Wednesday, January 20, 2016

K.I.D.S. Kindergarten

Dear Friends,

We recently returned from a trip to Stung Treng in the N.E. part of Cambodia. We went to spend some time at another one of our favourite programs, K.I.D.S. Preschool and Kindergarten. K.I.D.S. has been funding this program for the past 8 years and it is always a
pleasure to see the little ones attending school, so happy and healthy. The school is on the grounds of the Stung Treng Women's Development Weaving Centre. Two very inspiring Cambodian people Chan and Chantha founded this innovative and sustainable program for women in 2002. Here women learn to spin, weave, and dye silk and make beautiful scarves and products. The women receive a good salary, have regular days off, receive free medical care (for themselves and their families), a free lunch program and thanks to K.I.D.S. donors, they can bring their children to work with them to attend our preschool kindergarten.

Each day 50 to 60 children attend the school, some of the weavers children and some are from the local village. The teachers are very committed and nurturing women who work hard at giving these kids a head start in life.

Where once these children would have been wandering around on the dirt paths of the village, they are now playing, learning, doing morning exercises, singing and napping. They all get a good nutritious lunch and can visit their mother's at break time. Before most of these women were struggling to feed their families and find work, now they are
producing some of the best silk in S.E. Asia and are able to educate their children at the same time. As we know, most women in developing countries have a difficult time finding employment because of the responsibilities of caring for small children.

We support the teachers to learn and develop their skills and we provide good educational materials. As it turns out, once the children from K.I.D.S. little school go to grade one in the government schools they are often top of their class.

 We have added a little video of the children enjoying their morning routine!!

Youtube video - click to view

Thanks for all your support and for giving these young children a great head start to a better future.

Warmest wishes to you all,
Adrianne and Rick

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Water for Kids!!

Dear Friends,

Yesterday we went out to Damnakslan Elementary School, north of Siem Reap, to meet the school principal, teachers, village chief, head monk from the local pagoda and members of the education committee for the school. The purpose of this visit was to celebrate the completion of the latest K.I.D.S. water project and to turn on the pumps and teach the children how to use the taps as they had not seen running tap water before.

After our meeting with the school and community members we took a couple of the classes and gave them some instructions and turned them loose at the taps. During these moments, seeing children who for the first time in their lives have access to unlimited clean, pure drinking water, it is hard to put into words. Perhaps we will defer to the words spoken to us by the school principal.

"We would like to thank K.I.D.S., Healthy Role Models and everyone else involved, for supporting our school with this gift of "tuk sa at" (beautiful water). Our children here at the school were always sick with stomach aches and diarrhea... their illness ends as of this moment."

We too would also like to thank Healthy Role Models of Nanaimo, founded and operated by Sarah and David Gilks and their terrific team of participants who volunteered their time and talents to fund-raise for this specific project. The water system has vastly improved the health of over 500 school children and their families. The children at school will be able to drink as much as they want during the day and the community will also be able to access this clean water for their families.

Hope your 2016 is off to a great start... like the children at Damnakslan School.

All the best to you and yours,
Rick and Adrianne