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 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
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.
Lily with her new school year uniform, October 2017.
Lily just passed her English final exam and now she is in grade 1.
Lily receives a new notebook, 21st December 2017
Introduction – 10th October 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.
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.
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.
Introduction – 18th January 2016
Soem Sreynoy is sponsored by Gerado Flores from Spain at $50 per month:
Soem Sreynoy is 6 years old and studies in the CHOICE Center kindergarten. She was born in February 1st 2010 being one of twin girls. Sadly her twin sister died of the plague that swept Cambodia “Hand, Foot & Mouth” when she was 2 years old. There are 3 remaining siblings one boy and one girl Sreynoy being the youngest.
Her father is a fisherman and her mother is a factory worker, another cousin (Srey Peck) lives with the family as does the Grandmother and Grandfather.
Sreynoy wants to be a Teacher in the future, in her spare time she likes to read and color pictures.
Update – 11th August 2017
Sreynouy has just passed her English Alphabet test and moved to grade 1 from kindergarten. She is very happy with her new friends and she said she will try her best to pass the next level exam.
Sreynoy just passed her grade 1 English and phonics final exams in August 2017 and she is now in Grade 2.
Sreynoy just got a new set of school uniform,October 2017.
Sreynoy has reveieved a new pair of shoes – 5th December, 2019
Sreynoy and her friends are really enjoying to play at the new school- 10th June, 2019
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”
Sambath got a new set of school uniform .
Introduction – 25th January 2016
Khorn Mengly is sponsored by Craig and Rachel Ray and son Myles from New Zealand for US$50 per month.
Mengly is a 12 year old boy who lives in a poor village. He currently lives with his grandma because it is a bit closer to the Choice Center than his parent’s house. He has been studying at Choice for 3 years. His favorite subjects are English and computer studies. He likes to read story books. He helps look after a small cow for his grandma. In the future, he wants to be a policeman. He wants all the people around him to have good security, so he will look after them well when he becomes a policeman.
Mengly has received one of the donated bicycles and recently took part in a bicycle mechanics workshop.
Mengly and friends say Happy New Year to his sponsor Myles.
Introduction – 18th August 2015
Yorn Chanthou is sponsored by Noémie and Pascal Mettaz from Switzerland at GBP37 per month:
Chanthou is the youngest member of the family, she has 2 brothers and 3 sisters. Chanthou thinks she was born in 2005 but not sure when. This is not uncommon to know when you were born as often no records of the birth are kept in Cambodia. They live in the last or furthest Village from the CHOICE Center, her parents are farmers and get occasional work in the rice fields.
Chanthou also uses the CHOICE truck for transport to and from school and attends Government school as well. She loves school and works hard and wants to be a Doctor. Her hobbies are painting and she also loves to swim.
Updated – 23rd May 2016
Chanthou has recently received a new school uniform from CHOICE. She is happy and doing well at both Government and CHOICE schools. She attends school every school day, below is a current photograph.
Updated – 24th May 2017
Chanthou has past her last English exam with an good result 30/35 in April 2017. She is a regular student and tries hard at her work always completing her homework and is very well behaved in class.
Update – 11th August 2017
Chanthou is not so shy as before and she always tries her best in class . She passed her English and Phonics exams and moved to the next level last week. She was very happy with her exam result 80%.
Chanthou is in her Art class.
Update – 24th October 2017
Chanthou receives her new school uniform
Update – 8th November 2017
Chanthou receives 10 notebooks for her grade 5 at government school.
Chanthou is doing really good at government school. She passed her grade 4 and moved to grade 5 this year.
Chanthou is in Computer class – 9th February, 2018
Chanthou is becoming an expert with Qwerty keyboards, she can type very fast in English without looking at the keyboard and now she is learning how to type Khmer language by using the same English keyboard. She has to memorise which English letter represents each Khmer letter. A challenging skill to learn but very useful.
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.
Introduction – 18th December 2015
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.
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.
For obvious reasons CHOICE no longer accept medical helpers or run a clinic . We take poor children and adults to licensed clinics and Hospitals when they are sick.
Thursday, 28 May 2015; News by Khmer Times/Ban Sokrith and Phun Chan Ousaphea
PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – Three unlicensed medical clinics operated by Chinese nationals have been closed by authorities in Battambang’s Phnom Proek and Sampov Loun districts.
The crackdown on unlicensed premises comes after Battambang province’s HIV outbreak five months ago. Over 250 residents in the province’s Roka commune tested positive for the AIDS-causing virus.
About 2,000 people were tested for the virus after an unlicensed doctor was found to have reused syringes to give hundreds of injections.
On Wednesday, provincial authorities arrested four Chinese nationals and closed down the three clinics in Bour commune, Phnom Proek district.
Keo Sokyan, 63, from Kampong Thom province and Vann Sengheang, 32, from Kampong Speu province, were arrested when police raided their clinic, a branch of the “Cambodia Virtue Medical Association”.
Both men hold Chinese and Cambodian dual citizenship.
During the crackdown, police confiscated 40 kinds of pills, three types of needles, medical serums, medical treatment machines and other clinical equipment.
Two other clinics in the district were also shut down and two other Chinese nationals, Guo Liuana, 52, and Ma Phy, 48, taken in for questioning.
“According to an expert official, this medical service was being run without a license from the Ministry of Health,” said Sareth Viseth, the district deputy police chief. “Prosecutors decided to close the clinic temporarily.”
Many thanks to Northbridge University for donating student desks, chairs, bookshelves, pin boards etc, no longer needed by the University. Much needed by us as we are moving to a new classroom (for 24 students) in the sewing room building for the coming wet season, our children would get wet in the outside tarpaulin huts. These are the first desks we have ever had for the children, Vanny is so happy to have a real classroom.