Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Kais Village Orphanage Nursery Build 2008

In May 2007, Sergeant Charlie Brooks of The Royal Engineers approached our patron Al Murray with the idea of constructing a building in Cambodia for CamKids.

We couldn’t believe our luck, only a few months after the charity was launched, and we are offered skilled help for a new building! Soldiers love this kind of work, it gives them a chance to utilise their skills to create something of fundamental importance, especially in a country that still needs a great deal of help to get back on its feet after the devastation of war.

Al immediately flew Charlie out to Cambodia (before he could change his mind!) to meet the directors of (charity funded) Kais Village Orphanage which is in desperate need of a new, bigger, more functional nursery. Kais, situated in a rural area in Cambodia, is currently home to 30 babies, the conditions are cramped and basic to say the least and more babies arrive every other week. Cots can double up over night and the nannies sleep on the floor - many work all through the day, feed babies in the night and have nowhere to go for a nap or break.

Charlie carried out an initial reconnaissance of the orphanage land and drew up some basic drafts and estimates for the nursery. Working from a detailed wish list we think we have managed to incorporate everything we could hope for in a nursery; sleep areas for up to 40 babies and up to 20 nannies, play areas, bottle preparation rooms, wet and dry rooms for changing, storage, and of course a tea break/wash/sleep area for the nannies. Charlie is now faced with a far more challenging build than he ever could have anticipated.

A particularly generous friend of CamKids, architect Scott Gill, has taken time out to turn Charlie’s drafts into beautiful, architectural plans. Between Scott, Charlie and new recruit, Steve Haskins, some serious thought has gone into to the design of this building, such as the need for good ventilation (given the sheer volume of soiled nappies and the tropical climate), the need for water collection guttering, and most importantly they have had to account for the fact that there is no sewage system in this part of Cambodia.

Charlie, Project Manager Lee Belcher and two other volunteers from the British Army, Greg Lawrence and Stephen Halpin, are taking 9 weeks leave to undertake this enormous build. They will be employing a team of local construction builders and tradesmen. CamKids volunteers will join them in April to help with plastering, tiling and painting. The new nursery should be complete by the end of April.

The directors of Kais have always had a dream that their orphanage would never feel like an institution. They have always wanted the children, the nannies, the cook, the cleaner, the doctor, the farmers, the maintenance men and volunteers that work and live there to feel like Kais is their little community, their village, their home. On behalf of Kais, CamKids would like to say thank you to Charlie Brooks, Scott Gill, Steve Haskins, Lee Belcher, Big Misters Shipping Co, Paul Redfern of Redferness (who is assisting Charlie with sourcing materials and a team of builders in Cambodia) and a special thank you to our generous donors, without your support this project never would have been possible.

Please contact us or click one of the links if you would like to make make a donation to support this build or a regular donation to support the running costs of the nursery or to support future builds. Please mark your donation 'Nursery'.