Friday, 30 November 2007

School Opening and Recent CamKids Trustee Visit

CamKids Trustee, Mark Purser, visited Cambodia recently and attended the official opening and blessing of Rumdoul Thmei school, in Kampong Speu Region (see article Here). The school is located in an extremely isolated and poor community, even by Cambodian standards. None of the children have ever spent a single day at school.

CamKids is working with a local NGO and has provided the financing for the acquisition of the land and buildings and renovation of the school. CamKids will also be meeting the running costs of the school, which will be teaching the Cambodian State syllabus, under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. Future plans include teaching English to the students and providing vocational training for the older children.

Representatives from the Ministry, as well as Village and Commune Chiefs and the families of the children also attended the opening. All of the children were given a school bag containing writing materials, small toys and sweets and they will all be provided with school uniforms and flip flops. As many of the children have to walk over 5 km to the school, we are also planning to provide bicycles to some of the students.

We still need donors to help support the running costs of the school, including regular sponsors for the teachers and pupils and donors to fund the cost of 'School Starter Packs' for each of the children. If you would like to find out more about the project or if you would like to sponsor a teacher or a student, please send an e-mail to: Mark Purser. Alternatively, to make a regular online donation, please click REGULAR or SINGLE, to make a single online donation. Please mark any donation ‘School’.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Al Murray Xmas Benefit Show for CamKids

On Thursday 13th December Al Murray 'The Pub Landlord' (and CamKids Patron) will be hosting a special variety show at his pub of choice in aid of CamKids at the George IV Function Room, 185 Chiswick High Road, London W4 2DR.

All money raised will be used to benefit orphaned, abandoned and poor children in Cambodia.

Tickets cost £25 and doors open at 7.30. Other acts will be added to the line up in the next few weeks - check back here for details.

Tickets are strictly limited to 250 and we are initially offering them on a first come first served basis to existing supporters and friends of CamKids.

Tickets will go on sale to the public next week - to reserve a ticket, please send an e-mail to: Amber Murray.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Diary from KV Orphanage Volunteer

The days keep vanishing, the weeks melting the months evaporating. “Soon your year will be over” everyone kept commenting. As a calendar year, yes that may be true, but as a year that will live so closely to my heart and bear down on my decisions throughout life, it had only just begun. I really can’t believe how fast my time here has gone - thinking of going home feels like a world away. Writing this has brought feelings of leaving and how scared I am to go.

The children mean so much to me, they are my family and not only am I their teacher, their sister their mum I am also their friend. It’s going to be so tough walking out the gates for the last time. Thinking about looking back and seeing the kids and nannies brings me to tears.

Many people comment on how proud they are of me, but I feel like it’s such a simple thing to do. I love people, helping out and hey I get nice weather. But now as my flight looms closer I realise how many challenges I have faced. Any things I wish I never have to experience again and many I never want to end.

My role has developed so much this year - I gained great amounts of responsibility. I found myself in charge of the monthly expenditure for the orphanage, paying the bills and filling in reports. Where my role developed most is on the medical side of life.

In the beginning another girl and I shared a room, our room was a little way from the kid’s house and on many occasions I'd be woken up throughout the night with sick kids or problems. It became easier for me and the nannies to sleep alongside the children. So I slept on the floor with the nannies next to the cots - during the day the mosquito nets came down and it became a play area, by making this move

I became more involved with the lives of all the children and nannies. Many nights were spent talking late into the night with nannies. I picked up a lot of the language this way and made amazing friends, although most importantly, I was on hand for any medical issues. Looking back now I realise that I have saved lives - it’s hard to grasp and believe because I feel so young and I suppose I thought that, at nineteen, you can’t do things like that. I guess it’s hard to admit that there are problems the world over that can be prevented so simply.

My year has been amazing and I have learnt so much, yes I have had tough days. Witnessing death in children so young, knowing that in another country these things would not be allowed to happen was hard and often brought anger, but I had to come to realise that there sometimes was nothing else I could do.

For every sad moment there’s a million amazing moments. Like when the weight of an extremely malnourished child begins to rise every week, after months of struggling to get her to eat properly. Or when a weak boy of three with a hole in the heart gains enough strength to walk and laugh. Or when I’ve sat up all night with a child that is extremely dehydrated due to vomiting and diarrhoea and also has a fever of 42c manages to keep something down and starts regaining health. Or when I meet my students in the market and they can hold a whole conversation with me in English. I can see their parents eyes light up as it means their child might make it out of the wooden shack and get a proper paid job. And I smile so proud because my student no matter how much trouble they’d caused in class had after all been listening.

I came to Cambodia knowing only that I'd be living in an orphanage and teaching in a school. I taught classes of 50 children geography, English, Maths, Arts and Sports and most importantly, Hygiene. My role developed so much in so many different ways but it always came back to teaching and learning. Just as much as I am teaching I am learning. I’ve gained great friends and earned respect in my village, becoming a local in the rural Cambodian village which has become my home.

I don’t know how to thank everyone so much who contributed in any way to sending me to Cambodia.

Akon Chran - Thank you very much

Project Trust Volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering in Cambodia or elsewhere, contact Project Trust at or go to