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 http://www.clearcambodia.org 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.