Ten Year Overview 2007 – 2017

Cambodia 2007 – 2017 – The Ten Year Overview

( written for Beaudesert Rotary and Rotary International in December 2017)

“Within this site – www.educatingcambodia.com you can find the full and ongoing history with over 5000 photos and detailed notes. There is also a full and constantly updated list of Donors and ways to Donate. There are a great many minor works and small projects not listed TODAY but they are all within the website.

 

During 2007 John Mann did a lot of research and investgation re the need (?) for a school or schools and the best ways forward. (recorded in several places within the site.)

March 2008 John joined the Rotary Club of Beaudesert. In April of 2008 ‘Schools and related projects in Cambodia’ was registered as a Rotary International Project and as a RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service) Project with an ID of ‘Cambodia 55 2007- 2008’ – and this was before we had raised one dollar! We still operate with that ID number. We were at a Conference in Yamba when we received approval and were given our very first donation by the owners of Iluka Caravan Park – $1000. Beaudesert Rotary President was Albert Prior.

Brian Yarrow was President through the next crucial year of 08-09. We needed $26,000 to buy all the materials locally for that first school which is a single building of three 10 metre x 10 metre rooms. We would never employ ANYONE except village builders and Cambodian teachers – and this, we have maintained over the years. We received donations from Brian himself, from our Club, many members, Southport Rotary and friends in France. THAT FIRST SCHOOL WAS OPENED IN DECEMBER 2008. 10 Club members traveled to Cambodia.

During Corrinne Delahunty’s  year we planned an identical building to be School ‘two’. Through friends of Rotarian Heather Yarker, ‘Captain’s Choice Travel’ of Melbourne entirely funded that school and with a Rotary Foundation ‘Matching Grant’ we opened that school in Doug Lavers McBain’s year in December 2010. The Matching Grant got us Solar electricity, books, sports goods, musical instruments, uniforms and desks. (Desks made by mums and dads and EVERYTHING else sourced locally.)

Again, Captain’s Choice funded the third school in Prey t’Baing village. Our Club paid the teachers of the first school and Captain’s Choice paid teachers in the 2nd and 3rd schools.

This photo is of the children running TO School on the first ever school day in Prey t’Baing.

After two years Captains Choice stopped paying their teachers . Prey t’Baing Teachers were taken on by ANTIBES in France. France then also took on ALL maintenance and the building of teachers accommodation known as Chez Hilary. – that building is now our PRE-SCHOOL. Antibes became one of our very biggest donors and Prey t’Baing School was renamed ‘Antibes School’

UNICEF gave us the swings and slide and Kevin Marsden’s Rotary Club year paid for a ‘rotary hoe’ to improve village farming. Peter Greenwell paid for a tuk tuk to ferry children to High School – it also carries everything imaginable from cement to pigs and journeys to market. We have a filtered ground water to drinking water system donated by a combination of ‘Cleanwater Cambodia’ and ANTIBES.

View of the Chuor Ph’av School taken from the UNICEF swings.

3 years ago Antibes money almost ceased as the key people moved to Avignon. That money should restart during 2018 indeed Hilary is doing her very best as I write (February 2018).

*Peter Greenwell has so far picked up the cost of their 3 teachers. The schools’ attendance has grown to 1340 overall in two shifts per day.

*We pay the teachers a salary supplement of US$360 per year each. Beaudesert pays for 11 teachers. These are Cambodian Government Schools on Government land. The Cambodian Government pays each teacher US$900 per year.

With contributions from our Club and France we built the Pink Clinic (see within the line of buildings). We are not operating as a full Clinic yet but we have simple First Aid and a Registered Nurse – Chandarith – who was one of our original students in 2008 – see the website, Nov 2015.

 

Every year a number of Club members visit – Linda and Mark Jackson have been 7 times – Lauren Hanser 3 times. Since 2008 John Mann has spent alternating 3 month blocks in the villages and back in Australia.

We need another block of 3 classrooms to be situated where the swings now are (Swings to be relocated near the main entrance). We need US$30,000 to build that block and at this time of writing, we are waiting to hear from a possible donor – this will mean extra teachers and that issue is part of talks. The Donor or Donors will have ‘naming rights’.

*** SINCE THIS  TEN YEAR SUMMARY WAS WRITTEN IN DECEMBER 2017 (and edited in February 2018), we are moving towards individual sponsors paying for our teachers – more on this later in 2018.

(continuing) Linda and Mark Jackson paid for the building of Our Guesthouse for volunteers and visitors. This is thoroughly detailed with many photos within the website. No donated money from anyone goes to the Guesthouse.

The 15 villages of Don Kong Commune, in the District of Kamchay Mear in Prey Veng Province are officially the ‘poorest in Cambodia’ – and 12 of those villages attend OUR Schools. We are educating them to give them a good chance of survival first and then sustainable prosperity – and they, many thousands of people within our families, are very VERY grateful to The Rotary Club of Beaudesert, to France, UK, USA NZ and may individuals all listed in the Donors section of the website”.

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