prey Veng (Prey Veng Market) there is a row of barbers. People in our villages cut each others hair. The barbers in towns cost about 50 cents.

The next few photos are goods being taken to market or in some instance brought to the villages to sell directly.


We could fill the website with pictures of vast loads being carried on small motorbikes.. Here is just one – Bananas on the way to market.

People on bicycles and motor bikes come to our villages to sell, ice cream (frozen condensed milk), pork, chicken and beef – all covered in flies with no refridgeration of course, pots pans, clothes, material – everything imaginable.

 (these kitchen ware and tin smith photos were taken in May 2014). In the right lower corner of the photo above is a motorbike with a plain wooden box, selling raw pork.

 here is a close up of the raw pork box on the back of a motorbike. He also sells some vegetables. It was 35 degrees centigrade that afternoon.

 thousands of these in Cambodia – a sidecar to a small motorbike. Crushing sugar cane to make drinks mixed with a bit of flavouring and condensed milk.

  hand made knives and axes on sale in our villages April 2014.

 two stroke petrol for motorbikes is for sale from small Pepsi bottles. Sadly petrol costs what it costs elsewhere in the world so in our villages one litre of petrol is the equivalent of  a full days wages for a family.

And the last photo today – in our villages – the travelling raw tobacco salesman. Checking the weight herself, the lady buys one kilogram of cigarette tobacco for US$1… Yes One dollar…. and no it doesnt encourage everyone to smoke. I know few people in Cambodia who smoke and almost no young women who smoke.

 This photo has appeared before on the site. I took it at the house where I stay in the villages. I hope you have enjoyed this little collection of ‘things for sale in the villages’.

In late August I’ll give you a full update from the villages – particularly progress with the GUESTHOUSE for visitors and volunteers. We have spent some months, first buying and preparing the land and then slowly but surely buying the wood, sand, cement and tiles ready to start building. Building has started!






Chalk and Peery’s first day at school.

In CategoryJohns blog

Happy First Day of the Month.

Our Schools are trialing an old way of learning to write in the childrens  first year – with  chalk and boards. Chalk boards. Firstly the child can copy shapes with big strokes and secondly the teacher with a large class can see all the chalk boards at a glance from the front but still walk around for all the individual help.



Peery’s first day at School.

Children don’t usually start school till age 5 or six but there is no set rule and remember that ‘school’ is new and OWNED by our community.

Nang’s daughter Peery is four years and seven months but so eager to go to school.

Look through Peery’s day –  in the line up Peery is the one with her hair in bunches and a hair band.

Many of you now know ‘Nang’s story’ –  (If not or if you are new to the site, you wont regret looking through the section to your left on the website screen named ‘Nangs Story” – In deed this next set of photos is not only here in the Blog but it is today added to ‘Nangs Story’.

The fact is that time and time again Nang should not have survived. Its not only a miracle time and again that Nang is alive and a wonderful mother but Peery too is lucky to be alive.

In the photos you see Peery’s very first morning at school, being cared for by another old friend, Chanthay (brick teddy bear girl in sections re village children).

Then to finish there are the photos of Peery arriving home to show her mum, Nang, her chalkboard – and TOGETHER they will learn because as for all our mothers, there was no school for Nang.

If nothing else, these last few photos of Nang with Peery are VERY rewarding.

 Peery lined up outside on her first day. White head band.


And now, at the end of the day, Peery, proud Peery, returns home to Nang with her chalk board. (Remember all this last set of ‘Peery’ photos are now added to ‘Nangs Story’ in the sections to your left.


At the end of the month we’ll post photos and a story of things for sale in our villages. John.


‘Concentrating’ at school. 33 brand new photos.

In CategoryJohns blog


If you look at the two posts below you will find the build up To Anne Reids show which was in Antibes, France on June 6 and 7.

On May 29 the Blog tells us lots about Anne Reid. She is in fact one of England’s most popular actresses. Anne performed for our schools to packed houses on both nights. I am told that the shows were ‘brilliant ‘fantastique’ – we are so very grateful to Anne and to all the wonderful people of the Cote d’Azur in France.

Before Anne’s shows the audiences were shown new photos of our children and schools. No one else has seen these photos.

Here today are the first set. Children concentrating at school.

(next week will be ‘Chalk and Peery’s first day at School’ …)

   For the first time in the history of our website, today we are concentrating entirely on close ups of our children studying in class…. not posing or waving – studying. John.


Remember that everything you see in these photos that helps the children learn has come from donations – everything – the building, the teachers salaries, books, pens – even the clothes they are wearing.

  Notes at the front of an Antibes classroom of individual progress.

      The boy concentrating VERY hard is Tian and he wants to be able to get a job ” so I can help my family.” – He is eight years old. NO ONE in his family has ever been to school before.



We hope you liked our collection of ‘cencentrated study’… On July 3 we’ll post ‘Chalk and Peerys first day at school!’   John.




Bon Chance. Le Weekend. Edited version of a great Rivieira Blog

In CategoryJohns blog




Activities – ANTIBES (Theâtre show, 6 and 7 June 2014)

Posted on 

The magic of the internet and social media bought my attention to an overseas blog the other day and the fantastic work done fundraising for schools and a health clinic in Cambodia.

I have a huge interest in charities affecting children, and this blog resonated with me as a very important cause and a great belief in my eyes that children receive education if possible and a chance at opportunities in life.

How does this link to my own blog here on the French Riviera?  One of their Cambodian schools has been christened as ‘Antibes School’, a lovely gesture in consideration of the hard work and fundraising from local people in this region, including efforts from Hilary King who is based on the Cap d’Antibes.

Hilary King previously directed the Red Pear Théâtre in Antibes, and now produces professional musical and theatrical productions in English in support of the Cambodian cause.

This coming week on two nights – 6 and 7 June – Hilary will be hosting a World  Premiere cabaret at La Timonerie, when National Treasure, Anne Reid returns to the Riviera to give the very first performances of her brand new cabaret “Love Bytes.” 

Anne is one of Britain’s most-loved and respected actors, star of the very popularLast Tango in Halifax, Ladies of Letters, Dinnerladies and Coronation Street.

Ever since she was memorably electrocuted by a hair dryer in the early days of Corrie, Anne has been a familiar figure to audiences everywhere in her many roles on television, stage and screen.  In 2004 she received accolades and acclaim for her starring role in the film The Mother, as a woman who has an affair with her daughter’s boyfriend, played by Daniel Craig.

Her cabaret career started right here in Antibes in July 2012.  That first show, performed with her award-winning musical director Stuart Hutchinson, went from La Timonerie to the West End where she garnered rave reviews in the national press.
Never was “book now to avoid disappointment” more sincerely meant! Anne’s unique talents, humour and warmth make for an unforgettable evening of pure cabaret joy.
Please note the show is at La Timonerie and NOT (for technical reasons) at Théâtre Antibea as previously stated. La Timonerie has a ground-floor toilet for show patrons, and any persons with reduced mobility must advise in advance to allow for seating arrangements.
What: Cabaret theatre show ‘Love Bytes’ starring Anne Reid
Time:  Show commences at 8pm.  All attendees welcomed from 7.40pm onwards. The show is preceded by a short introduction about what they have helped achieve in Cambodia, then Annie’s cabaret is around 1hour 30minutes with a 15 minute intermission for complimentary refreshments.
Cost: Donations of 25 euros (cash please) include complimentary wine and canapés at intermission. All donations go, as always, directly to the schools’ project in Cambodia.
Seating:  There will be a limit for seating, so book now to avoid disappointment.
Transport:  La Timonerie is easily accessed via car from nearby Antibes or Juan les Pins. There is carparking on the street outside the venue.  There is no train station nearby.  Alternatively, refer below:
  • Buses:  Number 2 bus with Envibus departs Antibes Gare Routière at 7.10pm. Current timetable is here  ligne002_oct13reed_web Get off at a stop on boulevard du Cap after Jardin Thuret.  You will need to find return transport after the show as these buses do not run late in the evening.
  • Taxis:  You can contact Allo Taxis on local French number 04 93 65 33 87, or why not combine the cabaret show with a sightseeing tour beforehand? – prebook your Tuk Tuk tour with TukTukAzur via

For more information and to support Educating Cambodia:

Website: www.educatingcambodia

Twitter: @educambodia


“Anne Reid to perform in Antibes for our Schools” June 6 and 7. Bon Chance Antibes.

In CategoryJohns blog

On Friday and Saturday night, the 6th and 7th of June Anne Reid is performing for a very welcoming Cote d’Azur audience and for our Schools in Cambodia. Remember that other than ten Cambodian teachers we have zero administration or expenses – no other staff… so 100% of what people donate goes to our schools. This was in the Antibes press the other day. (we will report on the performance night around the 11th of June, along with 50 or more photos that the Antibes audience will have seen on Show weekend) :-

‘Dear friends

 A fabulous start to the summer awaits you!!!
We bring you news of a World Premier cabaret at La Timonerie, when National Treasure, Anne Reid returns to the Riviera to give the very first performances of her brand new cabaret “Love Bytes.” Anne  is one of Britain’s most-loved and respected actors, star of the very popular Last Tango in Halifax, Ladies of Letters, Dinnerladies and Coronation Street.
Every since she was memorably electrocuted by a hair dryer in the early days of Corrie, Anne  has been a familiar figure to audiences everywhere in her many roles on television, stage and screen. In 2004 she received accolades and acclaim for her starring role in the film The Mother, as a woman who has an affair with her daughter’s boy-friend, played by Daniel Craig.
Her cabaret career started right here in Antibes in July 2012!!  That first show, performed with her award-winning musical director Stuart Hutchinson,  went from La Timonerie to the West End  where she garnered rave reviews in the national press.

Never was “book now to avoid disappointment” more sincerely meant! Anne’s unique talents, humour and  warmth make for an unforgettable evening of pure cabaret joy.

 Donations, as always, directly to our schools’ project in Cambodia.

The show starts at 8.00pm  on June 6 and 7.   We welcome you from 7.40 pm onwards.

 Please note the show is at La Timonerie and NOT( for technical reasons) at Theatre Antibea as previously stated.

Your donations (cash please) include complimentary wine and canapés at intermission”

 This photo was taken last week in a classroom at the Antibes School, Cambodia. John. ( lots of photos next week after the show in Antibes.) . There will be various links to this and about the weekend through Facebook and emails. John.


Mougins School, France

In CategoryJohns blog

A lot is happening in and around our Schools. I have around 100 photos with their notes to upload but I will wait another week – then I can report on a Show in Antibes where the photos will be projected and at the same time report on the fundraising show itself!

The next posting after this one will be to promote those shows (June 6 and 7)

If you open this link below you will discover the website of MOUGINS SCHOOL near Antibes, France. The students, Staff and Students Council raised money, ALL of which has arrived here in Cambodia for the books at Antibes School (Prey t’Baing Village).



Ros and Tians’ story

In CategoryJohns blog


If this is your first time to our website – this is how it works – you have opened on The Blog; this particular Blog is about a special moment in our schools and other things too.

If you scroll down you can see all the posts of the past years.

If you look to the left side of this page you will see an index of sections. There are sections on why? and how we do what we do, our mission and sections on history. one section is named ‘Donors’ and lists, obviously, those people who have helped us financially – this list is kept up to date. When you’ve explored the site perhaps you would like to help us financially. To give you an idea – some people have given one large (or small) amount and others give say $5 every single month. Everything is VERY welcome.

and now back to TODAY’s BLOG.

Ros and Tians’ story.

There are many great stories within our schools. This is one of them – you’ll like this:

Last year I was told by the Kamchay Mear Regional Government that one of our teachers was not qualified and he would have to leave. (All our teachers are Cambodian – we have no foreign staff whatsoever). The teacher was not only our very first employee (we have retained all our teachers since 2008) but also a very good helper to me personally – Tian. Tian takes me places, builds things, fixes things – a great guy.

This is Tian, wearing a Veresdale School hat, with his daughter, Oun.

There was no way that Tian could afford the US$1000 needed for four years of study during all the school holidays to get the necessary degree. If we could provide that $1000 then Tian could stay.

I’ve mentioned this before but not in any detail.

My good friend Ros in England has given several generous donations – see the website in a number of places including a spectacular one on December 12 last year about a show Ros put on in her Surrey Village. Ros donated the $1000 for Tian. Our very first sponsorship has been to train one of our very own teachers. So, Tian stays. Now check out the rest of today:

They weren’t expecting me yesterday so everyone was unprepared. The teachers called ‘Play time’.



And meanwhile with Tian outside chatting with the other teachers at the other end of the school, I walked into his classroom.


The children, aged 12 and 13, Tian’s students, didn’t know I was there

And then they did.

Tian’s empty desk.

Tian’s students were studying.

Thank you Ros. Thank you everyone.

EXTRA –  Our tuck shops are run by local mums – this was yesterday. It’s mostly fresh homegrown fruit and things like corn and sweet potato.


EXTRA EXTRA. Just a brief update on the Guesthouse we will build in the villages. We are accumulating wood at the moment (the land is ready) two days ago 360 lengths of teak – 9 metres by 15cm by 5cm arrived. A reminder – no money for the guesthouse is coming from donations from anywhere; it’s a business project funded by a group of friends. It will be for visitors and volunteers.

              Bye for now from a very humid Chuor Ph’av – John.

Veresdale Scrub School uniforms to Cambodia.

In CategoryJohns blog

We’ve never before simply copied a letter to the website, but I think that this letter describes a wonderful donation very well. Here it is:

To Veresdale Scrub Primary School, Qld, Australia.

Dear Principal,
                       you and I spoke on the phone on April 2. We inherited bundles of your old but brand new uniforms and I told you I was taking them to our villages in Prey Veng Province, Cambodia.
    We have 1080 children in our schools. The schools, although public, government and free receive no money from the Cambodian Government (they haven’t got any). There is not one comparatively wealthy family – all families have a daily family income of between one and two dollars per day from rice cultivation. (and no, everything is not cheap; petrol is US1.40 per litre which affects the price of everything.)

We presented your beautiful uniforms and these children and their teacher posed for the photo.
Please open the website below. you will see all of our photos over seven years. To begin with we had children in rags or less. We bought uniforms for our first 200. We immediately realised that uniforms meant STRONG CLOTHES to share with the family. We have frequently bought more uniforms with donated money. You will see from photos over the years that appearance has much improved because of these trickles of uniform support.
   So, to receive your donation of strong Australian uniforms is truly wonderful – thank you.
This was what most of our original children looked like. (see the ‘schools’ section of the website)
We are in the same financial boat with exercise books, text books, paint, teachers wages (ten Cambodian trained teachers with 80 – 100 per class twice a day – two school shifts.)
We can’t accept books as donations because a) we don’t teach English yet and b) we can buy what we need in Phnom Penh when we have money.
     Again, thank you so much for the uniforms,
                                    with kindest regards and thanks,
PS. I have large versions of these photos if you’d like them.