Monday, October 10, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

We hope all is well with you as many of you gather together with family and friends to appreciate what we are grateful for in our lives.

 We recently received an email and photos from our friend and Smart Kids project manager Hak. Six years ago we started this program, which sponsors elementary school children living in poverty and working in brick factories to get an education. We now have 33 students in this program.

Original Sponsored Students
The first eight of those kids has recently moved to the city of Siem Reap where they will go to school for their last year of high school. K.I.D.S. helped to create a dormitory and classroom on the top floor of Hak's house and Hak, his wife and two small children have welcomed them into their home, an admirable act of generosity.

The students are living 3 to a room 3 to a bed but they are thrilled at the chance to further their education. We decided to move them to the city to give them access to better schools and more exposure to english, with the hope that once they graduate they can get jobs and help themselves and their families break the cycle of poverty. They are a very committed, hard working group of young adults and have taken full advantage of the opportunity to receive an education.

Being Thanksgiving we wanted to give thanks to our terrific and supportive community of donors, foundations and friends of K.I.D.S. It is hard to put into words how the amazing gift of an education, that you have brought to these first eight Smart Kids as well as the other 25 who are still studying in their rural village, has changed their lives for the better. The families, although sorry to see them leave, are proud and hopeful that they can have a better life and not spend the rest of their lives working in brick factories for next to nothing.
Below is a message from Leakena, one of the girls:
"Hello, I am Leakhena. I am fine. How are you? Thank you for your support. I want your hope for me to become true. I must study harder than before. Now I have good feeling and I have enough time to study. because I don't have to work. I will get a lot of experiences. For moving to study in Siem Reap it makes me to know a lot of situation for living and study. I also can share my knowledge with each other. My listening and speaking are better than before. And I also can share my love to you and others that help me. I am very happy. Thank you for everything. I wish you have a good health and good luck every time."
 As Confucius said:
 If your plan is for 1 year, plant rice.
If your plan is for 10 years, plant trees.
If your plan is for 100 years, educate children.

With Gratitude and Best Wishes,
Adrianne and Rick

Monday, September 5, 2016

So Long Summer Update

Hi All,

Hope you had a great summer. Over the summer K.I.D.S continued to have many irons in the fire in Cambodia, including: supporting our ongoing programs such as: Samnang Home for Girls, Smart Kids rural education sponsorship program and the Women's Weaving Center preschool/kindergarten.
We have also been working on other needs including the following:
A Resilient Family 
One of the students in our rural sponsorship program is 16 years old and the main supporter of her family. This lovely, reslilient girl works very hard to care for her disabled father and her two younger sisters as well as keep up with her studies. K.I.D.S provides funds for all her educational needs as well as a stipend for the family to survive until their fortunes change. We were able to buy her father a basic wheelchair, as he cannot walk and it was difficult for the girls to help him move around. He spent all day, every day on the floor. They are relieved and extremely happy to have the wheelchair and this has made their day to day living much easier.
For a couple of years now this family has been living in an open fronted community hall right beside the road. Their housing situation has been very difficult and we have been trying to rectify this for some time but with no luck. The problem is that they have no land and we have been unable to help them due to lack of space and availability of land, but we have recently made a breakthrough. We now have permission from the village chief and commune to build them a house, so we are working on plans to build one for them when we return. Needless to say they are really happy that they will be able to have a home of their own.
Improving Family Homes 
We are also working on providing several of the other Smart Kid's families with descent housing, as most are living in extremely poor living conditions. So once we get back to Cambodia we will be improving their housing situations as well.

Soon it will also be time for children to return to school in Cambodia. We are working on getting as many bikes as possible into the hands of the children that are heading off to high schools. When the children leave elementary school, if the family does not own a bicycle, the child might not be able to make the usual long trip to school and that is effectively the end of a their education. Thanks to our donors and Compassionate Eye Foundation we have secured 90 bikes so far and the families and students are extremely grateful. A big thank you to Kim Thol (in Cambodia) for his efforts to get the bikes to all the students at a number of schools. 
K.I.D.S is doing it's best to make sure that a simple bicycle does not stand in the way of a child's education.
Thank you very much for your support and for improving these children's lives.
Wishing you and yours the very best,
Rick and Adrianne

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July Post

Hi All,
Hope your summer is off to a great start. Over the past couple of months we have had a number of people and programs raise funds for K.I.D.S. in a variety of ways. We are grateful to all those that have participated and continue to support us in bringing healthcare, clean water, education and family support to children and families in need in Cambodia. Here are a few highlights of how some friends of K.I.D.S. have been fundraising to relieve poverty and bring hope and opportunity to others. A big Thank You to them all!!

Healthy Role Models (HRM), Nanaimo
Sarah Gilks and her team of women strive for both personal health and fitness as well as giving back to local and global communities. In the spring HRM held a Beer and Burger to support K.I.D.S early childhood development program in the N.E. of Cambodia. The Women's Development Centre trains women to learn the art of silk weaving and earn a decent living wage for their families while K.I.D.S make sure their children are well cared for and get a head start on nutrition, education and hygiene. Thanks to Sarah and all the participants for raising $10,113.00 and assisting in bringing 60 children education, healthcare and hope for a brighter future.
Sumalee's Fundraising
One of our youngest supporters continues to use every opportunity to help her "friends" in Cambodia. Recently Sumalee turned six and as usual turned her birthday party into a fundraiser for bikes for kids to go to school. At her Dracula themed party she raised $273.00. Since she was four she has raised approximately $1,500.00 for the kids in Cambodia. Needless to say she has foregone a lot of presents, served a lot of lemonade and gone through a lot of glue-sticks and glitter making Christmas cards to sell!

Cedrick's Cafe in Crofton, BC 
Cedrick's Coffee House is a lovely little coffee house where all the proceeds go to KIDS. Cedrick's is located on one of Crofton's main streets in a beautifully renovated "Log Cabin" on Joan Ave.  Owned by Judith and Gerry Fewster and run by Jane Douglas Bailey this unique cafe offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere, great food and is a place where a cup of coffee can change a child's life. Thanks to Judith, Gerry and Jane for all their generous work and please drop by if your out that way.


All the best to all of you,
Enjoy your summer, we will keep you posted,
Adrianne and Rick

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Kitchen Repair

Hello Everyone,

We hope that all is well? We are settled back here in Nanaimo and looking forward to summer's arrival but hopefully we can get some more rain first to help get us through the dry summer months. In Cambodia they have been having the worst drought in many years. The largest man-made reservoir in the world, the West Baray, had gone totally dry before the rains arrived last week so we are thankful that the drought has eased.

With the first rains in four months there was a strong windstorm that blew off the roof of the school kitchen at Trakiet Primary and Middle School, where we built the four new classrooms this past season.

 Thanks to our friend Kim, who we work with on many projects, getting in touch with us we were able to fund the new roof and Kim arranged for the community to replace the roof and restore the kitchen to working order the next day. The kitchen is a very important part of the schools in Cambodia as they provide, in most cases, the only meal of the day for many of the poorest children.
Even though we are back in Canada, K.I.D.S. continues to support ongoing projects as well as emerging needs. Thanks to the generous support we receive, children in Cambodia are able to have access to: education, clean water, medicine, safe housing and brighter futures. We will continue to keep you posted.
Wishing you and yours all the very best,
Adrianne and Rick

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thumbs Up

Hello Everyone,
We have one more water project to report on for Sok San School north of Siem Reap. There are close to 500 children attending this school and as usual there were all the problems with lack of clean drinking water for the children of Sok San. Now that the Sok San water system is up and running, the children can look forward to better health, increased energy and concentration. A big Thank You to Lush Charity Pot for partnering with K.I.D.S. once again to make this project a reality for those Cambodian children and families.

We arrived home yesterday, after a long trip back from Cambodia and would like to send you all a big thumbs up for your amazing contributions of time, energy, donations and support for K.I.D.S. projects and programs. Though we have completed the infrastructure projects for this trip your support continues to assist children 365 days a year, as they pedal new bikes to school or walk in shoes they never had before. Your generosity feeds children daily who might not otherwise eat. Children attend daycare, elementary, and secondary schools as well as university, vocational training and computer labs. Many, many children have daily access to health and dental care through The Lake Clinic, the free clinic at the Stung Treng Women's Development Centre and Angkor Hospital for Children. There are children and families sheltered daily from the tropical sun and wet season rains between new walls and under new roofs. The donations from individuals, families, children, businesses and foundations are paying forward good health, education and hope. Over time we are seeing students and young adults paying forward the opportunities they have been given by teaching, mentoring and being role models for friends, fellow students, siblings and even parents with what they have learned.

The Sok San school water project is a milestone for all of us at K.I.D.S., it is the 10the completed water project. Through our collective, combined and ongoing efforts, we have now brought clean drinking water to over:
 "5,000 children and their families"

We would like to send you all along a big thumbs up from some of the many 
children and families you have supported!!

With great appreciation,
Rick and Adrianne
Till next time..... 

Smart Kids and their new bikes
Village construction crew at Trakiet School

Sva Houl Water Project
K.I.D.S. preschool teacher and student

Mekong River field trip with K.I.D.S. preschool teachers

K.I.D.S. preschool

K.I.D.S. Preschool
Damnak Slan water project

Sok San water project

Friday, March 25, 2016

Sohing's School

Dear Friends,

Hope all is well with you. While here in Cambodia we often get to know people working at restaurants and businesses. Last year we met a lovely young woman who was working at a cafe/restaurant. As we got chatting with her we found that she was one of five children, her mother had died, her father is deaf and two other siblings are deaf as well. Her family, (including her aging grandparents) live on a small piece of land in a small village about 40 minutes from Siem Reap. Sohing learned English on her own and moved to the city to find a job and provide for her family. The family has a small rice field

and some farm animals. Sohing also supports the children in her community by providing English lessons for 2 hours every week. Every Tuesday children from around the area come to learn and play in the small open walled classroom under her house. Every other Tuesday she offers all 60 kids a nutritious meal; as many of the families can only afford to eat rice and salt. Sohing hires a teacher to teach and she provides the books and pens etc. She also started a community garden, which the children care for and can harvest. Last year K.I.D.S. provided some books and pens for her program.

This year we met up again, at the same restaurant. We asked if she needed anything for her little school, she said she needed four more desks and some more books and pens. She invited us to meet the children, her family and see the school.
Arriving at the school, we met the kids and they were all excited to practice their English. Sohing was cooking a hug pot of food and the children devoured the delicious rice porridge with meat and veggies very quickly.

Later in the year, we visited Sohing's school again. She had put a new roof on the side of her house to increase the space of the overcrowded classroom area under her house. To do this, she had sold her motorcycle, which was her main means of transportation. This increased her working hours to 12 hours a day, six days a week. She continued to go out to her village on her day off to teach the children. We were very moved by her dedication. We went out again and saw the roof and the school and decided to fund the extension. Sohing was beyond words when we gave her the funds.

We often meet people who sacrifice their time, their own comfort and stability to assist others... giving until it hurts. These are the unsung heros in our world. Thank you Sohing for what you do and thanks to all of you for supporting K.I.D.S. to assist her in her good work.

The very best,
Adrianne and Rick

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sva Houl School

Hi Again Everyone,

Hope all is well. We have completed another water project at a rural school in a small village north of Siem Reap. Sva Houl school has 325 children and is located down a usual dusty, bumpy road. This was a much needed water project as not only did the school not have any water sources, but the entire village has hardly any usable wells.

This is another school that has great leadership and a committed team of teachers who really work hard to care and educate the children in their care.

As we are now into the hot season here with temperatures in the high 30's everyday, we know only too well how welcome a clean glass of water is. We ourselves are fortunate to have the luxury of being able to buy clean drinking water anytime we desire.

In the past, many children were plagued by illness due to water borne disease, missing many days of school. We can only imagine how difficult it must be for the children to not only deal with being ill, but to have to spend a long thirsty day at school after walking or cycling a fair distance to get there.

Sva Houl school and village now has access to this new water system that provides clean, pure water for the children and their families.

A big Thank You to Eric and Joann Byres for funding this great project in partnership with K.I.D.S.

All the best to you and yours,
Rick and Adrianne