Rotary Australia Overseas Aid Fund (Managed by RAWCS) has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) registration and has been listed as a Charitable Fund. For tax deductible Australian donations to CHOICE CAMBODIA. Please click on this link to see the Donate page and the Rotary Logo to donate via.
6th September 2017
Choice recently took a group of 15 of the top performing Choice students to Kids City in Phnom Penh. They mostly learnt about science on the Kids City interactive science floors.
It was the first time for all the kids to visit a city so the whole trip was an amazing experience for them. There was many firsts for them such as going up in an elevator lift, it had glass doors too, which further enhanced their first elevating experience. The 10th floor had great views across the city.
Sok Heng brought them in via the Choice minibus. Vanny and Rob went along to help supervise as well. The trip was made possible by Sokphaos who has previously taught German at the Choice Centre a few years ago. He now works at Kids City and offered Choice an opportunity to bring a group of students for a hands on tour of their science areas. He organised a two hour guided tour and provided each child with a chicken and rice lunch complete with bottle of water. He arranged for discounted tickets and then paid for the remainder himself so all Choice had to pay for was transport. The tour began with the students split into two groups each with a Kids City guide who made sure the students were safe and showed them around the many experiments, displays, and activities that were well thought out and fun, including the exciting high-wire bicycle and human gyro.
Learning about how sound travels.
Learning about planets and augmented reality.
After the general tour, the centre manager made a speech to the kids about science that included the word STEM which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. He explained about the importance of those four words to the kids and told them to study hard if they wanted to help develop their country.
He then split the students into 3 teams of 5, where they first did some team building games such as them all controlling a single elastic band connected by strings where each kid held and controlled one string. They then used that to pick up as a team, paper cups and build a cup tower.
The center manager then set them a challenge to build a self propelled model car from a pack of components that included bottle tops, kebab sticks, straws, cardboard, sticky tape, scissors and a balloon. They then had a race to see which teams car could travel the fastest and furthest. The kids were amazed at how smooth the floor was.
They then had a prize giving where all the students received science books.
Finally they had lunch before returning to the Choice Center, as very happy kids.
We feel the kids had a wonderful trip of discovery and were inspired by what they experienced. We hope to bring more kids here and use it to help encourage the kids to work harder and the top performers get a chance to visit Kids City as a reward for their hard work.
Many thanks to Sokphaos who made this special and beneficial trip possible.
Kids City Science Gallery promotion video
For a few months now James Dumar has been training two of our Villagers at our Center, both CHOICE staff, and keen to learn the art of Beekeeping. CHOICE has given them an interest free loan to purchase a hive each, repayments will be taken from their salary. They can choose to either extract honey to sell or double their number of hives, say each 3 months. We hope with enough training LaoHeng will become the assistant teacher and manager of our Bee Co-Op in the future. On the bottom is Sokheng with Vanny and on the top is LaoHeng receiving their hives fro Ross.
Further Introduction to Beekeeping training courses will be conducted by James at the CHOICE Center, with transport from Longlin House in Phnom Penh, for more information and bookings contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Being advised to Register and License our Dental Clinic by the Ministry we decided it far better to donate the Dental Chair and associated instruments to “One-2-One” a Cambodian Dental Charity. A properly licensed Khmer NGO that provide Dental care to children through out Cambodia. They have agreed to provide free treatment on two five day visits to our school each year. We are very pleased with this arrangement and thank all those involved in helping to put this together. I also thank Giuseppe and Dr. Jon Paul the original donor from Malaysia, they would be happy to see the chair still being used to help Khmer children.
Bees are on the brink of extinction in Cambodia mostly due to land clearance and the destructive methods used by locals to rob the honey from native hives. An agreement has been made between CHOICE Cambodia and James Dumar who among many things is a Beekeeper. James will teach the art of beekeeping to Cambodians at the CHOICE Center. The first one day course is free for Khmer and will be held on Saturday the 1st April at the CHOICE Center. “Introduction to Beekeeping”. Transport will be provided at 8.30am sharp from Longlin House #159 in Street 19 Phnom Penh. Interested parties including other NGO’s need book with James Dumar via email@example.com.
Soon James will commence an in depth three day Beekeeping courses at the CHOICE Center. CHOICE selected Khmers will receive free training, others will be paying for the course and perhaps being sponsored by various NGO’s. This course can be for individuals or families and comes complete with a working kit including the Bees. It will be fully hands on and we already have 5 live hives set up at the rear of the CHOICE Center. Other training courses will also be offered later this year.
CHOICE is providing the facility for James to conduct his small business, in return James is providing training and giving other assistance to help CHOICE activities. After receiving the free Bee training courses our Khmer will need kitting out, we will need donors for this so interested persons please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week saw the the 5th anniversary for the Choice Centre, during which time hundreds of local children from extremely poor families have learnt to read, write and speak English. There has also been Scholarships/Apprenticeships awarded, computer training, art and craft classes, hairdressing, sewing and gardening. To celebrate, Choice organised an extra special lunch for the children. Normally on weekdays CHOICE provide a simple lunch meal for 150 or more children, typically a meat and vegetable soup together with rice. For the anniversary, $200 was spent and that allowed for a special curry with rice and baguette bread as well as a canned drink for each child attending. Steve Murray of Georgia’s children paid half towards it, as GCW are also celebrating 5 years of association with CHOICE. The bakery Tous les Jours also kindly contributed additional breads and donuts like they have previously done. So it proved to be a very popular lunch. Ross and Vanny gave a speech to the children, reminding them what Choice does and how things operate, as well as to explain some of the major changes taking place in the early part of 2017. Most notably the loss of 3 classrooms in an adjacent property that Choice can no longer rent. 3 new replacement classrooms are soon to be built in the main Choice grounds. A container is being planned to provide temporary storage and then to be converted into a classroom. Steve Murray of Georgia’s Children, is kindly paying for the container.
Many thanks Jenny, a great painting job and all done in a day with a little help from the staff. Vanny and staff added their artistic display with potted plants in used Formula milk cans. Jenny is pictured with Lyda our PC teacher, and our staff busy potting. We try to make the school look nice and do the best we can on our limited budget.
The local Government Primary School had its open day on the 1/11/2016. The morning commenced at 7am and as Vanny is not at the center that early and I am living in the province now, I represented CHOICE to receive an appreciation Certificate. For those that can read Khmer the certificate names items donated in the past Toilet Block, Garden setting, Printer, Computer. Again these items were made possible through you our donors, many thanks. Some 600 primary students attended, each received donations of exercise books, pens, pencils and 1000r (25c) in cash. Donors were a Khmer/American family, CHOICE and others. Nice to see the toilet block donated by “The Nuggets” Narrabeen Australia and the outdoor setting from Michael Wieland Germany are still in very good condition. CHOICE has a good working relationship with the local school. The Government schools provide free education and about 100 of our children attend this school.
The new CHOICE School year is well underway now, commencing on 3rd October. We have lost about 20 students that have graduated to the local High School. With our new enrollments our School numbers have increased this year to a total of 230 enrolled, now we are turning other children away. Our biggest classes are Kindergarten now 75 children. We have split them into two groups this year. That means another Kinder teacher has to be employed, another classroom and more mouths to provide lunch for. Sokheng our ex student from the first Village has been selected as the new teacher, she is studying at University weekends and with us Monday to Friday. Pictured below are the children some in the old classroom and some in the new kinder room we call “Northbridge House” This is because the room is completely fitted out with donated items from Northbridge School in Phnom Penh. The problem now is with so many children in classes side by side its too noisy for lessons to be heard. We need other classrooms, we cleared an area in August for an additional large classroom being offered as a donation, but that all fell through. So its the same old problems of not enough money to address all of these issues, and no long term western Teachers to help. Vanny has to spend a lot of her time teaching when we need her as Principle and Manager. Any offers of help would be really appreciated.
We wish to thank Mrs. Susanne Floesser from Germany for kindly donating US$600 for the Soy Milk Program. This will be distributed among all of our 250 students on a weekly basis. If your interested in donating to this programs sustainability, or increasing frequency of distribution, then kindly contact us on our website.
Famous characters were the subject of Joy’s latest weekly art class. Superman and Hello Kitty were very popular. Collage and capes were created. Cambodia is full off super heroes and heroines now.
Pictured from left are Mrs. Ruby Wang, Mr. Albert Wu, Ms. Cynthia You (Star Time International Trading Ltd) all from Taiwan. They are donating 8 bags of rice per month from the 1st July 2016 for one year to the Choice Center. Next in line is Angela Tan and Ross Wright. The rice donation is much appreciated, many thanks to this group.
On April 30th , 2016 Angelique Mawson an avid ice hockey player and coach from New Zealand co-ordinated a fund-raising Charity Game for the benefit of the CHOICE Cambodia non-profit Charity.
Over 40 players jumped at the chance to be a part of this very good cause and get out on the ice in support of this charity. Many spectators also came to watch. The team uniforms were chosen specifically as Cambodian colours Blue and Red and the teams were made up of players from the local Christchurch region adults of all ages and levels. The players had a great time and were full of smiles enjoying their sport whilst raising money for a very worth cause.
$USD500 was raised in New Zealand and Angelique visited us in June 2016 at the CHOICE centre to present the money which will go towards school uniforms for the students. Angelique plans to run this event on an annual basis with the proceeds coming to CHOICE Cambodia.
Many thanks to specialized teacher Amy Lyall and Adam Parker from England, both have volunteered their services to CHOICE for a month. Pictured below is Amy giving Phonics training to our Khmer staff, Dara is in attendance as well. The Khmer staff have given their time to CHOICE as today, Friday 20th May is a Public Holiday.
This week the Choice students from the poor villages received a school uniform set each. This twice-yearly event is much appreciated by the students as the photo below shows.
The uniforms were made last year at the Choice centre, by the sewing ladies in the sewing room, before it was converted into a library.
Choice students turned up in big numbers to attend the end of Khmer year party. The day began with a blessing from monks who came to the Centre. Customary eating games and musical chairs were hotly contested, as was last year’s favourite – blindfold vase breaking. New games Splat the rat and duck fishing were among other highlights. A delicious curry and bread lunch was served giving the kids the energy needed for the afternoon dance session. A big thank you to all who helped make this happen today.
News story, video and photos by Dara
Special thanks to Joy for paying for all the soft drinks
The tires of the Choice truck have recently been changed and the old ones have not been wasted. Volunteers have transformed them into heavy duty flower pots. These flower pots will help the plants inside them survive the wet season flooding. They are being planted with plants such as aloe vera that are suitable for the local environment.
Update August 2016: Tire plant pots and plants are surviving the wet season flooding very well. Dara is keeping an eye on them too.
Terry from Wheelies Bikes in the UK, visited the Choice center last year and kindly shared his extensive knowledge of bike mechanics with boys Sok Long and Sing Lee.
This year he is back again (4th March 2016) and has kindly done another workshop, this time with boys Mengly (in red top), Kimsour and Narin.
There are quite a lot of bicycles at Choice these days, as many bicycles have been donated to the children. Not surprisingly some are now in need of a bit of TLC (tender loving care). Four bikes in need of repairs were used by Terry to teach repair and maintenance skills with the 3 boys.
Well done again Terry. We hope to see you again next year for workshop number 3 🙂
Many thanks to Angelique Mawson from New Zealand, she is running an Ice Hockey tournament and donating the money raised to CHOICE Cambodia.
If you are in New Zealand on the dates indicated please try to be a spectator or player and support a most worthy cause.
Ratanak has moved on to new employment, Ratanak has been with us for 7-8 years and has been a tremendous help.
Ratanak was offered a job with better salary expectations, he was due to finish with CHOICE at the end of January but suddenly called up earlier by his new employer so we did not have a chance to provide a better good bye celebration with all the staff and regular visitors. His skills have improved so much since he first joined CHOICE and with much better opportunities now days its hard for us to match salaries being offered. At the same time we don’t want to hold our friends back from a good opportunity. Good luck Ratanak from us all and we hope you do well in your new position.
Rob from the UK has donated two well needed UPS battery back up units for use with Choice desktop computers, wifi routers and old laptops with worn out batteries. They cost $34 each from PTC computer shop located near Central Market.
There are many power outages at the Choice Centre, typically just a few seconds long but that’s enough to cause havoc with the computer equipment.
John from America recently visited Phnom Penh in Cambodia for the first time. He bought a cheap second hand bicycle for $35 from St 107, near St 182. This proved to be a convenient and fun way for him to explore Phnom Penh and avoid the costs and hassles of using motos and tuk tuks all the time. Then when he left, he donated it to Choice to be given to one of the kids. So that worked out well for both him and Choice. Thanks John.
Rob from UK has donated 4 new Android tablets for use with educational learning apps at the Choice Centre. These tablets have been kindly brought in from America purchased off Amazon for about $50 each. Better quality tablets for the price than can be purchased locally. Thanks to both Brian and John for bringing two each with them on their recent visits to Cambodia from the USA.
If anyone is visiting Cambodia from either UK or USA, then please let us know, as you might be able to bring some stuff out for us.
Many thanks to Mirco Galassi and his wife from Melbourne, Australia. They donated 4 very good laptops to CHOICE Cambodia this weekend. Three from the IT Company where Mirco’s wife is employed and the other from Mirco.
A very needy donation as many of our computers are very old and repairs are frequent. We now have 19 Laptops for the children, pictured with the children is Lyda our PC Teacher.
Most of our children come from extremely disadvantaged families, squatter families that have no land or property. These children are from the poorest group of people in Cambodia and are in genuine need.
A few more pictures of CHOICE children receiving donated push bikes from “Bikes 4 Life” Australia.
Many thanks to the various Rotary Clubs that have helped fund the new Kitchen through the efforts of Don Rosenfeldt. Don sought the help of Pin, Joe, Bob, CHOICE Staff and some mates. The old kitchen did fall over, ( see the first picture ) so timely was the new kitchen. The cost was as expected (around $1,500) with some savings in costs from donations of cupboards and sinks etc.from Northbridge School and the savings with free labor and welding.
In Celebration of 15 Years of Service in Sydney, Singapore, Shanghai and Seoul: The Executive Centre has donated 150 million grains of rice to CHOICE Cambodia
The Executive Centre, Asia Pacific’s leading serviced office provider is pleased to mark its 15th anniversary of service in Sydney, Singapore, Shanghai and Seoul with a donation of 150 million grains of rice to CHOICE Cambodia.
Today, The Executive Centre is the third-largest premium serviced office provider in the world and the second largest in Asia with over 1.5 million sq. ft. of office space under management, across more than 70 centres in 10 countries.
“Over the past 15 years, The Executive Centre has grown from a small representation office to being a major player in Sydney, Singapore, Shanghai and Seoul. We continue to win support from local and overseas businesses and are now the preferred “go-to” brand for the Fortune 500 companies and major MNCs. What has brought us this far is our endeavour to accelerate our clients’ success through unparalleled service excellence and premium serviced office solutions, creating a truly exceptional office experience on the way,” remarked Paul Salnikow, Chairman & CEO, The Executive Centre.
In Australia, The Executive Centre opened its first centre at Aurora Place, Sydney in 2000 at the start of the new millennium. Since then, the Company has pioneered the rapid development of the serviced office industry and set the benchmark standard for office environments and business services. In Sydney, the Company now has a strong presence with a core portfolio of Grade A buildings including Aurora Place, Australian Square, NorthPoint Tower, Governor Phillip Tower as well as the flagship centre at 1 Blight Street.
Yvonne Lim, Regional Director of Australia, Singapore and Jakarta, The Executive Centre rejoiced, “Everything we have achieved in the Sydney market over the past 15 years has been built upon gaining the tremendous support and trust of our clients, agents, business partners and industry professionals as well as our fellow team members. Looking ahead, we will continue to uphold our service philosophy of “Excellent Locations. Excellent Service and Excellent Value.”, and are positioned to set the global standard for quality, service and design in the serviced office industry to meet the increasingly multi-faceted needs of our clients.”
The Executive Centre is planning to further expand its business in Asia Pacific and meanwhile running the business in a socially responsible manner through giving back to the community. Paul Salnikow added, “We know that The Executive Centre would not have the privilege to develop its success without developing the communities that have supported us. Making donations to CHOICE Cambodia in support of its initiatives to assist extremely poor Cambodian families and individuals is one of our ways to contribute to the communities as well as fulfill our social corporate responsibility, and this is something we will continue to do.”
In celebration of the momentous milestone, The Executive Centre will be holding a series of events and activities in the local markets.
Financially its a real struggle, we have recently had to close several programs, Medical and Dental clinics, birth control, formula milk, the sewing room will close and new apprenticeships for boys is on hold due to lack of finances.
I realize the problems with fundraising, as myself and family have all had separate fundraising events in the past. We can’t keep asking the same friends to keep fundraising, as many of you have done in the past. Our friends and family get tired of the regular requests for financial help.
So in order to find better ways to raise extra funding we established “Sponsor a Child” and created “CHOICE Family Australia” but its not working.
We need our supporters to market and promote these two programs as we survive without any major sponsors or Government support. “Sponsor a Child” details can be found on the following link:
“CHOICE Family Australia” was registered and developed to attract small direct debits of a few dollars per pay upwards from Australians. Paid regularly into our Australian Bank account this money is to provide our senior students with Scholarships or Apprenticeships as needed.
Please help Ross Wright.
For the last year or so we have had no students interested in taking on Hairdressing as a career. We have been using the CHOICE Salon as a storage room, now we need more classroom space because the children get wet in the outside classrooms in the wet season. Many thanks to Leanne, Joy, Michelle and her children Georgia and Connor. Having received more school furniture from Northbridge School the group have worked in the salon to convert it to a library which will double up as a classroom and craft room. Thanks to Jackie and Suzette who originally created the Salon. I know they won’t mind and it can always be converted back to a salon if needed. We really are desperate for the dry space it offers.
We will also receive another 20 pushbikes from “Bikes 4 Life” next week thanks again to Leanne Balkin. Leanne will also try to get both Khmer and English books to fill the Library.
Thanks once again to Northbridge University. Just as we had to remove some of our old playground equipment which was falling apart due to rust, we were lucky to be offered the chance to remove and keep some of the outdated playground at Northbridge. It only took us 3 hours to remove, but around 3 days to rebuild it at our center. Our children love it. The playground we call “Crystal Park” is named after Leanne Balkin’s daughter. It’s now so popular in the neighborhood children are being brought to play by their mums.