Thursday, February 27, 2020

Water and Word

Dear Friends,

We have built many water projects on both land-based schools and last year we installed one on the new floating school that K.I.D.S. built on the Tonle Sap Lake. Back in December, we went to visit a very unique school on the shores of the lake that bridges both the dry and the wet seasons, following the annual flood cycle, by being built on concrete stilts. In the dry season, the kids ride bikes and walk to school,


and in the annual flood season, the students arrive by boat.


Sadly, like most schools, they also lacked clean drinking water. There were a few challenges to overcome due to the "amphibious" nature of the school, but we are happy to announce that we have completed it and the project is now up and running, supplying clean drinking water to over 1,000 children at Kompong Pleuk high school and a nearby primary school. We put in two stations to access the water, one at ground level for the dry season, and the other up on the classroom level of the school.


Thank you to the Peter Gilgan Foundation in Canada for partnering with K.I.D.S. to bring this much-needed access to healthy clean drinking water to these children.


While we were there planning the water project, the high school principal started talking about the lack of opportunity for the children to access computers and the challenges they will face to higher education because of that. We came home, looked at our budgets and, thanks to K.I.D.S. donors, we are happy to say that we installed 15 computers, a projector, screen and laptop for the IT teacher to teach the senior high-school students computer skills.
It was a very, very happy occasion for this isolated and challenged school to dedicate both a clean drinking water project and a computer lab on the same day.


The students typed you this message:

"Thank you so much K.I.D.S. donors". 

They are off to a good start, thanks to you!!!

All the best to you and yours,

Rick and Adrianne

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

ECS and IT

Hello Everyone,
We hope all is well with you and yours.


We recently visited the Stung Treng Women's Development Centre (SWDC), supported by K.I.D.S. for over a decade. As many of you know this great program trains women, who face difficult lives, by teaching them the skills and abilities to learn how to weave silk. In turn they are paid a decent wage, have paid holidays as well as paid maternity leave, which is rare here in Cambodia.


Thanks to K.I.D.S. donors, we are able to provide a very progressive early childhood education program (ECE) for 60 children at SWDC, giving them a healthy, safe, and happy place to learn. All of this in one of the poorest and most isolated areas in the country.



In addition, the children are fed twice a day through our nutritious food program, and are taught about hygiene, including access to toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap. Thanks to Kim Dara Chan, the director, for his vision and never-ending commitment to improving the lives of women, children and families and thanks to the great staff who change children's lives by creating an excellent learning environment.

K.I.D.S. also provides youth and young adults with a free computer training program. Students can take computer training after or before school and adults can attend after work, giving them greater opportunities to find better employment and further their chances for advancing their education.


We know from experience that your combined generosity makes a difference! Education for children who would otherwise would be playing in the dirt, with little to eat and lack of hygiene and other young people that could only dream that they would have the opportunity to learn computer skills......together we are giving them a healthy head start and a better future!!!

Until Next Time,
Adrianne and Rick

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020

Hello Everyone,

We hope that all is well with you and yours.

Well, here we are entering into a fresh new decade. The Cambodians love to celebrate and our international new year is no exception, along with Chinese new year in February and Cambodian new year in early April, we are exhausted at the thought of it.

In honour of a new year and new decade, we had a dedication of a new computer lab that we recently installed at the Angkor High School in Siem Reap. The school has 4,700 plus students, and up until today, they did not have a computer to teach students IT skills. As we all know in this day and age, not having any computer skills is going to hold young people back from further education and options for various jobs. Thanks to CWAsia partnering with K.I.D.S. 750 students a week will now be able to learn these life-changing skills. Needless to say the administration, teachers and most of all the students were thrilled to start this decade off by "really" stepping into the 20th century!!



This next year it is our hope to continue to change lives for the better by providing education, decent housing, bathrooms, computer labs, clean drinking water, healthcare and support to those that truly deserve to have these opportunities. Together we have not just talked about making a difference we have all made a difference for thousands and thousands of people, and we thank you all for your support, generosity and being a part of Team Kids. Here is to the next decade!!! May kindness, justice and equality be the driving force behind our global actions.

From All of Us at K.I.D.S., we wish you and yours a healthy, happy and meaningful New Year!!


Until Next Time,
Adrianne and Rick

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Giving and Receiving

Hi Everyone,

We wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season and hope that you are enjoying time with family and friends. This is the season of giving, receiving and spending time with those we love and care about.

Thanks to your generosity we are able to focus on giving in many different ways here, to support kids and help them and their families to live better, healthier and more equitable lives. We always enjoy connecting with the many young people that K.I.D.S. supports. Our student sponsorship programs focus on education, vocational training and family support. We have over 100 young people taking English lessons, studying at tourism and hospitality schools and working while attending university.



They receive the tools that are needed to be successful and change their future from one of poverty to prosperity and break out of working as child labourers. It is truly heartwarming to see the difference everyone's support has made. One of the best gifts we receive is seeing these great young people doing so well.



One program K.I.D.S. sponsors and recently visited is Sohing's Farm School, where each night poor village students come to learn English under her house. Sohing and her family raise frogs and cows and grow fruit, vegetables and have a rice field. Each week K.I.D.S. provides these hard-working students with nutritious meals, English lessons and educational material. We went for a fun farm walk with some of them and had a great time.




Last post we talked about the teacher who used to teach at Sohing's school and how she sadly died after complications giving birth to her second child. We heard that the father and grandparents were having difficulty paying for formula so we visited them and brought the baby formula as the expense of purchasing it was beyond their means. The baby's father works and the elderly grandparents are caring for the baby and older child. The grandfather is blind and they had to borrow money and also sell all five of their cows to pay for treatment to try and save their daughter's life, this is the second daughter they have lost. As we sat and chatted about their daughter and played with the baby under their basic small, stilted wooden house we found out that even though they are very poor they give rice and sometimes a chicken and any support they possibly can to help poorer children in the village to eat or go to school. It was a truly moving and humbling experience to meet such strong, kind people....who in turn were incredibly grateful to receive support from others and yet still found it in their hearts to share some rice from their field or a chicken or two to help the less fortunate. K.I.D.S. will continue to provide formula and other needs for the baby.


This is one of many stories of resilience and compassion that we experience. We thank you for your kindness and support and are grateful for the incredible people we work with both here and at home.

We wish you and yours much happiness, good health and all the very best.

Until Next Time,
Adrianne and Rick

Thanks to the Smart Kids in the city for making K.I.D.S. this beautiful tree!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Fixing the Lake Clinic

Hello Everyone,

We hope that your holiday plans are going well. Not long after we got to Siem Reap, we were asked to go down to the Stung Sen River to assist with refurbishing one of The Lake Clinics that K.I.D.S. partnered with Compassionate Eye Foundation to build 8 years ago. This life-saving program, founded by Jon Morgan, has two teams of dedicated doctors, midwives/nurses, dental hygenist, and support staff to provide healthcare and free medication. They travel in difficult conditions to get to the river and the lake, to serve the underserved. We went to assist a group of great people called "The Fixers". The Fixers is a reality TV show that travels the world assisting programs in developing countries with much needed buildings and infrastructure. This season they chose The Lake Clinic, and in one week, they totally renovated the older clinic, which had been through much intense weather and use. A group of Cambodian village workers, volunteers, and the four Fixer professionals came together to bring the clinic a new life.


Working as a team, we put on a new roof, new solar panels, new walls, a new kitchen and installed new medical equipment, which was totally paid for by "The Fixers"..how great is that!!! Between the actors, film and sound crew, volunteers Cambodian workers, and all the support staff, there were about 40 people swarming on and around the clinic.


We will send out a link for the program when it comes out later this year we might even be in the program, providing we make the cut ha ha. It was a very intense, very fun, and very meaningful experience. The clinical team was thrilled to have a fresh and almost new building and equipment to work with.


Each year K.I.D.S. assists The Lake Clinic in different ways, this year not only did we give support in rebuilding the K.I.D.S. clinic we also raised funds to provide at least one midwife/nurse salary and hopefully two. We see first hand the difference these incredible people make.

Thank You to all K.I.D.S. donors and the Compassionate Eye Foundation in Vancouver for your continued support. Together you not only build clinics, schools, and water projects we also put the people and the resources in them to cure, teach, nurture and improve the lives of vulnerable children and families.

https://www.lakeclinic.org

Until Next Time,
Adrianne and Rick

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Happy International Rights Day from KIDS

Hello Everyone,

We hope all is well with you and yours. The flights here seem to feel a bit longer each year, but the trip went well and the rest in the hotel for a few days was heavenly. We are now back at it and in our little apartment where we have been busy setting up our office and meeting friends, programs and contacts.

Three houses, for brick factory families, got started before we left and are well underway. We have lined up the repairs for a couple of water projects and the drilling of a replacement well for another, in addition we are working on getting two new water projects at rural schools started so thousands of more people will have access to clean water, thanks to you!


It is always an emotional roller coaster coming back with lots of good things to lift the spirits and as always seeing the realities that people face can really make your heart ache. People you meet, students, waiters, vendors and our local friends all have a difficult story. We give them so much credit because behind those amazing smiles, their lives have not been easy, but their drive and resilience is awe inspiring.

Sadly just before we arrived, we lost a young woman who was a teacher at Sohing's Farm School, where 35 students come each day to her home to study English and get a nutritious meal. This excellent teacher was looking forward to the birth of her second child. The baby was born healthy, but sadly the she died a few days later from complications that would not have been complicated at all, had she won the birth lottery and been born in a developed country. K.I.D.S. helped to pay for her funeral, as the family spent and borrowed what they could trying to save her life. As is common here whenever a teacher passes away, their students honour them by attending their funeral.

We also recently visited a small, remote rural school in another province where K.I.D.S. previously installed a clean water drinking system, as the kids and community did not have access to clean water. This year we will provide more solar panels and new filters to the system. The teachers work very hard to educate these students as well as providing them with a nutritious meal each day to help them learn. We also brought new uniforms and school supplies to this remote school. The kids and teachers were all very happy.



Today is International Human Rights Day! We want to deeply thank everyone for caring and bringing essential human rights, such as: health, housing, education and clean water to children and families here.

Until Next Time,
All the best,
Adrianne and Rick

Sunday, November 24, 2019

On Our Way

Hello Everyone,


We hope all is well with you and yours. Well it is that time of year when we head back over to Cambodia. We are looking forward to once again seeing our friends, the kids and communities that K.I.D.S. works with and supports. We recently had our annual fundraiser and we "THANK EVERYONE" who attended and offered their support and generosity through music, donations for the silent auction, volunteering and for donating towards bathrooms, bikes, clean water and computers. We also thank Sumalee Martinflatt and Maya Harbo for their inspiring presentations.



We recently were able to buy more bikes for kids to get to school in rural Cambodia. Each year we try to buy as many as we can as it often means the difference between getting an education or working as a child labourer. So we are off to a good start!



Things are under way in Cambodia with the materials for three new homes ordered, and construction to begin within days. We have also been in contact with the water experts and they are making preparations for the construction of at least two more clean drinking water projects at rural schools. K.I.D.S. will also be building as many bathrooms as we can, putting in computer labs, assisting with healthcare, the girl's home, kindergartens and much more.



 We look forward to keeping you posted on the difference we are making together to improve the lives of children, families and communities. We wish you and yours the very best,

Until Next Time
Adrianne and Rick