Monday, October 9, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone,

Hope that you are well on this Thanksgiving Day, sharing food and spending time with family and friends.

We received these photos recently of children in Cambodia who are thankful to K.I.D.S. and everyone who supports them to further their education. Together​,​ so far this year​,​ we have​ purchased over 120 bikes so children are able to travel the long distances to get to school.

A special thank you to children here who have baked, busked, sold lemonade and donated birthday funds to help improve the lives of children over there.

With Gratitude,
Rick and Adrianne

Monday, September 25, 2017

From Bricks to Books and Beyond

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are all settling into fall. We wanted to update you on the Smart Kids rural education program we started six years ago with eight children who were in grade 6. The students we started with grew up in a very tough environment with substandard housing, no running water, no bathrooms, no electricity, poor nutrition and facing a lifetime of hard labour in brick factories starting at young a young age. Families working together struggle to make enough money to just feed themselves and live in deplorable shacks, built by the brick factory owners. In some cases they live in a corner of the factory floor. Making low wages the families and children could only dream of getting an education, as public schools are not free in Cambodia, not to mention post secondary, vocational training or university.

Six of the 8 students
In 2011 we asked the student's parents if KIDS would provide the funding for books, backpacks, bicycles and tuition would they agree to support one child in each of the 8 families to be educated. The parents were very excited at the opportunity but sadly the decision would not be an easy one due to the fact that the margin of financial solvency was so thin. Taking the labour of one of their their children out of the family income would make survival difficult. However they somehow found the means.

Thanks to the support of our donors we are pleased to say that this month the first 8 students have moved on from grade 12 and are now attending a one year hospitality training program at a well respected Tourism School in Siem Reap. There they will study, hotel management, cooking or other aspects of the hotel and tourism industry. They should not have a problem finding employment as graduates from this program are highly sought after and the program is recognized in all South East Asian countries.

We now have 33 young people in our Smart Kids sponsorship program and together we are changing their lives and futures. Their world of possibilities to help themselves with further education and helping their families financially has improved dramatically.

We made a short video of one boys life in the brick factory (some of you may have seen this) it is only 7 minutes long but shows you the beginning of Pisu's story.

Here is the Link 

Pisu then and now...One Happy Guy!!!!

Thank you for your support it does change lives.

Till next time,
Rick and Adrianne

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Story of One Girl

Dear Friends,

Many years ago we were in Cambodia and heard about a poor village where quite a few of the children did not have clothes. We went out there with a van full of clothing and met with the local villagers and they were happy to receive clothes for their children.

While chatting and fitting kids in outfits a woman came up to us and pushed her daughter froward and said that her daughter could speak english. The daughter did not look happy, however she started to speak english to us and we were quite astounded at how well she spoke. Apparently there had been a woman in the area that taught a few kids english for a awhile. Sopeak rode her bike a long distance to learn. We asked her if she would like to continue to learn english and she shyly said yes; that was the beginning of a long relationship. Her family worked hard to make a meager living. Dad worked at a factory in another province and sent his salary home..he lived at the factory most of the year. Mom raised a cow and grew a garden and they worked very hard to feed their family.

Sopeak moved on to a better english school and rode her bike hours to and from extra classes as well as attending high school. After passing grade 12, the top of her class, in the government school K.I.D.S sponsored her to live in the city and attend a better english school as well as University. While in the city we found out that she had hearing problems and took her to an NGO where they told us she had lived with terrible ear infections and was mostly deaf in one ear. After medication and a hearing aide she could hear much better. Sopeak was top of her class in english and all her classes even though she was mostly deaf for a very long time...she had never been to a restaurant, driven in a car or seen a city and yet she managed to live in a small room and ride her bike to attend university and english school. Sopeak excelled in all her subjects.

Sopeak will soon graduate with a degree in accounting and english, she works part time teaching english at an NGO and both her sisters have lived with her in the city and now have good jobs, they all help their parents, who were able to build a decent house. While we were in Siem Reap this past winter Sopeak got engaged and recently married in her village, her husband also has a good job as a tour guide.

This is the story of one girl who persevered to live a better life. Her future is bright and so is her families thanks to a chance meeting, hard work and the generosity of all of you. We now sponsor many more young people like Sopeak and it is inspiring to see them following in her foot steps and changing their futures, the future of their families, communities and their country.

All the very best,
Adrianne, Rick and Sopeak

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Rain Water Collection Systems

Dear Friends,

We hope all is well. In Cambodia it is now the rainy season. This means for most families in the countryside it is the time to collect rain water, which makes life much easier. K.I.D.S is pleased to assist families by providing rain catchment systems for houses. The rain water catchment systems first flush out any dirt etc that comes in through the gutters and then goes to another pipe that fills the pots and the bathroom cisterns.

What this means is that for the next few month these families do not have to buy water and can drink and bathe as much as they want.

Thanks to Lush and all our donors for changing these peoples lives in such positive, healthy and beneficial ways. 

Thank You From the Village Children

Wishing you and yours all the very best,
Rick and Adrianne

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Reaskmay's House

Dear Friends,

We hope all is well with you and yours. We are now back in Nanaimo and settled into life here. Although we are home K.I.D.S. carries on with our ongoing programs and projects. We wanted to let you know that we have finished the house for one of the girls in our Smart Kids education sponsorship program. The building took a little longer as this house had some special building specifics that were needed. We are so happy to let you know that Reaksmay, her two sisters and her disabled father are now happily moved into their new house and they finally have a home of their own and do not have to live in the
community hall anymore. For many years the family has lived in the small open community hall building. Reaksmay, has been the main caregiver, for her disabled father and younger sister since her mother died many years ago.

Community Hall Where The Family They Lived for Many Years
Thanks to Lush Charity Pot we were able to build a new house with a large inside barrier free bathroom for the father and family. They now have solar lighting as well as lots of water containers so they do not have to get water from the pond or bathe in the pond behind their house. We also put in a tile floor as the father spends a lot of time on the floor as he cannot walk. Having a bathroom and a house with walls will certainly ease their situation.

Reaksmay's older sister has come home to help Reaksmay. Reaksmay is getting an education as is her younger sister thanks to K.I.D.S. and we also help support them with necessities. The family wanted us to pass on their deep appreciation for assisting them all and giving them a safe, clean home where they can live in dignity and comfort together.

For this family, a dream has come true... Thanks to you!
All the very best,
Rick and Adrianne

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Little by Little...

We are only hours away from boarding our first flight on our way home from Cambodia. Though our work continues year round, which we will up date you on, we will send along this last post from Cambodia for now.

K.I.D.S. has purchased over 160 bikes so far this year, with more to come. Just before we left we went out to Kauk Chrey School to distribute 40 of them to students from three schools who will soon be moving on to high school.

When we arrived at the school there were many children and family members waiting to greet us.

Though a simple one-speed bicycle might seem like a little thing it brings a lot of benefits to the children and families receiving it. Aside from getting the child to school it gives the family access to markets to buy and sell goods, travel to clinics and most importantly, as in the case with these bikes, enables a child to continue their education which would surely stop after elementary school as the children need to travel to distant high schools. During this trip K.I.D.S. has been able to bring many other benefits to children such as: education, healthcare, transportation, computers, housing, improved hygiene, family support, clean drinking water and many little things too numerous to mention.

From K.I.D.S. and from us we would like to extend our most Heartfelt Thank You to our dedicated Cambodian partners, private donors, foundations, companies, volunteers, board members, young fundraisers, schools and students for all of your contributions both big and little.

We would like to close with this Tanzanian proverb.

" Little by little, a little becomes a lot. Every act counts, no matter how small"

​In Honour of ​our Beloved ​Danielle 
Jan ​14​,​​1979 to March 26​,​2000​ 

Till next time....
Rick and Adrianne

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Keeping Education Afloat

Hello Everyone

Hope this finds you all well? Back in December we wrote about a small school that was sinking in a floating village called Peckchekry in a small fishing community on the Tonle Sap Lake.

We took out some badly needed school supplies and helped decorate the school thanks to K.I.D.S. donors. We also promised to buy bamboo for this school that was barely afloat so it could continue to stay above water and bring education to the kids living in the village.

Thanks to Compassionate Eye Foundation ​we ​were able to buy and ship 750 pieces of large bamboo. We needed to wait until the water of the Tonle Sap Lake dropped due to the dry season and the school sat on the lake bottom. Then the villagers could remove the old bamboo and place the new bamboo under the easy feat as you will see in the attached video and pictures. However in true Cambodian fashion nothing is too difficult for these amazing resilient people to accomplish. A big thank you to Compassionate Eye Foundation, who continue to support our work and so generously support the children and families living in very challenging situations.

Together we continue to overcome obstacles to keep kids in school and change their futures and the futures of generations to come.

Akun Cheran (Thank You) from all of us.

Adrianne and Rick