Rotary Club of Beaudesert – Cambodia trip 16 – 24 January 2014.

In CategoryJohns blog

(If you scroll down a full year you’ll find the 2013 trip!)

This year – 121 new photos and notes!

different people, more people, a longer trip. more projects to check out and places to see. On this trip from The Rotary Club of Beaudesert Australia were Mark, Linda, Peter, Susie, Kara and Barbara – from The Interact Club (High School Rotary) of Beaudesert High School we had Tamara, Lauren and Niels (Niels is this years Rotary Exchange student and is from Denmark) – and Josh from near Dunedin New Zealand. Josh is a friend of my son Sam whose Otago Polytechnic students created this website.  Last but not least was  Hayden, an ex Rotaract member from Northern New South Wales. In addition, as you will see, we met up with a great group of Motor cyclists who had raised money for us – a very good trip!!

I’ve been sent photos, photos and more photos. The itinerary was:

Day 1. Arrive in Phnom Penh – markets and initial shopping.

Day 2. S21 (Tuol Sleng) and then the Killing Fields. Meet up with Cannonball Ride Motorbike Club (photos later) and, all together, go on a Mekong River Cruise.

Day 3. Our bus to Prey Veng Province, Kamchay Mear District and our villages. see the Chuor Ph’av Schools and lunch in the village. On to Prey t’Baing village to Antibes School. Then the 3 and a half hour trip to Kratie on the East bank of The Mekong and Oudom Sambath Hotel.

Day 4. Lots of things in the Kratie area. Sticky rice. Palm Sugar. a Temple. Turtles. Looking for rare dolphins. Mekong Rapids – resort lunch. The wonderful Sombok Mountain temple.

Day 5. The road to Kompong Cham, across to the west bank and the VIP Monorom Hotel. Kompong Cham Markets.

Day 6. The road to Siem Reap. Markets and another good hotel.

Day 7. Angkor Wat. The Bayon. Ta Prohm. In the evening a traditional dancing and musical show with our meal and out to the Siem Reap Night Markets.

Day 8. The bus trip down from Siem Reap via spiders to Phnom Penh.

Day 9. All the last minute souvenir shopping in Phnom Penh before the flight back to Australia….. and for Josh, on home to New Zealand.

So, what we’ll now do is take the days and events in order. Some photos will seem very similar but will perhaps feature one or more different people… so there are a LOT of photos..121 photos! Please enjoy.

 Day one!  No Lauren, you can’t take it home.

 These three were taken in one of my favourite places, The FCC – The Foreign Correspondents Club, Phnom Penh.

 Central Market (Psar Thmei – literally means ‘market new’) is a massive market under one of the worlds biggest domes. Lots of souvenirs from here.

Day 2. S21 and The killing Fields.

 S21 or Tuol Sleng had been a High School prior to the Khmer Rouge. It still looks at first glance like a School – till you get closer. All but seven of the more than 12,000 at this centre, were either tortured to death or killed in the Killing Fields. During the four year reign of utter terror there were many Torture centres and many Killing Fields

 Just some of the many tiny cells.

Of the 12,000 who were killed just seven survived. This Khmer man is one of them – Chum Mey. He has written a book – Survivor. He is pictured here with two of our group, Susie and Peter.

In the sections to your left you will find a history of The Khmer Rouge, S21 and of The Killing Fields. Today these are photos taken on our trip in January 2014.

The Killing Fields.

 Something quite moving and new has started since I was here last year – around all the mass grave sites, young visitors have taken off their own woven fashion bracelets and offered them as a kind of memorial.

 This is “The Killing Tree” the actual tree against which all the babies were bashed to death.

  A day at S21 and The killing Fields is VERY draining as it should be.

That night we met up with the ten people from the Australian Motorcycle Club – Cannonball Ride. They were formed in 2006 with the sole mission of raising funds and awareness for charities. Since then they have travelled over 64,000 kilometres. This trip, 2014 was their first trip outside Australia. I had spoken a lot with Kate from the club and they had already raised the money to pay more than a years salary for a nurse for our Clinic!. I had arranged to get their trip polo shirts made in Phnom Penh so it was great to finally meeting them in the evening for a boat trip on The Mekong:

There were 23 of us altogether on the boat trip. This is two of the Cannonball guys, Eric on the left and Jono. One of the logos reads Cambodia 2014.

 Me in white, Kate in stripes, with the combined groups. A great night.

 Paul taking a break on the lower deck with me. A great guy. At the end of their tour around Cambodia he found me in Phnom Penh and gave me a huge bag of medicines for our villages.

The day after the boat trip, while we started our trip north and east, the Cannonball group started their big ride. Here are four of their photos. Check out Angkor Wat with Motor bikes!

The Cannonball Ride Club didn’t only help US, they gave goods and medicines to several schools and organisations as they rode. Thank you so much guys.

The Schools

The next day we travelled north and east to Prey Veng province and our schools in Kamchay Mear District.

All of these photos are new and several display the new School sign at Chuor Ph’av.


We walked through and around the villages and had lunch.

 err You can’t take this cat home either.

 This is Wat, he is 12 years old. I attended his induction as a trainee monk. A large number of Khmer men have spent a few years as a monk. They learn a lot about compassion and helping the needy. As I’ve said many times in this site, Buddhism is the glue and social welfare that unites Cambodia. Wats big sister is Kamau who features several times in the ‘village life’ section to your left and is fourth from the left in our site banner (top of the website).

and last in this section – with my good friend the head monk – who loves cigars (which I buy for him very very cheaply in Cambodia). PS. please don’t tell me that Buddhist monks don’t smoke; they do in Cambodia.

Land for a guesthouse

Three people are going to fund the building of our Guesthouse. By this time next year we should be able to house people with a little more comfort than at present. We bought two adjacent rice fields and added 2000 cubic metres of soil to lift the land ready for building during the next dry season. We have started a retaining wall on the Northern side. The land has a fifty metre frontage with 60 metres depth.

 and we’ve started to buy some of the more expensive wood.

Antibes School

(please read the blog below to learn more about the Antibes School.)

After lunch we went to the nearby village of Prey t’Baing to catch up with the Antibes School.

There are many more photos of and inside the Antibes School in previous blogs on the Antibes School (thanks Hilary). After this huge piece of viewing check back through the Blogs. England also helps us a lot – look back to the incredible show that my friend Ros put on in Surrey.

We headed about three and a half hours north to a beautiful little town – Kratie (pronounced Kra – chay).. its on the east bank of the Mekong. We stayed two nights and saw lots of things and met great people.

 Lauren climbing a palm sugar tree! (probably to rescue a cat – just joking.)

 and the making of palm sugar just north of Kratie town.

at a temple a bit further along the bank.

 and yes, there were turtles – with Tamara.

We have been searching this stretch of the Mekong for rare Irrawaddy Dolphins every year for six years. We honestly see a great many but none from any group has ever managed to photograph one!

(Hooray. I edited in this paragraph and the photo below on March 5 2014! It turns out that Lauren – see photos before and after – had put her phone into movie mode and a screen shot – equivalent of a film frame – is below. They are a fairly uniform grey colour usually so I’m not sure what the white colouring is – I hope its normal! They are small dolphoins, certainly not much more than say 1.5 metres in length.)

Rapids Resort for lunch

 Chanthou negotiating choices and costs with the locals.

Although the land is mostly very flat there is, only 20 minutes north, along the bank, from Kratie town – Sombok Mountain – with a wonderful series of temples and temple buildings as we climb the steps.

 Kara and Niels.Hayden photographing the hundreds of steps and rows of Buddhas.

 Between places – some lunches and dinners

Dinner in Kompong Cham. We had left Kratie and travelled south and west along the east bank of the Mekong crossing to the west bank in Kompong Cham. We spent one night in the pretty market city.

A lunch stop between Kratie and Kompong Cham. It was a new place. I hadn’t been before. Very good, we will stop here again.

Dinner in Kratie

Angkor Wat, The Bayon and Ta Prohm.

We had two nights in Siem Reap, the city next to the enormous Angkor Wat complex.

 On the causeway leading to the biggest religious building in the world – Angkor Wat.

 Markets near the temples.

 Angkor Wat – busy.

 Linda, Kara and Mark.

 The incredible, awesome Angkor Wat. Cambodia is the only country in the world to feature a real building on its flag.

 ‘Oh the paparazi are sooo annoying.’ said Tamara.

 Outside The Bayon.

 Josh and Linda feed a monkey near The Bayon.


 Apsara – Heavenly dancers.

 The Bayon.

 Linda with one of the many faces.


 Tamara at Ta Promh.

 Ta Promh

 At Ta Promh, Tamara decides not to use the door.

Apsara Dance show and Dinner

On our second evening in Siem Reap.

 After the show we went to the Siem Reap Night Market – Josh.

Lunch – on the way back to Phnom Penh.

 Its deep fried tarantulas all round. First Josh.

 Tamara…. is it yummy?

 ahh, maybe not so yummy!

 and Kara.. Oh yes, just like mum used to cook… yum.

 anyone else … ?

If you have worked your way through all 121 photos in this Blog –  Well Done!!

It was a fabulous trip. Our villages gained and loved to see everyone and I know that all the visitors gained a lot too.

Throughout the site there are thousands of photos. If you have time please explore the Blog right from the beginning (or work your way back from today maybe!).. Please find the Donors page to your left and if possible please try to help financially; there is a Paypal link within the Donate section. 100% of your money comes to the schools through The Rotary Club of Beaudesert.

Thankyou very much from our 1080 children and all their families. John.














Antibes – Mougins – Oscar – Bewley – Cambodia – wow!

In CategoryJohns blog


This last weekend, Valentines weekend, didn’t just casually happen – it was the result of a lot of very hard work from whole teams of people.

As you can see from the Blog immediately below this one, the show was performed by the very wonderful Bewley Café Theatre team – an Oscar Wilde incredible double bill of ‘The Remarkable Rocket’ and then after an interval ‘The Happy Prince’.

Michael James Forde of Bewley Cafe Theatre on Cap d’Antibes on Valentine’s night.

These next four photos were taken during the second performance of The Happy Prince on February 15 2014.

Do you see the snow!? Yes, they didn’t just have coloured lights – they had a snow machine!


Next is Michael and Theatre Team right at the top of Cap d’Antibes by the lighthouse.

Hilary, below, is very much the European face and driving force of EducatingCambodia, our schools, Clinic and projects. Hilary lives in Antibes on the Cote d’Azur, France.  Hilary has rarely appeared in this website; she is simply brilliant – Antibes currently donates as much as the rest of the world combined – thanks Antibes, thanks Hilary. This photo was taken after the Valentines Show – with her husband Jean Pierre serenading the troupe and friends at home on Cap d’Antibes. xx


The weekend also saw the flowering of a relationship between our Schools in Cambodia and Mougins School ( between Antibes and Cannes on the Riviera).. … Hilary came up with the ‘Hearts’ idea over lunch with Louise and Sue from the School.

‘That’s a brilliant idea, we can do that!’ said Louise and Sue – and so it was that 200 children from Mougins decorated paper hearts and posted them to Phnom Penh.

I collected the hearts and opened the parcel in our Cambodian classrooms. Mougins had enclosed 200 ‘blank’ hearts… Our Kamchay Mear children had never used a crayon – or paint or felt tips. We bought boxes of crayons.

The results are remarkable. I posted the Cambodian hearts back to France and sent photos by email.

The hearts arrived at Mougins on Valentines Day, the very day of the first of two performances on Cap d’Antibes.  The photos of the hearts from Cambodia are below and this is part of an email that I received TODAY from Mougins School:-

“ We received the hearts and it was perfect timing. …Valentine’s Day! I brought the package to the Valentine’s assembly and showed a short film of us all decorating and receiving hearts to the tune of “Happy” by Farell Williams.The kids loved it. We opened the package in the afternoon and gave out the hearts to every class. I gave a little speech saying that Mougins School was about learning from each other ……. in speaking different languages or looking  or acting differently we can learn from each other and share our experiences. We all have alot in common and we all love our family, friends and are happy!

The children were very excited to receive the hearts. We now need to help them to understand that some children in Cambodia, parents and grandparents have never learnt to read or write before. They are really beginning to learn how to hold a pencil and draw for the first time. it’s hard for our children to understand this. We at Mougins have a lot to learn and teach our children so thank you so much for giving us this opportunity. We look forward to the next exchange!  Love from Mougins School.”


Here are some of the Cambodian hearts being coloured with notes below:-


Antibes has not only cared for the ‘Antibes School’ but very much helped with all three schools and the clinic AND the teachers house. We asked the Two Chuor Ph’av Schools to receive and enjoy and return the two hundred Hearts. I am only telling you this because The Antibes School is freshly painted whereas as you’ll see in the photos, the Chuor Ph’av ‘campus’ is desperate for a coat of paint. (it’s OK, it will get done this year).

The other intriguing thing to see in the heart photos is that the desks are covered in what we would call graffiti. There is no (zero) graffiti anywhere in Cambodia. Teachers EXPECT students to decorate their desks with notes and squiggles!

Today in addition to the hearts there will be a few Ozzy trip photos – just to encourage EVERYONE to visit!

I say, and mean, please everyone – come and visit. By this time next year we will have built our “Guest House’ in the villages; so It will, for the first time, be a reasonably comfortable stay near our schools.

In an earlier blog I talked about the possibility of a GUESTHOUSE actually in one of our villages close to the schools. Well – it IS happening and I’ll tell you lots more about that in a blog next week and as the building goes up, news will unfold. The Guesthouse for visitors and volunteers is being totally and  separately funded by three people.

This is the land that we have JUST bought.


It has a 50 metre frontage and is 60 metres deep. It WAS two rice fields so we have, as you can see, added 2000 metres of soil to take the land well above flood levels and up to road height. (more next week.)

Everyone wants updates on children and families that we are watching grow. I had told Antibes the latest on Nang and daughter Peery.

Nang, our miracle mother recently dropped from 45kg to 26 kg but is now up again to 35 kg. Nang has Myesthenia Gravis which would have killed her time and again here.. but we fight with her. Nang and our struggles and the loss of many are our inspiration for The Clinic.

Nang is a wonderful mother and her daughter Peery in blue is a joy and very bright.


I update a lot of our village children on the website. Chanthay ( remember the brick teddy bear?) is in yellow.. These photos were taken on January 30th 2014.


We are working closely with The Cambodian Government. They have very little money but can make decisions. I’ll explain more next week but briefly, we have a government recognised Clinic and Pharmacy (built by YOU) and the government will provide us with visiting Doctors and the first nurse (the female nurse standing on the right of two male Doctors) and WE will fund-raise for a District ambulance. The ambulance we want is a large second hand American ambulance costing US$20,000. If we had the money we would buy it tomorrow – this is it in a sale yard in Phnom Penh.


We have no transport between the villages and so a Beaudesert Rotarian is donating the money for a Troop carrying style tuk tuk. We will get this in April. This is the model we are looking at.

Trip from Australia.

So these four photos are four of hundreds from my guided tour of Cambodia. (I’ll do a BIG posting of that Australian trip next week along with a whole range of updates). The Trip photos were taken over the last three weeks of and by The Australian visitors. The tour actually takes months of organising and negotiating … but it’s well worth it. These four photos are just a taste of what’s to come next week. Nine days in Cambodia by The Rotary Club of Beaudesert:

It was a day longer than this time last year..

These photos are

1. 100s of steps leading up to Sombok Mountain temple on the Mekong near Kratie. 

2. Trying and succeeding to find the very rare fresh water Mekong Dolphins.

3. A floating tethered raft picnic spot in rapids on the Mekong.

4. I’m not showing you ANOTHER photo of Angkor Wat… this is the Australian group on January 22nd 2014 in an outer walkway, 800 years old – at Angkor Wat.


If you look for blogs around one year ago you’ll see that the trip is longer this year.

Thank you to all our friends everywhere and today it’s a huge Merci beaucoup to the families of Antibes and Mougins School.

Much Love from us, all of our children and families to all the children and families in France and everywhere… xx

PS next week the Australian tour of Cambodia.

Valentines weekend -Antibes France – Bon Chance

In CategoryJohns blog

A large number of people from the  community of Antibes, France are major donors and very much partners in our Schools, Clinic and Village projects. We know we are all in this together.

There’s a special (they are all special) fund raising show over Valentines weekend. The Antibes community love what we do and so I encourage everyone within travelling distance of Cap d’Antibes to join in the fun.

Mougins School is close to the beautiful old town of Antibes and our schools have all teamed up to learn about each other and help support the Cambodian side of things! In the next posting, after the show nights, I’ll tell you lots more about Mougins School and the Chuor Ph’av Schools (pronounced Joo Pow).

In a third posting in two weeks from now I’ll add around 30 more photos from the Rotary Club of Beaudesert visit and tour around Cambodia – that was two weeks ago.

So, the SHOW:

On the 14th and 15th of February,  ‘The Bewley Cafe Theatre team who performed the fabulous Dorian Grey in November will be performing an Oscar Wilde double bill!! 40 minutes of  ”The Remarkable Rocket’

then an interval followed by ‘The Happy Prince’…

  Its great family entertainment.


Both of Oscar’s stories star the very wonderful  Michael James Forde … and this Valentines show is happening on the Friday and again on Valentines night – Saturday –  on Cap d’Antibes.

Bon Chance from the children, the teachers and all the families in the Kamchay Mear District of Cambodia. John.

Happy Eleventh Day of Christmas!

In CategoryJohns blog

One photo today…..

 with our new boy and girl statues right outside our NEW Entrance in Chuor Ph’av Village !!

On January 16, a group of ten friends from The Rotary Club of Beaudesert arrive in Phnom Penh. They have an eight day Cambodian Tour Itinerary including of course a BIG visit to our Schools in Kamchay Mear District of Prey Veng Province. (also on the trip itinerary will be Kratie, Kompong Cham and Siem Reap).

Since I last added to this site in December there has been considerable and great progress, thanks VERY MUCH to wonderful donations – but it will all look and read soooo much better surrounded by lots of Australians (and one New Zealander) and hundreds of our children in a couple of weeks time..

.. So the next post with stories and heaps of photos will be before the end of January.

.. Happy New Year from Cambodia ..

Betchworth Village, Surrey, England – Thankyou.

In CategoryJohns blog

Betchworth Village – Thankyou

Aidan Dooley – Actor – Thankyou

Ros and Ken Rokison – Thankyou

Last weekend something wonderful happened in the beautiful English village of Betchworth. and yes Betchworth is full of magically pretty homes.

A friend of mine from Drama School days (quite a while ago), Ros, (who is already a Gold Donor – see the Donor section to your left), thought up a glorious fund raising idea for our schools and our children in the Cambodian villages.

Ros  brought the multi award winning actor Aidan Dooley  to her village.

This, below, is the remarkable and historic Barn Theatre setting in Betchworth where Aidan performed his show – ‘Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer’.

Photos from Aidans show:-

  Aidan has won awards and accolades from all over the world for this show (he also wrote the show)… Awards include – London Critics, Adelaide Fringe, New York Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe and more!

And all this was and is for our schools and children in the Kamchay Mear District of PreyVeng Province, in Eastern Cambodia.

The audience was almost entirely villagers of Betchworth. We received their money today in Cambodia. They know we will spend 100% of it in the villages with zero Pounds or Dollars going to administration.

If you re-check the Donors page, Betchworth Village itself is now listed as a Gold Donor as are Ros and Ken Rokison.

Much Love from Kamchay Mear District to Betchworth Village xxxx




Woolen hats a big success.Donated Bins and New work at Antibes School.

In CategoryJohns blog

17 new photos today.

If this is your first time to our schools site – this is the Blog where new notes, stories and photos are added. Later they will find their way into one or more of the sections in the index to your left. Please enjoy browsing and hopefully reach the Donate section linked to Paypal. Money goes to The Rotary Club of Club and 100% comes to our villages.

If you look at the post immediately above dated November 26 you’ll see that the World Health Organisation organised immunisations for all our children and that a Clean Water charity helped us a lot with bio-filters. In todays post you can see three rubber rubbish bins donated by ‘Visionfund’

Visionfund is actually a Micro-finance business so we are as it were carrying their advert to their target audience – villages, but Micro-finance is mostly a good thing in Cambodia…. and we get rubbish bins. Now I have to buy some more for the Antibes School!

As with many things we do its one step at a time. The bins are empty. Neither the teachers nor the children have got any habit of ‘rubbish in bins’ – I will teach the teachers by example mostly.

 We have fresh paint on all wooden parts of the Antibes school in the village of Prey t’Baing – as good as new eh? That’s me behind some happy students. and with Chanthou our Cambodian organiser.

You can see from this photo that we removed all the windows – throughout the school. Security was basically thin wooden dowel. We are going to buy and install a complete set of new secure windows throughout. and here is Chanthou handing over the money for the new windows. I will accompany the staff to help choose what is needed. We photograph all work and all receipts.. The work should be completed before New Year.

 There is a photo in the November 26 Blog of the concrete bio-sand filter drying. Here is Mab drinking pure filtered water in her school.

December and more so January are dry months and temperatures in the early hours can drop to 15C or 17C.. The villages for the rest of the year get a night time temperature in the high 20s …. so right now early mornings feel chilly by comparison.

We did this once before and its VERY popular.

I brought from Australia 20kg of woolen hats and jumpers… and here they are

enjoy these photos.

Mums rummaging through the contents of my bag.. this could be anywhere in the world heh?‘I’ll try it on shall I’? ‘Does it suit me’?

 Bit loves her hat! Bit and Da. There are dozens of photos of these two throughout the website and the first two girls on the left of the website banner at the very top of the website!

 Lots of hats and two jumpers.

 Mums and grandmas didn’t miss out. This is Tra, mother of Chanthay (the third from the left in the banner photo at the very top of the website)

 and Bits granma doesn’t miss out and the lady in white is Chanthee – who does all the cooking when we have overseas visitors.

 and last but certainly not least today there is Peery, Nangs daughter. I gave Nang away at her wedding and care for her medically. Peery is her daughter. In this photo Peery is either saying, ‘you have got to be kidding’! or ‘…. err…. John, wheres mine’?

 and here it is, her new hat and jumper.

Thanks so much to some very hard working knitting ladies in Queensland Australia.

Peery’s mother Nang is on the right. A great many people ask about Nang (there is an entire section on Nang in the index to your left).. This time last year Nang weighed 26kg… today she weighs 46kg. I still buy her Mestinon for her Myesthenia Gravis. She is very much the initial inspiration for our Clinic.

John in the villages



The Villages, Schools and Clinic – a GUESTHOUSE? – a lot to do.

In CategoryJohns blog

Its a hot day with storms expected. I’m writing from Chuor Ph’av village on my $299 notebook with the help of my $116 solar charger.

Over the next three months there’s a lot to do and a lot is happening. There will be either two or maybe three groups from overseas visiting us (no mean feat since we are about as remote as it gets!). There are things to build, things to pay for, things to consider, things to buy and things to start.

The photos i’ll add today touch on those things that have recently happened and also those about to happen:-

This is arguably the most significant picture today. Its a pamphlet for every child in the schools… (remember they can now read).. A pamphlet to take home in a western school saying the school will host immunisations might not be HUGE news…. BUT, let me explain:- Chuor Ph’av appears on no maps. Prior to OUR SCHOOLS no one officially new about our 1000 children. This pamphlet is now one of my prize possesions – The World Health Organisation together with UNICEf Is giving OUR children the Pentavalent Immunisations for whooping cough, Diptheria, Measles, Hep B, Tetanus and the HIB vaccination which helps prevent pneumonia and Menigitis..


….. So, our School has done what history couldn’t do – thanks to The World Health Orgaisation we are on the map…

….. and in a similar way, a Charity called found us – and about 25% of families now have purified drinking water.


No charity is perfect and sadly only those families who could afford $5.50 got one of these bio-sand filters. Clearcambodia is a Christian Charity visiting schools with moulds and cement. Someone from participating families goes along and joins in the mass concrete making exercise and then takes home a sand filter for $5.50 (can be bought ready made for $20).


Anyway a lot of the people that you know through this site now have filtered drinking water (until they run out of the special filtering sand I suppose)..


The schools have got one each. I’ve photographed a lot of them but will only include those of people you know. the first is of Chnthoe and her daughter Chankim – you just might remember (its within this site of 1000 photos) a woman recovering after child birth on a bed over a charcoal fire – this is that woman and that baby! For $5.50 (a weeks income for our families) she gets a filte, fine3 sand and a container. They are VERY good – I just wait for the day when everyone can get clean water.

Then there is Nang and Peery. Incidentally (see Nangs Story in the index to your left) Nang was 26 kg eleven months ago, she is now an amazing 46kg! We must be doiing something right!

The third filter photo is at the Antibes School in Prey t’Baing village. At the moment the cement is still drying. Once dry, the filtering sand goes in. The family pour in a bucket of ‘dirty water and pure drinking water trickles out of the blue pipe.

Above – four brand new photos from Antibes School.


The flag pole is a much loved part of any Cambodian School. Money was donated specifically for this earlier in the year.


All four Antibes photos show the children at play, some of the clothing we buy for them (otherwise some of them are actually naked) and a man selling homemade icecream at 5c a time which I paid for.

Five of the six teachers at Chuor P’av School – The Rotary Club of Beaudesert Schools – plus my friend the local Abbot (I suppose we’d call him in the west) who doesn’t teach, he’s just interested. Chanthou is running the meeting along with the head teacher of all three schools, Sok Ken. They are sitting in THE CLINIC… I am fairly sure we are getting finance for two Health Workers (who are Cambodian registered nurses)… at the same time as employing the nurses we can buy first aid equipment, a pharmacy type storage cupboard and two beds. Until we receive that money, as ever, we don’t ‘tease’ the villages with things that aren’t certain.

This or a similar block of land in one of our villages is where a small group of friends  are strongly considering building a guesthouse suitable for up to ten western visitors and/or volunteers. Our villages are so primitive , but worse than that – squalid, that no one is willing to sleep one night….indeed I am not willing to let people try (because of the incredible imposition on the villagers who have no toilets, running water or any food you that westerners might be willing to eat!)


We have decided the answer is a guest House built in a a traditional Khmer way but with bedrooms, shower, toilets and a western kitchen. It is significant news and when built it will be much more possible for people to visit us.

If you look up to the banner on the home page of this site you’ll see three faces, three friends. We’ve been following their progress for five years, and here they are today!


from left – Da, Thay and Bit (and a little boy named Met who wanted to be in the picture.) Our three friends can all read and write in their own language, do basic maths, basic science, Geography and History.

This cow will soon have her calf. I bought them (both) today for the village. For todays post, this cow represents all the efforts and trials we are going through to create and improve a village income. If you look back through the Blogs you will see pigs and chickens with varying degrees of success. We are learning along with the villages. There is no precedent for what we are trying  so expert advice becomes not necessarily workable.. But we are trying.

We are considering a limited electrical component production line, making laptops. Thoughts on this are on hold at the moment. A Computer expert will be with a visiting group of Rotarians in January 2014 (six weeks away) so until we get his advice… mums the word!

for now, love from our 1000 children and their families. John.











Oscar Wilde comes to Antibes

In CategoryJohns blog

The link below takes you the Facebook Page of  ‘Antibes for Cambodia’. It’s a Page based in Antibes, France and is dedicated to theatrical and cabaret style performances that all in turn support our Schools in Cambodia. This link reads as follows:

Oscar Wilde comes to Antibes!

Come and see our intimate performance of his masterpiece “A Picture of Dorian Gray” at La Timonerie, November 8th & 9th, in aid of the children of Cambodia.

Oscar Wilde comes to Antibes!

Donations upwards of 20€ to include intermission drinks and canapés.

I’ll write more before the two performance days.. Bon Chance et Merci Beaucoup Cote d’Azur, from the children and their families. John.

ADDED on October 31 2013

This was posted to the Facebook page ‘Antibes for Cambodia’ :

“I’m a Mougins resident who had the good fortune to see this production in Dublin earlier in the year. MJ Ford, Simon Coury and Michael Winder are extraordinarily talented actors, and the intimate scale of this show really brings Wilde’s language to the fore. A highly recommended evening, and for a great cause to boot”.

Added November 8 2013 – Bon Chance Antibes. Tonight and tomorrow night. Love from all the children and their families.



A Rotary Awareness night

In CategoryJohns blog

If you have opened this site for the first time, this is our Blog, usually once or twice a month. PLEASE look to the left and browse through the sections. If you feel you can help a little financially then look at the Donate and Donor sections and join us. Please.

There are eleven photos in today’s Blog. On Tuesday evening October 8 2013 (two days ago) The Rotary Club of Beaudesert held its weekly meeting in the Logan and Albert Hotel. It was a special night – A Rotary Awareness Night. Three of us talked through all the things that Rotary does locally around this club and also Internationally.  A number of local people came along to find out what “Rotary” is all about.

Our Rotary Club raises money mostly through our two catering vans. We cook breakfasts, burgers, chips, steak- sandwiches etc and the following is a list of people and projects the Club has supported over the past 12 months.

For The Beaudesert area of Queensland Australia:

A snake catcher and his book. Beaudesert Hospital. Various child sporting endeavours (mostly travel). A motorized invalid scooter. School competitions.  An Historical Society.  A wheelchair.  A number of local disasters  – flood and fire. Supporting poorer children in the area.

This year we have founded an ‘Interact Club” at Beaudesert High School An Interact Club is Rotary for students age 12 – 18. They are already actively fund raising for local charities as well as International ones. Three of these students will be joining seven members of The Beaudesert Club when they visit our Cambodian villages in January – just three months away!

International support

About two thirds all money raised by The Club goes towards local charities. About one third goes internationally; within that third a lot of the money for Cambodia is raised specifically for Cambodia. eg. collection tins stating that all that particular money is for Cambodia.

The Beaudesert Club gives to ROMAC which pays to bring children from poor countries who need serious and often complex facial surgery. The Rotary Health Foundation (health issues in poorer countries). Goods going overseas needing shipping finance.  Disaster Aid – this is mostly the Shelter Box large tents, cooking equipment, water purification etc sent to large scale international disasters.

..and to our Cambodian Schools projects.

On Tuesday evening I showed and talked through one hundred of our photos. In today’s blog there are just 10 of those photos. ALL of them are already within this website along with full explanations.

On November 8 and 9 this year there will be another show in Antibes for our schools. John.

 Mark McCabe, a fellow member of The Rotary Club took all the photos on the night. John.


Onwards with Theatre Antibea – Bon Chance

In CategoryJohns blog

This coming weekend September 27 and 28 our friends in Antibes France have a show for us – the shows have their very own facebook page named’ The First Class Lounge -

There is a photo of Theatre Antibes below. The Theatre is in The Square of Old Antibes. The Theatre is a very special place where the wonderful people of Cote d’Azur France will see the Show by an Award winning Actor – and directly help our 1000 children.

I copied and pasted from The First Class Lounge PAGE.

It looks like a great show and there is a photo of the actor Richard Elfyn directly below – PLEASE, if you are in the South of France we know the children  would be delighted if you could attend and help out. Underneath the article there is a photo of a flagpole and its base that is being built RIGHT NOW at Antibes SCHOOL. Again Bon Chance to everyone involved.

Here is the information pasted from the Page for this weekends show.

‘”Happy Rentrée to all our Cambodian-helping friends!

We have a wonderful start to the new season: BAFTA winning actor Richard Elfyn is available to bring to us his hugely acclaimed show “The Wizard, The Goat and The Man Who Won the War” an intriguing title matched by a stellar portrayal of David Lloyd George , Britain’s first working class prime minister.

“Electrifying, mercurial and utterly brilliant”
As Richard says: “Like life, this play is hugely funny and also deeply serious;”

“Charismatic, with long-haired good looks, Lloyd George had all the trappings of stardom. If ever there was a rock star of politics, it was him;”

27 and 28 September 8.00pm Theatre Antibea, Vieil Antibes.”  The flagpole is an essential part of any Cambodian School and we are very pleased to be able to erect this one at The Antibes School, Prey t’Baing, Prey Veng, Cambodia. This photo was taken two days ago and work is ongoing. John.