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First week back and start of a new school year. Many students moving up a grade level. The kids have been very lucky with their lunches. We’ve been kindly donated on two different days this week large amounts of bakery delights from TOUS les JOURS. Enough so every kid got a large piece of something. Thanks so much TLJ. We can highly recommend this ethical company that’s both a delux bakery and coffee shop with many outlets in Phnom Penh.
Soeun Sreypao is sponsored by Natasha Lewis and Joe Hostead from England began from 16th June, 2018 at US$50 per month.
Natasha and Joe – 16th June, 2018
Natasha helped to teach kindergarten class – 12th June, 2018
Sreypao is a 6-year-old girl in Kinder (born in 2012) and she lives with her parents in Angela village. She has one younger brother and 3 younger sisters. Her father is a farmer and her mother works in a garment factory. In her free time, she likes to play cooking games with her friends. In the future, she wants to be a doctor.
Photo was taken December 2017
Sreypao in her kinder class – 25th December 2017
Sreypao with her friends (Sreypao, middle back) – December 2017
Sreypao always goes home by Choice water truck – December 2017
Sreypao outside her home in Angela village – 26th December, 2017
Sreypao at the new kindergarten, coloring – 1st February, 2018
Sreypao at the new kindergarten, with her colored fish – 1st February, 2018
Natasha and Joe had a short visit to Sreypao’s family – 16th June, 2018.
Sreypao is learning to write letter Qq – 16th August 2018
Sreypao is showing her friend how to spell ” glove” – 10th December, 2018
Sreypao has revieved a new pair of shoes and some notebooks from Natasha and Joe 5th April, 2019
Sreypao and her friends are enjoying making letters from plasticine – 26th June, 2019
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.
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.
Thorn Sreyneth is sponsored by Rob from England for US$50 per month.
Sreyneth was born in April 2007. She has only one younger brother. Her mom lelf her when she was 2.5 years old and her younger brother was only 6 months and she never comes back to see them again. Her dad came to visit her and her brother 3 years ago and never comes back again too. She is living with her grandparents in No Truck village. 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 another 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.
Photo was taken in early August 2017
Sreyneth receives a new school uniform in October 2017
Update – 15th October 2017
Sreyneth has passed her Phonics and English exams in Grade 3 and she moved to Group C. She continues to learn more advanced English and Phonics and now also starts to learn computing. She is so excited with her computer class. She is currently learning to use a Qwerty keyboard and remembering its layout and is improving day by day.
Sreyneth is ready for her government school, she receives 8 notebooks for grade 4.
Sreyneth is doing really good at government school. She passed grade 3 and moved to grade 4 this year.
Sreyneth was very happy to receive a pen and a pencil – November 2017
Sreyneth is becoming an expert with Qwerty keyboards, she can type in English without looking at the keyboard and now she is learning how to type Khmer language by using English keyboard. She has to memorise which English letter represents each Khmer letter. A challenging skill to learn but very useful for her – 9th February, 2018
Sreyneth and her friends had an amazing day at Safari Phnom Penh – 25th May, 2019
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.
Lily just passed her English final exam and now she is in grade 1.
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.
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 🙂
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 since 2012. 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 2017 – Chenda now attends government school full-time as she has now reached Grade 7, rather than just half a day for Grade 6 and below students. Therefore she is no longer able to come to the Choice Centre for the half day she previously had available.
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.
Sambart Noa is a 5yo boy and was born blind on 10/07/2009, we have placed him in Krousar Thmey a school for the blind. His sponsorship costs are more than the others as he boards in at the school from Monday to Friday. There are fees and transport costs to get him to and from school weekends, a long way. In order to cover these costs Sambart has more than one sponsor.
On 1/11/2016 the first day of school this year Vanny took him in the Minibus as there were forms and fees to pay. Sambart now 7yo has commenced his third year and doing very well at Krousar Thmey, School. His Year starts on 1st November and finishes 30th September.
During the year Sambart has been ill several times requiring visits to the Doctor. He was a little naughty first year but has settled down now, he is very good now at school and at home on weekends.
Some quotes as he never stops talking:
“Mummy, why am I blind and the other children can see”
“I want to be a construction worker when I am older”
“I want to see just how fast the minibus is going”
“I want to look after my Grandma and cook her meals”
“I love my school it has better food and I love my teacher and more fun, I am the best football player”
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.
Poeun Srey Nich is sponsored by Ross Wright at US$50/month:
Srey Nich is a very small ten year old girl born in August 2005, she is from the first Village. Her mother and father now have low paid jobs at the Garment Factory. Srey Nich has a younger brother and its her responsibility to mind him and do the housework when she is not at school.
She likes eating carrots, playing games with her friends and attending the CHOICE School. She would like to learn how to swim. She is very clever and would like to attend University eventually.
Terry from Wheelies Bikes in the UK, visited the Choice Center recently and kindly shared his extensive knowledge of bike mechanics with boys Sok Long and Sing Lee. They totally stripped down a bicycle and rebuilt it learning useful skills such as puncture repairs, changing various parts, removing and adding chain links and much more. It seems these two very enthusiastic boys will now help keep the recently donated bicycles in good working order. Well done Terry.
These 4 Aussie guys, usually drilling in central Queensland, took a day off from their holiday in Cambodia to visit the kids at the Choice centre. They brought with them 4 bicycles to give away to 4 lucky children. These children were chosen for their good attendance record. They were pretty happy kids! Many many thanks to Damien Lagos, Joshua Myatt, Matty Bressington and Andrew Hynes for your generous gift.