Why THESE places?

We deal extensively in “The Khmer Rouge’ section with ‘why Cambodia’ of all countries in need.

So now, why in the KamchayMear District of northern Prey Veng province?

First, we’ll show some maps so we understand WHERE we are, before we answer – ‘why here’?










Cambodia between Thailand to the east and Vietnam in the west and Laos in the north. Our villages are roughly due east of the capital Phnom Penh midway to the Vietnam border.

THERE IS A BLOG POSTING DATED August 11 2011 – which you can scroll to in the BLOG; it’s entitled ‘BRIEF HISTORY and NATIONAL STATISTICS’…. It is actually lengthy thorough and current at that time.









Phnom Penh, the capital city, is the small area to the east of northern Prey Veng. Our area covers roughly the area of the word”VENG”.












This is the largest scale map of PreyVeng in existence, roughly 5 km to an inch when full size. Our three schools covering twelve villages are marked – X. Vietnam is immediately east of the easterly tip and also south of the southern border. (The section on ‘schools’ has more detail, wants and needs, plans and photos.) The two crosses to the south east mark the approximate spot in the center of the Mekong River where it is possible for another school.










An enlarged part of the Prey Veng map above. Our base is ChuorPh’av, the lower cross.


So, our schools in April 2011 – are in the area we have focussed on so far ie. The Commune of Don Kong, 15 villages, within the District of KamchayMear in northern Prey Veng Province.

Now – we come to WHY(?)

In 2010, two million tourists visited Cambodia. 80% of Cambodian people live in rural villages across the nation. In our area there is NOTHING for tourists to see; no temples, no forests, no waterfalls and no big hills…..just a LOT of people trying to live their lives.


Most tourists carry one of two guide books – ‘The Rough Guide to Cambodia’ or ‘Lonely Planet – Cambodia’:-

‘Rough Guide to Cambodia’has 360 pages of travel advice, giving well judged, informative advice, sometimes at comprehensive length. This is what is said about Prey Veng – –

“The desperately impoverished southeastern province of Prey Veng is little visited by Khmers (Cambodians) from other parts of the country, let alone foreign tourists. People here eke out an existence which is often below subsistence level.”

“Lonely Planet – Cambodia” similarly has 336 very well written and informative pages. This is what is said about our province, Prey Veng – –

“Prey Veng is a small but heavily populated agriculturalregion…There is little of significance to be seen in the province today…Few travellers make it to Prey Veng…not a lot happens here.”


In fact, as stated elsewhere, when I first arrived in the villages in 2004 I was told by elders that I was the first non-Cambodian either in living or archival memory ever to visit.


In 2007 a senior policeman told me in Khmer (pronounced kmEYE.),[Cambodian] language , “ Cambodia is as you know a very poor country. The Province of Prey Veng is one of the very poorest….John, six of our villages are the poorest of all”… these six villages along with six more have been so far our area of focus. The Rotary Club of Beaudesert, Queensland, Australia, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Croydon** (Melbourne Australia), through John (I am currently writing this document!) is based in the village of ChuorPh’av at the centre of this area.


In the section on ‘schools’ and in lots of other places you will see reference to various donors and principally the Rotary Club of Beaudesert and The Rotary Club of Croydon in Australia and the people of Antibes in the South of France, and a large number of Rotary Clubs donations as well as hundreds of individual donations. There is also a separate section on donors which will be constantly updated.


As mentioned above, it is very possible (we need money) that one of our future schools will be Kohte Cho Island in the Mekong River just north of Neak Leung along the south western border of the Province.

The island is extremely poor and heavily populated. All the children on our website ‘banner’ are from KohteCho ..(they currently can’t attend school because there isn’t one!).

Aall that is, except Clee on the far right who we have ingeniously added to the photo. Clee is from ChuorPh’av and is and was the original ‘face’ of our schools.

Before we had any money, all we had was an idea and all we had to go on was Clee and her friends from the villages. You can see Clee and her friends original photo. She attends our school now and can read and write her own language and understands basic maths, geography and history.









These children were our original ‘face’ of the project of the Rotary Club of Beaudesert, before we had nothing but an idea…a DREAM TO MAKE REAL.

here she is in 2010, the original face of our school a little older and a little educated;










Clee can read and write now.












She understands that her job in the top corner of our site is to represent the 1000 children we already have in school who need books, teachers, nutrition, health care, water and sanitation…and to tell us that more places just like hers need help. She is also asking you to join us for their future.