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:

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.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

International University (IU) Dental Clinic

Children living in the poorest communities in Cambodia often suffer from very poor dental heath due to a lack of good oral hygiene and diets too high in sugary foods and drinks. This stems from a lack of education about how to look after the teeth, low usage of toothbrushes and toothpaste and, for most children, no access to basic dental treatment. For this reason, CamKids funds children from orphanages and poor communities to go for dental treatment at the International University (IU) Dental Clinic. The treatment is provided by dental students under the supervision of experienced dentists. 
Treatment provided at IU includes: relief from pain and infection (by doing extractions and in some cases basic pulp treatments); prevention (sealing the molar teeth and applying fluoride to prevent decay); restorations (in permanent teeth and also some primary teeth in order to maintain the space for the adult teeth to come through); dental health education (using a dental tooth model and a flip chart to teach about good dental health); and silver fluoride applications to arrest decay in the primary teeth. In the time we have been running this program, we have seen a great improvement in the oral health of thousands of children. 
Recently CamKids arranged for children living in the Canalside, Banteay Sleak and Ptesh Leu Teak (house above the water) slums to visit the IU and receive dental treatment. For most of these children, this was their first time to visit the dentist. The dental students try hard to make these visits a happy and painless experience, and most of the time they succeed.
As well as treatment, the children are provided with a toothbrush and toothpaste and shown how to correctly brush their teeth by using a giant teeth model and toothbrush which the children can also practice on. When asked by the IU staff “do you brush your teeth every day?” most of the children responded with “no”, because they had no access to a toothbrush or toothpaste nor did they know what the best way to actually brush their teeth was. 
Pheaktra, a 10 year old boy who lives in Banteay Sleak slum with his mother, two sisters, and one brother came into the IU for his very first visit to a dentist. His father left the family to find a job in Kratie Province more than one year ago, but he didn’t come back or send them any money to support the children’s living or study expenses. His mother works as a cook and only makes a small income
Pheaktra’s family living conditions are poor and he previously had no education about how to take care of his teeth. He and his siblings have never owned toothbrushes before and never brushed their teeth. When he came to the IU clinic he had severe decay in four of his teeth. Pheaktra explained that the decayed teeth hurt him a lot and he cried every night, however, after treatment he felt a lot better: “I feel much better after treatment. I think I can eat well again, and wont cry at night any more. I would like to say thank you very much to CamKids for supporting this program. I promise to brush my teeth every day from now on!