Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Oh no - not another Marathon

After two terrific years of CamKids teams competing in the Brighton Marathon and raising over £18,000, we have managed to secure additional places for the 2014 event. We are aiming to make the third year the best yet for CamKids.  100% of the money raised goes towards our projects in Cambodia which make big, often life-changing differences to children and their communities.

The marathon takes place on Sunday 6th April which gives you a good amount of time to build up the miles slowly and carefully so you can have a great run in a fantastic environment. There is a great deal of satisfaction in crossing the finishing line knowing you have achieved your goal and have run for such a great charity.

The minimum sponsorship amount is £500 per runner and we already have a number of competitors signed up for the event. As an example of how far this money will go, £500 will pay all the running costs of one of our weekly medical clinics in extremely poor slum communities, for 2 months.

Participants will receive a CamKids T-shirt, Running Vest and Charity Wristbands and we will help you set up a fundraising page on JustGiving, to make collecting sponsorship money easy.  The runner who raises the most sponsorship money will also receive a selection of goodies from CamKids' Patron and fundraiser, Al Murray - The Pub Landlord.

There are a limited number of places and we have a short deadline to confirm the places with the organisers. If you are interested in taking part then please contact us at events@camkids.org.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Lakeside School – a small community school with a big heart!

The Lakeside School is a dynamic learning centre in a slum community in Phnom Penh serving 150 students each day. Started in 2008 by CamKids’ partner Empowering Youth in Cambodia (EYC) and funded by CamKids, the successes of students coming from this project show that with a hand up young people can be empowered to obtain quality employment and valuable life skills. 
Lakeside's programs include 7 hours of English per day for various levels, computer classes throughout the day and evening, a weekly medical clinic, biweekly trips to the dentist, reading (in their new library), community organising, as well as weekend activities including leadership development, an under-14 football team, yoga, cycling, and field trips. Currently 8 students are given financial support for their high school or university education and EYC’s job placement service is open to all. The kids really enjoy going to class and teachers incorporate life skills training and fun activities into teaching lessons. Outside of the school are tough conditions for living with run-down shanty houses, garbage, people drinking, gambling, and in some cases neglecting children, while inside the mood is cheerful and the staff and volunteers are positive. 
Lakeside School is primarily an after-school program since government schools teach only 4 hours each day. During the morning and afternoon students are primary school-age, while in the evening they are in high school and university, as well as youth who have dropped out of school and are working, unemployed, or underemployed. Lakeside has an excellent network of supporting partners, committed Cambodian staff, international and local volunteers, and a student team leader group that volunteers and runs much of the operations of the school. Lakeside is more than a school since it is also a favourite gathering place for like-minded young people who are on their way to somewhere better. The school is open most of the day and serves multiple purposes including a gathering/play area for young kids, it has 2 sinks with soap for anyone to use, books for people to read on-site or borrow and computers with Internet access. 
At the heart of the school is some excellent staff including Ky Hao, the English teacher from 6:30 to 8:30pm (2 different levels). He is a graduate of a government university “Institute of Foreign Languages” (IFL) and has a bachelor’s degree in English Teaching and has a grasp of the English language far beyond most non-native speakers. Ky Hao likes to use current events as part of his lessons which also serve to engage students in social issues happening in their country. 
Veng Chenghuor is a 20 year old student who has studied at Lakeside School since 2009. She is now a 2nd year university students and has 2 jobs. Chenghuor says “the best part of Lakeside School is her teacher Ky Hao because he is hard working, has good ethics, makes good lesson plans and asks students lots of questions. He also makes class fun and explains things well.” Another thing she likes is that “the school is close to my house and is free for students in the community to study. It is also a place where the community can have a meeting and children can gather to take action, such as a garbage clean-up.” 
EYC has plenty of challenges to be able to work in the chaotic slum environment, but the involvement from the people in the community help to make things go smooth. In 2013-2014 additional students will be awarded scholarships to continue their studies at university thanks to CamKids partnership with a UK charitable Foundation.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Summer 2013 Newsletter

So much has been happening with our MEND (Medical, Education, Nutrition and Development) initiative in 2013, especially at our Kampong Speu projects, that we thought that we would dedicate this edition of our Newsletter to an update on developments there.

A huge Thank You to our donors, supporters and volunteers, without whom none of this would have been possible.  Please take a few minutes to read what you have achieved and blog, 'like', tweet, email or just tell any of your friends who might be interested in our work.  

CamKids receives no government funding and relies on word of mouth to generate donations from the public.  We are run entirely by our trustees and volunteers and have zero overheads, so 100% of every donation goes to helping the children.

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

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

EYC Sports Programme

With help from CamKids, Empowering Youth in Cambodia (EYC) has introduced and involved its students living in slum communities to various sports and exercise programs. While the benefits of sports on the development of young people is clear, so too is the undeniable joy that sports and the time outside their home communities have provided the students of EYC. Compared to the cost of funding the schools, CamKids’ funding for EYC’s sports programme is quite modest – but the pleasure generated is immense! 
EYC is currently providing sports opportunities to students at each of its schools in football, yoga, cycling, aerobics/dancing, as well as other clubs using the gym, swimming and an annual Frisbee camp! All sport activities are organized by the older students who now volunteer for EYC as Team Leaders. As with many of the activities of EYC, one of its strengths is the ability to organize large groups of young people who enthusiastically sign up to participate in any number of activities. 
EYC’s biggest program is football and each school has a boys’ team of under-14 year old boys playing in a local league, as well as in any opportunity to play. There is also a girls’ team which made their debut in later 2012 and had a great season. Involving girls in sports in Cambodia is still very new, but the idea is much better received now than even a few years ago and EYC has an increasing level of female participation in all sports activities. 
The football leagues, as well as clinics, tournaments and practice means that the students are practicing 3 times per week, with games on weekends. While Cambodians love football and can organize themselves quite capably, in Phnom Penh everyone needs to pay to use a pitch. The people in poor communities where EYC works would typically only play on a street with a wicker ball (if at all) and never with a coach or supervision. The leagues provide another level of organization, understanding of the game and teamwork as well as life lessons in morality from trained coaches. 
EYC’s next biggest fitness initiative is yoga and EYC is lucky to have great partnerships with the local yoga groups Nata Raj and Kundlaini who teach students in the schools through 6 different weekly classes. EYC receives the instruction at a subsidized rate and it is free for its students. EYC’s students have shown great interest in these classes and have stated that they feel an improvement in their sense of well-being after starting yoga. Students are now asked to commit to a weekly class for a 6 week session and have been staying with it. 
One of the yoga teachers at EYC’s Lakeside School is Seng Sela, who is an EYC alumni and was trained extensively to be a Kundalini yoga teacher after taking classes. Sela is also a part time yoga teacher for the organization at the yoga studio and is able to partly support his university studies with this work. Six other students from EYC have been selected to receive intensive training in yoga and all have had positive experiences as a result. Sela reports “I am so grateful to have the opportunity to study and teach yoga since I got to know myself better, it improves my health, and my focus at university is improved.” Sela is studying in his 2 year in Environmental Science at university and is in the top of his class. He receives a partial scholarship from EYC as well. 
EYC’s cycling team, EYCyling, has become so popular that it may become a semi-independent organization with hopes of attracting corporate sponsors. Over the last 3 years the level of competition has risen dramatically and EYC has had students repeatedly taking the podium at mountain bike races across all categories. Again, EYC has had the good fortune of assistance to get its students racing, training, donations of gear, etc. from a number of sources. In May 2013 EYC joined with a great partner/donor who has raised money to start a women’s cycling team which she will lead on weekly rides through the countryside outside of Phnom Penh.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Everyone has seen an advert on a lamppost advertising a scrap car scam, but did you know that there is an ethical and environmental way to get rid of your unwanted car, whilst raising money for charity?

Giveacar raises money for UK charities by scrapping and selling old cars. They provide a nationwide FREE service which:
  • Arranges the collection of the vehicle from your home 
  • Depending on its age and condition, recycles it at an authorised facility or sends it to auction
A donation generated from the sale or scrap of the car is then directed to CamKids. Scrap donations raise about £100 for the charity (depending on the price of metal) while auction cars can raise much more.

Do you have a vehicle, in any condition, taking up space in your garage or drive? If so, why not use it to raise money for CamKids and support us to provide services for children in Cambodia?  By raising awareness of this free and easy car donation service with friends and family, you can help us reach our fundraising goals this year.

To donate your scrap car to CamKids, simply call Giveacar on 020 7736 4242 and quote ‘The Cambodian Children’s Charity’ as your chosen charity. If you have any further questions about CamKids’ Giveacar appeal, please call the Giveacar team or see their website at: www.giveacar.co.uk

Friday, 14 June 2013

Donating to CamKids when you renew your car insurance

Monkey™aims to change the way people generate their car insurance quotes, by giving something back to those in need. For every car insurance quote taken out via This Link, Monkey™ will donate £10 to CamKids.