John is returning to the villages on June 8th – and a new email address!

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I am returning to the Villages on June 8th    and a new Email address!

I am John Mann. I coordinate our projects and activities in Cambodia – mostly in the very poor District of Kamchay Mear in the Province of Prey Veng

As you may know, I have been seriously ill since September 2015 when I came back to Australia as a medical emergency. I have Guillian Barr Syndrome. I am now much better; my Australian Doctors tell me I can return to Cambodia for a few weeks ‘to see how you manage.’ – I will be moving slowly for another year, but, I am otherwise well.

In my absence – September to now – our 1000 children have continued to attend OUR schools and our teachers are paid on time! We are still getting help from France, England, Chicago and New York in the USA, New Zealand and from Australia and from The Rotary Club of Beaudesert in Australia.

The last Blog Post here was New Year and before that in August. I usually post in this website and on our Facebook Page at least once a month….

…After June 8th  –  a report, postings, communication and very essential fund raising will be back in full swing.

For the first time we have an EMAIL ADDRESS to and from me, John. You can still leave comments on the web postings (like this one) but an email address that I look at several times every day will be much more useful, instant and personal….

… So my new email address is

You can still leave Facebook messages and twitter as before.

In the New Year Blog (December 31st ) I started an idea that I shall complete today – until I get all the fresh photos and news when I return to Cambodia in 7 more weeks!

Our friends from The Rotary Club of Beaudesert visited the villages in January – it was the first time that I wasn’t there to welcome them and be with them – they tell me that the schools are fine but, as always, need maintenance and the Guesthouse is ‘comfortable’……… One of my tasks this year is to tell everyone we HAVE a Guesthouse and to ‘launch’ its opening for volunteers and visitors.

The AMBULANCE, in its container, is STILL sitting at the Port of Phnom Penh – it is involved in a bureaucratic nightmare which many good people have tried to resolve since its arrival on September 24th … I shall see if I can do ANYTHING when I get there. On the subject of beurocratic nightmares – I will sort out a special Visa for one of our students to study at an International School in Australia (big news soon I hope).

On this website there are several thousand photos, each with notes or a story attached. I have no new photos for you today but I am sharing with you – 38  – starting with the very first photo I took in 2007. There are of course many ‘things’ missing by selecting just 38 photos – but remember, you can  find the ENTIRE story if you browse through ‘The Blog Posts’ (where most of the photos are) and the ‘Pages’ to the left of the screen.

If any or all of the photos with their notes inspire you – or re-inspire you:-

we really need money to function. There are posts within this site that detail the kinds of things we buy.

There is a ‘Donate’ page to the left of the screen – it’s attached to Paypal – the money goes through The Rotary Club of Beaudesert and on to us in the villages – 100% of it – directly to the Education of OUR children. There is zero administration expenditure. We pay NO ONE anything.. not me or anyone except our ten Cambodian teachers.

So now, please enjoy today’s photos and notes some of which you may well recall from past posts.

The photos and stories have all helped to tell the story of our progress since 2007.

 The very first photo I ever took in the village, in 2007 – The little girl on the right is still on the right – the extreme right hand end at the top of your page – the EducatingCambodia banner….. and …

 …last year Chandarith who was one of our very first students, took herself off to Phnom Penh, worked in bars and put herself through University and last July she RETURNED to our villages as a REGISTERED NURSE.

 In these photos Chandarith is attempting to help me with a Vitamin B, saline and sucrose infusion at the start of my health decline in early September 2015

  We build EVERYTHING in the simplest and strongest ways possible

 Many help with all building projects

  Teams of parents hand make all our desks

  The first and second schools side by side. Play equipment donated by UNICEF. Our red clinic and in the distance the teachers accommodation house.

  Inside our red clinic building

  Most of our classes are very large. We have 1000 children at any one time and we promise to give them all a basic education

   Our classes are large – upto 100 children per class – we have some smaller groupings for especially talented students – this is one of them (all families are VERY grateful for uniforms we buy in Phnom Penh. Uniforms are robust and also easily shared with siblings)

  John with Soken the Head Teacher presenting uniforms

  Roland and Eva from Sweden and often from Antibes!

    Two of my favourite photos – Chanthay with a brick that she treats with the same love as any child with a baby doll. The flower she is offering is a bottle of milk. Chanthay spots me taking the first photo – oh dear, I’m in trouble.

  Never had a hat before. Donated woollens

  Our friend Ros in Surrey, England put on a play in this incredibly beautiful historic barn theatre “Betchworth Barn” and sent us the proceeds x

  Kimheang who WAS a refugee from Cambodia now runs a restaurant in Dunedin New Zealand. Kimheang and her friend sent us the money for this important School flagpole. Thee names of the donors are around the base.

  Beaudesert Rotary visitors on the front staircase of the Guesthouse

   Homework at the top back room of the Guesthouse.

  Before The Guesthouse was completed one year ago – this is where I stayed along with our visitors. In this photo Nat is preparing rice for cooking. All the money to build The Guesthouse was given by two incredible members of the Rotary Club.

  Peter from the Rotary Club paid for this invaluable tuk tuk.. Its prime function is to take children to High School 20 klms away – yes we need a High School… The tuk tuk is also used, seats removed, to transport everything imaginable from pigs to cement. (we also have  petrol driven rotary hoe/ tractor donated by the club)

  We can buy almost anything we might need cheaply in the towns – what we need is money….however sometimes a school near us in Beaudesert (in this case, Veresdale Scrub) donate uniforms when designs change.

  They try their very best – a study in concentration

 Art work being prepared for sending to a school near Antibes – Mougins School.

  With large numbers of children – to introduce letters (khmer language) and numbers we find that slates are ideal. The whole class can hold up their slates and the teachers can see mistakes and rectify individually.

  Concentrating with their slates

    A very VERY important photo – just weeks before Nang died. After Peery’s first day at school Peery shows her mum, Nang, what she learned.. A wonderful and at the same time incredibly tragic photo. I’ve got a big framed version of this for Peery and one for me.

  Every exercise book, book and donated item is carefully presented

  You are looking at a mothers’ tuck shop on the opening morning of Antibes School. Please consider this:- these children are running TO school – their school in their uniforms.

  With the teachers at the Antibes School in Prey t’Baing village

  Happy students

  There are several posts last year of the rescue of Sokly (known as Soit) from an island factory off the south coast – success.

  Chanthai age 16. Her teeth were crushed into her gums when she was 8 years old. With a wonderful donation a a fabulous Phom Penh Dentist who gives us a big subsidy Dr Uck Bophal – Chanthay gets extractions and implants

  A very happy ..sooooo happy .. Chanthai with her new implants.

  Both Soit and Chanthai back home.. Happy girls!!!! Soit is wearing a Rotary Club of Beaudesert hat and Chanthai is wearing my BIG sun hat.

  Mark and Linda from Beaudesert Rotary Club sitting in ‘top streamed’ class.

  Mark and Linda are as excited as the children!

 We have one very important and huge tourist attraction in Cambodia – and after you have visited us and helped us you WILL want to see the incredible, awe inspiring – Angkor Wat – the biggest religious building in the world – the only actual building to appear on any National flag…..Angkor Wat at sunrise – summer solstice. I like all the cameras in this photo – thousands of young people simply in awe.

I shall be back in the villages, ready to sort things out that need sorting out – and to help – on June 8th….

Please join us…. I know you like the photos and the stories …. SO – we need money to help these desperatly poor villages.. Please find the’ Donate’ Page on the left of the screen and use the Paypal site… Also, you can NOW email me if you’d like to on





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