Saturday, 22 December 2012

Winter 2012 Newsletter


Up to now, all CamKids Newsletters have been written by the trustees, but we thought it was time for us to take a back seat and for you to hear from some of the Cambodians and volunteers working hard for CamKids and the children of Cambodia.  CamKids continues to expand its reach to help more and more disadvantaged children, and the testimonies in our Winter newsletter are written by people helping CamKids to help Cambodians to help themselves.

To access the Newsletter, please click This Link or Contact Us and we will send you a copy by e-mail.

THANK YOU for your loyalty, trust and support. From CamKids, and all the children we are able to help support through your ongoing generosity, we wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year.

The CamKids Trustees

Monday, 17 December 2012

EYC Medical Program

Camkids funding medical care for Phnom Penh’s urban poor

As part of the ongoing support from CamKids to Empowering Youth in Cambodia (EYC), funds are provided to cover the medical expenses for EYC’s 4 schools in poor communities, otherwise known as slums (i.e. residents do not hold land titles). Students in the schools are provided a basic but holistic set of health services including regular health and hygiene training, weekly medical clinics at each school, referrals for serious cases that can’t be treated in the clinics and dental care. Additionally, everyone in the community receive health services including family planning training and long term birth control, medical treatment and de-worming treatment every 6 months. 

EYC started providing education and leadership development for young people in 2006. The services made a difference and are still much appreciated by the community, but the founder Drew McDowell was constantly confronted with illnesses in the students and their families. For EYC’s first 3 years they were unable to do much beyond taking kids with serious problems to a clinic or hospital, as well as some to a private dentist. “Kids were constantly getting sick, and we weren’t doing much to address it. Our team was good at inspiring and training young people, but when people got sick, and sometimes it was serious, we felt pretty helpless” said Drew. 

As the medical NGO One-2-One started to partner with EYC, they were able to provide a whole new level of support for students and their families. Not surprisingly, the costs to provide health services started to rise, and EYC could not sustain the program if not for the support from CamKids. Once a monthly budget was established, the team in EYC was able to work to support the health programs, establish partnerships, train volunteers from the communities, and the results were impressive. So impressive, it is hard to summarize or understand without seeing it firsthand; sick people being treated, cavities being filled (smiles returned), behaviors changed and hygiene improved.  A new generation that understands reproductive health, woman in control of their bodies and real care being shown to people who are in a tough situation. Each week there is a line of people waiting to see the medical team.  There are tuk tuks full of kids going to the dentist and there are trained young people on the ground to educate and help in all kinds of situations. 

From October 2011 to September 2012 EYC accomplished the following, thanks to the support from CamKids:

2,515 Patient-visits with a doctor. 
1,152 Patient-visits to a dentist. 
73 Women received long term birth control (IUD or implant). 

While the road to improving the health of a community is not an easy one, these results along with a continued health education message will affect long term changes in the communities EYC works with.

Monday, 10 December 2012

NFO Update

The following report and slideshow has just been received from one of the orphanages which CamKids has been supporting for a number of years:

NFO has had a year of great developments, we have not only had many upgrades and maintenance projects take place at the children’s home, but we have also seen an expansion of our community project and village schools too. Thanks to many volunteers, school groups and international organisations such as CamKids, we have seen an extension of our farm, teaching the children about sustainable practices and were able to complete much needed maintenance work on one of our classrooms, the children’s bathrooms and the kitchen. Other important construction projects also took place such as a dance room and a rice store shed and a new playground area. 

The children have also enjoyed a number of excursions; the most exiting of the year was to Phnom Penh for the CamKids cup, in which our talented football stars took first place. The children also visited Kep and Sihanoukville while all the children who have recently turned sixteen went on the annual trip to Angkor Watt. Our volunteers have thoroughly enjoyed their stay at NFO and have bought much benefit to the youth in which we serve, as expressed by a previous volunteer. 

“I feel very grateful and have had a humbling experience to have taught the kids at the orphanage and being able to play some outdoor games with them, teaching English to Monks at the Pagoda and help out at Ben Mao rural School whilst my stay at Takeo. I've also had some time to see other parts of Cambodia and had really cherished every moment of it. You can sure hope to visit a town full of lovely, local people, local traditional markets and many exotic fruits” Tania - June 2012, Student

We have also seen the expansion of our community projects and have extended not only our village school program with the building of a new school, but we now provide free English classes to the local monks and police and are also working with the Takeo provincial hospital on a blood donation program, proving desperately needed blood to those in need. 

NFO have been supported by CamKids for a number of years now through the provision of food for the children, the teachers' salaries and materials for all of our village schools, the building of our vocational training centre and the funding of our Tuk Tuks and other vehicles. Our children are very grateful for the assistance that CamKids provides as you can see by some of the testimonials of our children, such as this short story by Soklina.

"My names is Sok Lina, I am 12 years old, I have lived at NFO for four years. When I grow up I want to be a doctor. I like NFO because they help me think of my future. I have a lot of friends in NFO, they are so friendly with me, and other children too. At free time we study English with the volunteers in the classroom CamKids made for us. We study Khmer at school with our Khmer teacher. We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. We sometime go to the beach and the mountains, we are happy in NFO." Sok Lina - October 2012