Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A New Year

Dear Friends,

As we reflect upon the past year and move forward to the new year we want to wish you all the best for 2016. This past year together we have changed many lives for the better, some in small meaningful ways such as providing a bike, flip flops or a small solar light to study by. We have also supported communities by bringing medicine, education and clean drinking water. We thank you all for being a part of these positive changes.

As the sun sets on this year, we look forward to continuing to work together for a more equatable and compassionate world where children and families can live with dignity and basic human rights.

We hope the road, river or path ahead brings good health, happiness, purpose and love to everyone.

As they say here........ Soksabia Now Tam Plough (Good luck on the road in 2016).

Adrianne and Rick

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Family Created

Dear Friends and Family.

At this time, as many families gather together to celebrate the season, our thoughts turn to home, friends and family. The closest sense of home and family we have here is when we are with the girls at the Girl's home we started in 2007.

The first girls of Samnang House, 2007
We have known some of the girls since they were rescued off the street and lived at a street children's centre 14 years ago. When the street children's shelter was closed down, the Director, You Vath, generously opened up her small home to six girls and we decided we would raise funds to support them.

Since that time, some of those girls are still with us and others have come to join them. We expanded the house and continued to take in more girls who have faced tragic and difficult situations or who were orphaned. Now 18 girls live there, ranging from ages 3 to 22. These girls have come together from various locations and situations and have found a safe and loving place to form their own family.

Samnang House today
Recently we had friends from home visit and we took them to meet You Vath and the girls. This is Trudy and Ian's description of their experience, which we feel describes aptly the wonderful place that these children and young adults have created out of  very difficult life circumstances.

"Last night we went for dinner at the girls home that K.I.D.S. started and fully supports. We bounced along "a dancing road" (aka a dirt road full of potholes) along a dark alley. However, we came to a veritable oasis of hope for about 18 girls that live in the house. These children were either orphans or from the poorest of poo families. Some lived on the street and were surely doomed to prostitution or worse. 

Now they live in a bright house with a caring "mother", go to school and even university, take English and dancing lessons, and have bicycles for transport. One could not find a happier, more respectful group of children. After dinner the music was connected to a speaker and we all danced and laughed."

Thanks to your generosity throughout the years these girls have been given not only a safe haven and a place to live, they have been given the opportunity to create a loving family that most had been denied.

Relaxing on a Sunday afternoon  

Wishing you and yours a happy and peaceful holiday season.

With much gratitude,

Adrianne, Rick
and the Girls at Samnang House


Friday, December 18, 2015

The Lake Clinic

Dear Friends,
We hope all is well with you and yours. This past week we spent a couple of days with The Lake Clinic team down on the Stung Sen River. K.I.D.S. is pleased to be able to support this life-changing program on an ongoing basis. This year, due to the additional fundraising efforts of Doctor Suzanne Montemuro and the Scotia McLeod team in Victoria, we are also able to support the salary for one of their incredible doctors for a year.

Visiting these more isolated areas always holds a mixture of sights and feelings. The beauty of the rice fields, lotus flowers and temples is juxtaposed with the undernourished children, lack of electricity, sanitation and poor living conditions.

The Lake Clinic team travel long distances every week to stay on the clinic that K.I.D.S. and the Compassionate Eye Foundation built, to provide healthcare, education and free medications.

Villagers travel to the floating clinic weekly with a variety of problems. It is remarkable to watch the team in action as they document each patient, provide examinations, dental care, pre and post-natal care and visit local schools to track the children's health. They also do home visits for the more critical cases.

Through the challenging conditions of heat, rain and dealing with hoards of insects, these dedicated people alleviate suffering and improve lives. Thanks for supporting us in supporting them.

So long for now, we will be in touch again soon.

The best,
Adrianne and Rick

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Legacy of Opportunity

Hi All,

We have now arrived in Siem Reap and have settled into our small apartment and life in Cambodia. We are getting used to the 34 degree weather and learning to stay out of the noon day sun. We have been connecting with our friends, contacts, kids and as always it is great to see everyone.

Yesterday, we went to meet Saopoan, she is the young woman that recently received a scholarship through K.I.D.S. to go to University to study accounting here in Siem Reap. A group of family and friends of the late Ian Seal in Nanaimo decided to raise funds to support a young person to study accounting in memory if Ian, who volunteered as K.I.D.S. accountant for many years.

Saopoan attended a high school in rural Cambodia, north of Siem Reap, where we have installed a clean drinking water system and a computer lab. The teachers picked a student who was from a poor family and has worked hard to pass grade twelve without any outside help. Saopoan is 21, she started school later due to poverty and she has two younger sisters. Her parents are both subsistence rice farmers.

Saopoan recipient of accounting scholarship - in Memory of Ian Seal

Through the funds donated, Saopoan is provided with tuition, books, a bicycle and room and board. We met Saopoan at her one room apartment that she shares with another girl from her village. It is very small, they have to cook outside and share a communal bathroom, however, for Saopoan and her family, this is a dream come true. We brought some second hand donated computers from home and were able to pass one of these computers on the her for her studies.

Saopoan in her shared one room apartment, receives second hand laptop for her accounting studies

Saopoan told us she loves accounting and will work very hard to take advantage of this chance for a better life. She wanted us to thank everyone involved wit helping her and her family.

It is heartwarming to see how through the generosity of others, opportunity can touch another's life and give hope for future generations.

We have other projects underway and will write more later.

All the best to you and yours,
Adrianne and Rick