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Archive

K.I.D.S. - Simply improving children's lives.

Jan 19, 2012

Hello Everyone,

Hope all is well with you and yours.

The prefab building for the floating clinic is coming along and will soon be transported and assembled on the deck of the platform, we are having a bathroom and shower built as well. In the meantime we are assembling the cooking supplies, mats, coolers etc as well as coordinating the installation of solar panels, wiring and plumbing. We will soon update this project again with more photos.

The addition to the girl's home is moving along as well; with the concrete structure almost complete and the brickwork well under way. As we visit the girl’s and check on the progress of the project we realize how cramped for space they are so we are all waiting for the completion of the new space with great anticipation.

We took a trip to Kompong Cham, another province to the south, about a five hour drive from where we are. We went to a small isolated village on the bank of the Mekong River. We were there many years ago with a young girl whose family ran the guest house where we used to stay. We decided to return with the same Cambodian family, who are now our good friends, to assist the children of the village with educational supplies. To get to the village we had to take a small ferry across the Mekong River, the ferry only held six cars, we had three full of supplies. The village is picturesque, surrounded by pastoral farmlands, banana trees and shaded roads however the bottom line is the same, schooling is difficult to achieve for many children and the people are very poor.

The woman who runs the Guest House grew up in the village and lost her brother during the Khmer Rouge regime, when she was young she worked very hard as a child, especially during the Pol Pot times. She and her family now run a very successful business and own two guest houses in Siem Reap, she wanted to give back to her village. Together we pooled funds to provide exercise books, pens, pencils, crayons and a treat for over 1000 children.

thousand_children_cambodia.jpg

On our arrival we were met by the teachers and students. They had prepared a ceremony for us and were very excited to have visitors and receive the school materials; after handing out the piles and piles of supplies we walked around the school. The principal explained that in the rainy season the school has to close for a few months as the classrooms are flooded and everyone in the village uses boats to travel from A to B. Hard to believe the red dusty roads turn into small canals, this explains why all the houses are built on stilts. The school was having problems with their water pump for their well and so we were able to purchase a new one; K.I.D.S. also bought a few tables for their library, so the children can sit and read. It was nice to see the children walking and riding their bikes home tightly holding their new materials and smiling. It was also great to see Cambodian people reaching out to assist their own and supporting education.

We have been going out to visit some of the children KIDS supports with education in the countryside. Last year you may remember a young woman named Sopeak, who we have been assisting with school, she is very bright and incredibly dedicated; she also has a hearing problem that we were able to improve with a hearing aide. We were waiting for some ear surgeons from France who volunteer annually here to see if they could help her, but due to a miscommunication she missed the opportunity in October. We hope they will return to Cambodia soon as her hearing is still deteriorating. We took a ride out to her home, which is about 15k outside the city. Her family met us with smiles and fresh coconuts from their garden. Sopeak is still doing extremely well in school, out of 66 children she is number 6 in her class, she is also progressing well in English and we had a nice chat about school and life in the countryside. She continues to put in 12 hour days riding 30 k each day to and from Khmer and English school, some of that trip is at night in the dark as there is no electricity in her village area, once home she studies by the light of the solar lamp that was donated for her last year.

Her father was home, as he left his job in Phnom Penh, a city hundreds of kilometres from his village, where he had been making furniture for a few years, and only able to come home a few times a year. The factory stopped paying him a salary and expected him to work for room and board and so he has now come home to try and find a job and be closer to his family; he is a hard working man. His wife does her best with 5 children by growing vegetables and bananas to eat and sell; they live in a small one room house with a thatched roof (Sopeak in red shirt).

sopeaks_home.jpg

Due to the families financial difficulties two of Sopeak’s younger teenage sisters have now had to quit school and work in town at the local massage places to try and help support the family, we are working on solutions to get them back in school. They are a close, loving family and everyone pulls their weight as best they can in the face of difficult odds. With donations we are going to provide them with a new well, as theirs is becoming unusable, buy the father a phone so he can look for work and buy another bike for the children; transportation and communication can improve life greatly in the countryside.

On a happy note we took all the girls from the girl’s home and a group of boys who live at a safe house that we assist, to a fair that was in town. All together there were about 30 of us. The kids had a fantastic time, they mostly loved the trampoline and the bumper cars, the small ones rode around on the baby bumper cars...great fun. It is hard to believe these kids can jump for 30 minutes in 34 degree humid weather and want to keep jumping; everyone was hot, sweaty and happy on the ride home.

cambodian_fair.jpg

We will write again soon about the other projects. As always thanks for making this all possible.

Thanks to Tracey Balanik our emails and photos are archived here http://adrianneandrickatkids.blogspot.com/ and on our website. 

Warmly,

Adrianne and Rick

 

 



-- Kids International Development Society

     KIDS                



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I LOVE LOVE LOVE the 6th from the bottom lpasdcane pic with her hair coming across her face. The light is amazing. These are BEAUUUUUUUUTIFUL, Lisa. I learn so much from just looking at your pics. And this blog is looking great too!
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