“Are you an orphanage?”… and who are the three girls? and lots of other new photos with their stories.

In CategoryJohns blog

We will start with introductory notes for all first time visitors to our website: The fist paragraph in italics below appears before every post.

(If you would like to talk with us, the ‘Contacts’ Page is near the top of the Contents list to your left – along with how to ‘Donate’ and lots more.)

“If you are new to our projects or haven’t visited this site for a while –here’s how it works:

Whenever you open the site, first-up, you come to the very latest post or ‘blog,’ like this one – and through the years now, we have hundreds of posts and several thousand original photos, all with their own notes. We have over 1340 primary age pupils. Our aim or mission is to provide basic primary education – maths, reading and writing in their own Khmer language, Science and General Studies including History, Geography, health, nutrition and hygiene. Join us please; we pay absolutely no one, no one at all except Cambodian teachers. We have no office or computer staff or administration costs. We rely on your financial help to pay the teachers, maintain the buildings and buy the books. If you like what you see, please find the ‘Donate’ page to the left of your screen and try to help us. (There is also a Donors page which lists all our donors of $500 or above). There’s lots of advice on the site about what money can buy for our children.”

so now – today’s post –

 The first question- ‘are you an orphanage?’

We are in no way an orphanage and in no part are we an orphanage. We are twelve villages with 1340 children in our schools. The boy in red is Micara (same name as one of our often seen girls). The boy in blue is Den…. They are orphans…

All four parents were killed while trying to work on he Thai border. Chuor Ph’av village (where the Guesthouse is) loves them and takes care of them in their homes. If you would like to try to help us financially to help these and all our children, find the ‘Donate’ page to the left of this screen and all the past stories. I took the photo of Micara and Den in The Guesthouse.

Although most of our 5000 photos on this website are of children in and around our Schools and villages – we always seem to manage something very special and I know that we have done that today.. You’ll see as we unfold the photos with their notes. (I’ll tell you when we get to the three girls in case you miss them.)


Today you will see children obviously studying and others simply smiling and having fun. It is worth saying again and again that in eight years we have not lost one single person to sex slavery (being sold in one of many ways for sex).. We have not lost one boy or girl to forced labour. Part of the explanation is our very presence in the villages AND we know ALL the children – all 1340 of them. Explore the site for other obvious and not so obvious advantages of the Schools.


In most of the photos the childrens age is apparent.. above – is part of one of our several Grade two classes. These photos were taken by me in the morning. Photos taken in the afternoon would show a totally different set of children.

 with their teacher, the wonderful So Nita.


  you can’t fake this kind of happiness. We …. YOU…. are giving them protection and an Educational start. So – we start at age four and officially we finish at age 15 – but as you will see (and know form previous posts) if a 15 or 16 year old has come to us with no prior schooling – we can keep them for a while.


WE HAVE ARRIVED AT THE VERY SPECIAL SECTION: In the left hand photo above we see Micara with two books and a pen. On the right we see Chanthay and Maigin. Micara is 13 now, Chanthay is 12, so is Maigin.

I’ve been thinking about taking this photo for a long time… and in the same order as on the banner.. I got them from three different classrooms and relocated them to seat as in the banner…..

….SO – what that means is, if you look at The EducatingCambodia website (THIS ONE) as you open it – Pet, Micara and Chanthay have always been top left – 8 years later now

I took these photos two days ago. Pet on the left (full first name is Sreypet) started out as Vit (or Bit – cant remember which) BUT the most interesting thing is that many of the names that now appear in English when they get old  enough for their Khmer ID are MY phonetic spellings!!.. eg Chanthai is Thai because that’s how I wrote it…similarly Chanthay on the right of the threesome. DA in the middle I miss heard years ago and its close to Ra… add her family name and she is now Micara. Bit (or Vit) has transformed to Pet; Bit was me miss-hearing Pet and thinking it was Vit or Bit… so she is now officially “Srey Pet” (Srey means girl)… In Khmer there are absolutely no vowel equivalents… so she is now Pet.  (I’ll keep this somewhat mad linguistic nightmare for a later repeat).

The three friends, as we have always called them each have their very own section in “Village Children” in the Contents list on the left of your

e  This is Srey Pet (top left corner of the website banner) Pet is 12 as is Chanthay and Micara is 13. Usually they are in three different classrooms.

  Happy boys studying.

The boy above is sixteen years old. He has been away with his father through all his possible school years. He has returned to our villages with his mother. We will keep him in our schools for possibly three years of intensive literacy and numeracy.


 We teach the Cambodian Curriculum in their own language – Khmer. This Khmer script.

How about these smiles?!.. they had been doing some drawing and colouring.

She is 15 years old and should be graduating but she was only brought to us recently from another village. We will keep her for intensive literacy and numeracy lesson probably till she is 17 or 18.

 Three of our fantastic teachers walking around while I take photos.

NB. It is very possibly quite intrusive taking photos in our Schools… so only me and one or two of the teachers can take photos and the days I take photos are few and far between.

We finish today with a magical eight seconds of Peery practicing her Khmer traditional dancing. If you’ve been with us for at least a while, you know who Peery is. Nang’s daughter. Nang’s story is in the contents list to your left. I’ll add this little video to her mother’s page soon. More photos with their stories coming soon.

Love to all from John in the villages of Kamchay Mear District.






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