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 using a lift with glass doors to 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
Introduction – 11th September 2017
Chan Sreymom is a kindergarten student. She was born in 2012 and she has one older brother and one older sister. Her mom is a housewife and her father is a truck driver. She lives in the last village (No Truck). She really enjoys coming to school by the Choice Water Truck. Sreymom is the most polite and quiet kid in kinder and now she is learning to pronounce and write the English Alphabet.
Neil recently came first in a Cambodian marathon and he put the prize money towards sponsoring Sreymon. He has also used previous marathon prize and sponsor money towards sponsoring another child at Choice.
- Photo was taken on 6th August 2017
- Neil brought some school materials for Sreymom on the day he visited Choice in September 2017.
- Sreymom is in grade 1 and she just got a new set of school uniform.
Introduction – 1st September 2017
Park Ratana is sponsored by John Michael from USA at US$50 per month:
Ratana is a 5-year-old boy born in 2012 and lives in Angela village with his grandma who is not his real grandma. He has no known parents and Choice provided milk to his grandma when he was a baby until he was 3 years old.
He enjoys coming to school on the water truck to study at the Choice Center. He has been attending Choice kindergarten for almost a year now. He has been learning to read, write and pronounce the English alphabet. He likes to play marbles and dice games.
- Photo taken 1st September 2017
- Photo taken 12th January 2017, Ratana with Srey Pich and Lily.
- Photo of baby Ratana with grandma in 2012.
When his sponsor John came to visit Cambodia for the first time, he bought a cheap second hand bicycle for $35 from St 107, near St 182 where many bicycle shops are located. 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 the bike to Choice to be given to one of the kids.
- Ratana with his new school year uniform, October 2017
Introduction – 31st August 2017
Sreynee is sponsored by Nicole Flanagan from Australia . Nicole pays AU$100/Month. The sponsorship is for only US$50/month but she is happy for Choice to put the rest of the money towards general school expenses.
Sreynee is a 4 year old girl in kinder. Her father is a fisherman and her step mother is a housewife. She lives with her father, step mother and two siblings in our last village (No Truck) since she was about 2 years old, after her mother passed away. She has one brother and one sister and she is the youngest one in her family. The three siblings enjoy coming to school on the water truck to study at the Choice Center.
Nicole Flanagan is from Sydney, Australia. She had a short holiday in Cambodia and she came to visit Choice in August 2017 .
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: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com
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.
Sambo Mathay is sponsored by Caiden Rosenfeldt from Sydney, Australia at US$50 per month.
Mathay was born on the 24/10/15 he lives in the first Village with his parents and 2 brothers. Being a very poor family they squat on the Government roadside in a little 3mx3m tin hut. Education for the children is the best way for the family to get out of their situation. Like his brothers Mathay will attend the CHOICE and Government school to get a good education. Mathay is sponsored by Caiden Rosenfeldt from Sydney since the 23/12/16 at US$50pm.
Art Viroth is sponsored by Maison Rosenfeldt from Sydney, Australia at US$50 per month..
Viroth was born on the 1/09/2016, he has one sister and she attends the CHOICE School. The father is a farm worker, they have no land so the father only gets work occasionally. The mother does not work now because she minds Viroth so the family would be lucky if they earn US$100 per month. They live in a little hut in the last Squatter Village.
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.
Thorn Sokmee is a girl aged 8, living in Angela village. Her parents earn a meager income by taking care of other people’s ducks. She has three brothers. In her free time Sokmee enjoys reading stories. She is also interested in football. In the future, she wants to become a teacher.
Somvan Chanarith is a boy aged 10, living in No Truck village. When work is available his father does construction work while his mother can do factory work. He has one brother and one sister. In his spare time he likes to watch TV and play football. He has a dream of becoming a Policeman.
Sat Somatey is a girl aged 9, living in Cancer man village with her parents and four brothers. Her father is a provincial tuk tuk driver while her mother sells coffee. Somatey helps with her families small income by selling fruit, something she enjoys doing. Her other interests include running, drawing and colouring. When she is older she hopes to be a flight attendant.
Introduction – 21st July 2016
Thy Srey Pich is sponsored by Gerardo from Spain for US$50 per month.
Srey Pich is 4 years old and lives with her Grandmother in the first Village. Her father gets work sometimes as a laborour and her mother works in a factory occasionally.
She is the youngest child in the family and has one brother. She has no idea of her birth date and many other things. She loves coloring and enjoys her other school work and is learning the English alphabet. She also loves the food we give out for lunch, she is very small for her age and we suspect she has been malnourished in the past.
- Photo taken 12th January 2017, from left Ratana, Srey Pich and Lily.
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.
Introduction – 23rd May 2016
Thorn Sreyneth is sponsored by Rob from England for US$50 per month.
Sreyneth, is nine years of age, born in April 2007. She is the eldest of four siblings. Her parents both toil as low paid construction workers. In the evenings, her grandmother is tasked with preparing food for the whole family.
Every week day, Sreyneth makes the trip to the Choice centre in the Choice water truck. She studies in grade 2 at government school.
Much of her free time is spent washing clothes for her family members. Despite her devotion to helping at home, she still finds time for running, reading and drawing.
A girl who has deep respect for her teachers, Sreyneth’s aspiration
is to follow in their footsteps. She may indeed be a Choice English teacher in years to come.
Update – 11th August 2017
Sreyneth is a happy and quiet girl but she becomes more confident and talkative now. Her grandparents brought her to live in other province and she missed the class about a week. Luckily her grandparents decided to come back to the village and let her come back to class . Finally, she still managed to pass her English exam.
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.
Introduction – 8th May 2016
Lily Pheab is a charming little girl aged 4, she wins every ones heart. She was originally sponsored by Richard Jones from Wales at US$50 per month. He started on 1/08/2014 and finished in March 2016. Lory and Max from Italy have taken over this sponsorship from April 2016.
- Photo taken 12th January 2017, from left Ratana, Srey Pich and Lily.
- Lily with her new school year uniform, October 2017
Update “Sponsor a Child” 10/07/2016
Rom Reaksmey was sponsored by Tally Edwards (Koren) from England at US$50 per month until the end of March 2016.
Neil Burns has now taken on the sponsorship of Reaksmey from the beginning of July 2016.
Reaksmey is one of the poorer students from our Cancer Man village. She is 12 years old. In her free time, she likes reading books and drawing. Her favorite sport is running. Her favorite subject is English. She always comes to Choice on the water truck. Her parents are casual construction workers. She has two sisters and one little brother. She is in grade 4 at the government school and is in grade 1 at our Centre. She really loves studying at Choice and she wants to be an English teacher at Choice in the future.
This is Reaksmey in her new school uniform that was made at the Choice centre and given to her in early May 2016.
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 🙂
Friday 19th February was the beginning of a new life for Siengley Din from the middle Village. He begins an apprenticeship as a Sewing Machine Mechanic in Phnom Penh. The business sells and repairs sewing machines. Siengley is sponsored through CHOICE by Lory and Max from Italy February 2016. We hope he succeeds, he is a gentle boy with a charming nature and well deserves this opportunity.
“Sponsor a Child” Last Updated: 25/02/2016
Khom Chenda is sponsored by Neil and Jenny Hamlin and their daughters Jessica and Holly from New Zealand for US$50 per month, since February 2015.
Chenda was born in September 2002. She has been studying at Choice for 4 years. As she has now reached Grade 7 she is able to spend the whole day at government school, rather than half a day for Grade 6 and below students. Therefore she is not able to come to the Choice Centre much now. She has 4 brothers and 3 sisters. Chenda is the 5th child in her family. She lives in the “No truck” village.
Chenda likes reading, drawing, running and swimming. In the future she hopes to be an English teacher and would like to teach at the Choice Centre.
Chenda wrote a letter to her sponsors in Khmer. Her teacher then translated it in English.
Below photo of Jenny and Neil Hamlin with daughters Holly and Jessica.
Update – Chenda now attends government school full-time as she has reached grade 7.