Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Bikes

Dear Friends,

In our part of the world, summer is over and fall is upon us, which for so many kids means back to school. We hope that the transition for your kids, grandkids or significant kids is going well.

In Cambodia children and youth are also getting ready to go back to school. It is the rainy season there and this makes getting to and from school more challenging, especially if you live in the countryside and have to cycle or walk long distances on dirt or mud roads to get an education.


Some families cannot afford to buy a bike, even though they only cost $50.00, the family may buy one bike for everyone to use to get to market and around the village and if they have four children some kids have to drop out of school or cannot attend. One bike can help carry siblings to school.


Each year, thanks to K.I.D.S. donors, we try to buy hundreds of bikes to improve the opportunity for education as well as assist families. Often schools and school children here in our community raise funds for bikes. This past week K.I.D.S. bought 55 bicycles and our project partner, Kim Thol, in Cambodia delivered them to kids who needed them. We will buy and supply more as the year goes on.


Thanks to everyone who contributed to help make this happen. Here are Mateo and Bailey, a couple of local children who recently saved money to buy bikes. It is heartwarming to see kids helping kids and putting their kindness into action.


Until next time,
Adrianne and Rick

Friday, August 17, 2018

Grateful Grads

Dear Friends,

We hope you are all enjoying the summer. Although it is summer here, in Cambodia school has just recently finished. As you may recall this past year K.I.D.S. was able to support 10 young people to attend a very good post-secondary hospitality and tourism training program. Through generous donations we were able to send the kids to school as well as provide them with a safe place to stay with Hak, one of the great people we work with in Siem Reap, Cambodia. K.I.D.S. has sponsored these students since grade 6 in hope that one day they would be able to break the cycle of poverty and find employment outside of the brick factories, ending a life of hard labour.


Well, the good news is...All of the students passed their difficult final exams and the "REALLY" good news is that 9 out of 10 have found employment in the tourism industry. The tenth student is upgrading in English and we know he will be successful in finding employment as well.


When we met these students as small kids 8 years ago it was heartbreaking to see them in brick factories pulling heavy carts, stacking mountains of bricks and sometimes running dangerous machinery to help their families survive. When K.I.D.S. sponsorship freed them from hard labour and allowed them to focus their internal fires on education, there was no stopping them! Learning English, French, computers and hospitality skills like cooking, baking, housekeeping, reception and hotel management they took full advantage of the opportunities awarded to them. They have once again proved that education combined with persistence pays. Over the years watching these young people work so hard to change their futures has been inspiring and only by having your support has their success been possible.


Thanks to K.I.D.S donors these young people and many more students, who are at different levels of education in our sponsorship program, are not only changing their lives for the better they will also change the lives of their children and future generations. They asked us to pass along their gratitude.

With Utmost Thanks
Until next time,
Adrianne and Rick

Monday, July 9, 2018

Kids Supporting K.I.D.S.

Dear Friends,

Well, summer is here and school is out!! In the month of June we visited a few schools and social justice programs as well as connected with kids that are raising funds for other kids. We are always so impressed and moved by the students and children we meet who are committed to making the world a better place for other children, youth and communities both here and afar. It warms the heart!!!

Two schools were not only interested in how children live in developing countries they wanted to do something to improve families lives. A huge thank you goes out to McGirr Elementary School's Social Justice Club students and teachers/Child and Family Worker for raising $550 to bring a family a bathroom. The bake sale brought the school together and now they have changed one families life for the better. Giving a family dignity, hygiene and safety.


Thanks also goes out to Departure Bay Elementary Social Justice Club students and staff for having a bake sale and raising another $500.00 for bicyles....now another 10 kids can go to school. It was so great to meet these aspiring young activists and give them a high five.


Other children were also working away to improve lives. Sumalee Martinflatt turned her birthday into a fundraiser and raised $595 to bring a family a bathroom...while her little brother, Jachi Martinflatt, had bake sales at his daycare raising $134 to bring kids bicycles. Both these young people are true humanitarians and huge supporters of K.I.D.S.


Another wonderful young girl MJ decided to help sell Cambodia silk scarves with her grandmother Suzanne Longpre in Victoria. They sold $1500.00 worth of beautiful scarves, the sales help keep women weavers working and provide a good living for their families, and K.I.D.S. provides the onsite daycare for their terrific kids.




"The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted." -Aesop

Until next time,
Adrianne and Rick

Friday, May 11, 2018

Yashoda's Story

Hello Eveyone,

On our way back to Cambodia from Nepal, our friends at WELNepal referred us to Yashoda, a young woman who was facing difficulties. Her story is a difficult one so we will only use her first name, which is common in Nepal.

Yashoda moved to Kathmandu to find work so she could try to pay for her education and eventually help her family escape the clutches of poverty. She and her family live in one of the hardest hit areas of the disastrous earthquake that struck Nepal in April​ ​ 2015. Her family home was totally destroyed and due to their impoverished state, Yashoda, her parents and siblings have been living under tarps for three years.

Our experience in Nepal was interesting and inspiring but uncomfortable due to the cold and foggy conditions in late January and early February and we were not in the mountains but in the lowlands where the climate is more moderate; we can only imagine how difficult her life was in the mountains under much colder conditions.

Yashoda moved in with relatives in Kathmandu. But one of those relatives, a person with mental health problems started persecuting and physically assaulting her. Under those horrific conditions Yashoda could no longer live there. On our last day in Kathmandu we arranged to meet her. Yashoda sat at a table with her cousin, she was very timid and withdrawn; she had a black eye, swollen hands, was covered in bruises and her hair was cut very short so they could treat the wounds in her scalp.

Yashoda is now safe and living with her cousin and his wife who are also quite poor. Too poor to be able to afford Yashoda's school fees, even too poor to be able to keep her well fed and clothed. After speaking with Yashoda we were very moved by her courage. K.I.D.S. is now providing her with a monthly stipend to assist her with living expenses and sponsoring her tuition towards a bachelor's degree in business. Our friends Raj and Harimaya, who coordinate projects for K.I.D.S. and WELNepal, are keeping in touch with her and monitoring her education and safety.

Sometimes people come across your path that you cannot walk away from. Thanks to K.I.D.S. supporters and donors we are able to assist this young woman to create a better path for herself and her family.

Your contributions continue to change lives and reshape futures. Thank You!

All the best,
Rick and Adrianne

Monday, April 23, 2018

World Reading Day

Dear Friends,

We are happy to celebrate World Reading Day by recently providing library books for WELNepal (Women's Education and Literacy program in Nepal). We are partnering with WELNepal to bring women interesting and readable books that relate to women's issues and other important topics. It is great to learn to read however if you don't have books it is not very fulfilling.


"Literacy rates continue to rise from one generation to the next. Yet according to new data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, there are still 750 million illiterate adults, two-thirds of whom are women."
 

We visited these great literacy programs in Nepal and thanks to your support we can be part of the solution in bringing literacy to women.

K.I.D.S. also continues to support schools with books and story books for students living in isolated areas of Cambodia. Reading opens minds and changes lives and the lives of future generations.


Thanks for your support and happy reading to you all,
Adrianne and Rick

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Opportunities for Learning

Dear Friends,

We are now back in Canada and as always it is good to see our family and friends and the beautiful coastline of BC, although we are home K.I.D.S. work and support continues over in Cambodia and Nepal. Just before we left we visited the high school where, through the generosity and support of others, we were able to provide computers for an inner city high school with over 4500 students. This school prides itself on being one of the top five schools for academic achievement in the country, thanks to a committed and dedicated staff. We started with 20 computers last year and then added another 20 at the beginning of this year.


Thanks to further donations we were able to add another 17 computers and desks for the class just before we left. The teachers and students were thrilled. The school knocked a wall out between two classrooms and made room to create a great computer lab. Learning computers can change the future of a young person by allowing them to have the skills to use computers for university as well as finding better paying employment. Computers also assist the teachers in the school to do their lesson plans.

The principal, teachers and students wanted us to thank everyone for your support and they look forward to creating one of the best computer programs in the country. Thanks everyone!!!


All the best to you and yours,
Adrianne and Rick

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Happy World Water Day Everyone!

We are pleased to let you know that we have just completed two more school water projects north of Siem Reap. As always we have chosen to place the water projects at schools, so children have direct access to healthy clean water after traveling on foot or bikes long distances to get to school.

For the two new water projects this year we have implemented new filtration systems previously unavailable in Cambodia. The new systems produce quality water which is equal to the best bottled water available. We have also upgraded three of our other older school systems to a higher standard.


Over the years we have seen the difference in children when they have access to safe drinking water. Quiet playgrounds with thirsty children become filled with laughter and play when water is freely available and there are fewer children absent from school due to illness from water related issues.

Thank You to all of K.I.D.S. Donors and the Compassionate Eye Foundation for your amazing generosity.


K.I.D.S. now has 14 water projects up and running, directly serving over 9,400 students and several hundred teachers daily. In addition the students can take water home in containers to their families giving several thousand more children and parents access to safe drinking water.

Today in honor of World Water Day, we would like to acknowledge everyone for their support and in addition we want to thank Sun Sang Hak who can build anything we ask for and Yoeun Thol (Kim) our terrific partner, translator and logistician.




The World Health Organization states that there are around 663 million people in the world that do not have access to safe drinking water, an unbelievable number... but today there are a few less.

Till next time 
Rick and Adrianne