Thursday, 10 May 2012

Chbar Chros School Blessing

On 22 March, our new Community School at Chbar Chros, in Kampong Speu Province was officially opened and blessed by monks from the local monastery. This project is part of our MEND (Medical, Education, Nutrition, Development) initiative for the area and will shortly be followed by a pre-school facility and a medical centre. It was a truly memorable day for everyone concerned. We were treated to a series of dances performed by the talented children at HAP orphanage in the beautiful costumes which CamKids' donors funded, as well as 2 songs, specially composed by the children and their teacher in honour of the new school and CamKids and a number of speeches written by the children, the teacher and the elders of the village.

It was a wonderful day and we were delighted to be able to welcome our Patron, Al Murray, as well as Mark Augustyn and Adam Booker, who work tirelessly in supporting Al to raise large amounts of money for CamKids throughout the year. We were also really happy to be able to bring along a bus load of Cambodian and expatriate CamKids supporters from Phnom Penh. Enforcing the 'no drinking before the ceremony' rule on the bus was challenging, but the day went off without any hitches and Dom managed to keep everyone under control. The same cannot be said for the return journey!

On our way to the ceremony, we dropped in on a local government school, where teachers and pupils of Sorell school in Tasmania had raised money to purchase playground equipment for the school. Again, it was wonderful to be able to have long time CamKids supporter, Moya Sharpe, there for the ceremony, where we also donated 40Kg of children's clothes, organised by Gill Fryer in Victoria.

We were all very moved by the reception we received at both schools, the speeches from the local chiefs and elders of the community, the dancing and the songs sung by the children. At last the villagers at Chbar Chros have a school for their children - something that they have never had in this area, even before the Khmer Rouge took over in the mid-1970's. The look of pride on the faces of the elders of the village were all that was needed to assure us that they will continue to work in partnership with CamKids to make the school a success.

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