Visa ticket and passport all OK for Chanthou!

In CategoryJohns blog

Please check the post below this dated March 23.

Chanthou WILL be at the Rotary conference on the Gold Coast of Australia… and visiting clubs around the District – seeing for herself how money is raised for her villages’ schools.  John.

Chanthou to attend conference.

In CategoryJohns blog

The photo shows Beaudesert Rotary members in Chuor Ph’av village on Januray 25 2012. Linda Jackson (on the left holding a coconut!) is the current President of the Club. Chanthou is paying Lorn our builder and giving him a sarong for his wife.

Linda would like Chanthou, our Cambodian liasson  in the District to visit and talk to Rotary Clubs in Australia. It has taken some time to organise a Business Visa for her. Linda will be sponsoring Chanthou’s visit for around four weeks. The Visa is almost sorted out and with luck she will be at the Rotary Conference at Jupiters on the Gold Coast from April 13 to 15. Chanthou is mentioned often through this website in many sections – village life and schools in particular and through the blog. Fingers crossed, she will be in Australia soon. John

Antibes!! – follow up on the show.. see the blog of March 10

In CategoryJohns blog

First – Please scroll down a little to March 10……….. done that? Good. The show was a wonderful success! It was a one woman show in Antibes, France. Miriam Cooper wrote and performed  “Sister Queens” – the relationship and collision course of Mary Queen of Scots and Ezabeth I of England…. By all accounts Miraim was incredible… and I’ve seen the emails that were sent from London requesting as set – one chair!

Miriam had performed it in London with acclaimed success and Antibes was not disappointed!.

Not only did Miriam go to the South of France with her play but she brought with her.

The second photo is  Miriam again with her professional group by her side. Jimmy on our left and Natalie Piper on our right ran the technichal side of the show. Very significantly Natalie has helped us before. If you check the Donors page, Natalie is a Gold Donor!

Remember all this effort, time, sheer hard work, skill and world class talent is all volunteered for our Cambodian children… Thank you so very much to everyone involved. To the audience – all of you! – to my long time friend  Hils, to Mags, and of course to Miriam and your troupe, thank you. AND whats more the Saturday of the show was after an arduous week of Shakespeare workshops across the Cote d’Azur of France.

Heh.. to anyone reading this anywhere in The British Isles, France or indeed …anywhere – if you need entertainment from the best of travelling professional actors…PLEASE check out (They are a group of real ‘people of the theatre’ who usually tour schools and colleges all over Britain exploring Shakespeare and historical drama) YOUR Cambodian children know all about the show now and about the fabulous people of Antibes and performers from The British Isles… and say “arkun cherern cherern'” thank you very very much.









Khmer Rouge Tials – update.

In CategoryJohns blog

As I am writing Comrade Duch is adressing the Court basically saying that no one was allowed to do anything without the direct orders of either Pol Pot or the two defendents on trial today. Remember that Duch himself is now serving a FULL life sentence for torturing and killing upto around 16,000 people in S21 (see the Khmer Rouge section of this website)..

The two defendents are trying to say that Duch is a completely unworhy sort of person and shouldn’t be allowed to testify – BUT HE IS TESTIFYING!

The news item at the top of todays blog deals with the complex issue of JUDGES.. If you check through these blogs you will find one that says that the Judge will investigate cases 3 and 4 : the government of Cambodia does not want any more than those already before the Courts ie cases 1 and 2 “in the interests of National stability.”.. Because of this obvious conflict the international judge who wanted the extra cases has resigned…. SO now its looking very unlikely that we will see cases beyond these that are in Court right now… As it stands its looking likely that only THREE people will be found guilty of the Khmer Rouge years.. I’ll keep you informed as things unfold. John.



Aged Care!

In CategoryJohns blog
I was talking with Jane, a friend of mine about ‘Mothers Day’ in England, the US, Australia and New Zealand and she said, “I think of people in Cambodia as not needing special days to be family orientated”.
There are several special days in the Cambodian year when family and ancestors and especially the elderly are partied and given gifts.. but this was my main answer:-
“though there are exceptions, especially in the cities where people can more easily fall out of the ‘family net’ – the older you get in Cambodia the more respected you are… in Cambodia there is no financial welfare of any kind (no age pension, sick benefit or unemplyment benefit ) so its family or nothing. There are massive networks of cousins and aunties etc etc… also the terms ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ are often used instead of ‘friend’.

There is an absolute expectation that the children will care for their parents right through old age.
There are no nursing homes or retirement villages! However, because the health system is quite basic – even in the cities (in many rural ares such as ours in Prey Veng there is almost no professional health care) – there is no treatmet available for heart conditions or ANY condition that doesn’t get better by itself…eg diabetes, any gatro-intestinal, neuro, joint, no real treatment… …SO, grand-parents get old, sick and die… so no one is caring for sick bed ridden relatives for extended periods. To put it bluntly, most elderly people are quite healthy until deteriorate over a short period without medical intervention. Of course this also means that babies and mothers, young people and children have limited health care”.
AND its because glaucoma and indeed the entire spectrum of illness goes first unnoticed and then untreated that we are building our Clinic in the villages.
If you think that you can help just a little, financially, with our Clinic, PLEASE click on our girl ‘Clee’ to your right, who is saying “Help Me” and you will find our “Donate” pages. The “Donors” page tells who has helped us so far! John.

Bon Chance Antibes for tonights show!

In CategoryJohns blog
Our wonderful friends in Antibes have a show TONIGHT on the Cap d’Antibes in the South Of France. Our children in the Cambodian villages love you very much. The children met Eva and  Roland in December.
Please check the ‘Donors’ page – Hilary – Mags – Roland – Eva (Sweden and Antibes) AND the people of Antibes are ALL major (GOLD) donors. – THANK YOU.
Hils and Mags host shows – and magnificent actors and singers, usually from the UK, donate their time and talent for our Cambodian children. What is even more remarkable is that all costs incurred along the way are absorbed by people so that 100% of donated money is sent for our children. To the actors and performers our children say “arkun cherern cherern.” thank you very very much. To the people of Antibes – the children go to school everyday and pass their Clinic being bulit.
To EVERYONE, everywhere, reading this, please consider helping us – we need your help. Please check the ‘Donate’ page to see what each and every dollar, euro, pound… etc.. can buy.
Bon Chance Antibes,
Love from John, the children and all their families xx

Damming the tributaries of the Mekong!- report.

In CategoryJohns blog

You’ll find blogs (below) on the BIG proposed dam in Laos – and Vietnams anger about the possible downstream effects – since almost all of South Vietnam comprises the Mekong Delta! That big dam has been put on hold for ten years waiting for environmental studies which is some relief for Cambodia and Vietnam who depend on the river for protein for millions of people.

Meanwhile there are a LOT of smaller dams proposed for the the tributaries. THE LINK above takes you to a new report on the possible effect of those smaller dams. I hope Vietnam is reading this report!! The effect on fish stocks could be disastrous. We’ll keep watching the news and protesting loudly if and when we are needed. John.

The last reunion photo of six movie stars early 1975.

In CategoryJohns blog

The last reunion party of famous film stars in early 1975
From left to right: Chhouk Roth,Soum Vannsodany,Tith Vicharadany,Kim Nova,Dy Saveth and Virak Dara
The Khmer Rouge then started killing artists, singers, actors, monks, teachers, leaders, nurses, doctors and eventually anyone who wore galsses because it implied that they could read. John.

Part 2 of ‘Garment factory protests escalate.’

In CategoryJohns blog

If you scroll to February 21 2012 you will find an article about three women shot by an unknown gunman outside a Puma Shoe factory in Svay Rieng in south east Cambodia.  (they were asking for an increase to their wages. They currently earn $61 per month for 6 days a week, 12 hours a day). The gun man ran away.

Todays article is about the man charged with being the gun man…….. It is the CITY GOVERNOR who was apparently disguised as a security guard!… The court case should be interesting to say the least! When it happens, I’ll post it here. John.