Thursday, November 30, 2017

Partners in Change

Hello Everyone,

Hope all is well with you. We now have several projects underway but in this email we will focus on the construction of toilet/bathing rooms that we are building for rural children and their families in our Smart Kids Education Sponsorship Program.

The Smart Kids Program started out with 8 students in grade 6 in 2011, there are now 33 students in the program. We became acquainted with these students through Hak, who worked with schools, in the brick factory and subsistence fishing area where these students live. Hak now helps us manage the Smart Kids program. The students and their families live in very difficult situations, facing poor housing conditions with either very rudimentary or no toilet/ bathing facilities. It is hard to conceive that families living with elderly parents and several children would not have a toilet or place to bathe.

Last week we went out and toured the homes and villages of the student's families to decide which families' situations were the most critical. Trying to make a decision is difficult, as virtually none of the families have any form of decent facilities however we made our choices. Last year in partnership with Lush Charity Pot we built 6 bathroom facilities and our hope is to eventually assist all 33 families.

As K.I.D.S. projects and programs have evolved over the years so have the partnerships we have formed in order to implement them. In the case of this project the team involves Hak and Sokha, the principal of the school, who helps us choose the families who are most in need and Pov and his team of local Cambodian builders. This project is made possible thanks to K.I.D.S. donors and this year we once again partnered with Sarah Gilks and the Healthy Role Models Program in Nanaimo, who generously raised funds for ten bathrooms. Together we are going to bring sanitation, hygiene and dignity to 17 or 18 more families over the course of this the next few months.
It is always uplifting seeing the gratitude and relief that the chosen families feel, which takes away some of the sting of witnessing the struggles these families and children face. The hard part is walking away from others outside of the budget, for now we promise them, we will be back.

So on behalf of these children and families and ourselves we send a most sincere thank you...our partnership is making a difference and lightening the burden of many.

We will continue to update you as things progress.

Till next time,
Rick and Adrianne

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Back to the Countryside

Hello Everyone,
Hope all is well with you and yours. We are now in Cambodia and after a few days of R&R we are back visiting KIDS programs and starting new projects. Going out to the countryside we are always struck by the contrasts of beauty and poverty. The green rice fields and red roads are beautiful and people use many modes of transportation to travel to and from their destinations.

As we visit different communities we see the children coming and going to school, often walking or riding their bikes. Many have to travel long distances and support each other along their way.

We visit very poor families living in incredibly difficult situations,working hard to

make ends meet however they always greet us with hospitality and smiles.

The rainy season is coming to an end, flood waters are starting to recede and both people and pets await dry ground.

So now we can begin to build toilets, houses, school water systems and much more to improve the lives of these hardworking people. Thanks so much to everyone for helping make these changes possible. We will keep you updated.

Until next time,

Adrianne and Rick

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Farewell for Now

Hi Everyone,

Hope this finds you all well? Hard to believe another complete set of seasons has come and gone and we are off on our 18th trip.Though we will miss family and friends we are keen to get to work in Cambodia.

Last year thanks to everyone's generosity we were able to bring hundreds more children and their families clean drinking water. Together we also were able to support our ongoing programs which include: the girls home, preschool/kindergarten and rural student sponsorship program. We bought hundreds of bikes so kids could go to school as well as books and other educational needs. We built houses, toilets and floated a sinking school, supported medical care in isolated areas as well as started new computer and English classes.

This year we are hoping to do it all again and are excited that KIDS will be able to build at least 2 new water projects, many toilets for rural families, hopefully a couple of houses for very poor families as well as other needed projects yet to be determined. If possible we are hoping to support more classrooms and continue to sponsor students so they do not have to live a life of hard labour working in brick factories.

On behalf of KIDS and ourselves we want to send you our sincere appreciation for your contributions of funds, support, volunteerism and well wishes.

We look forward to keeping you all up to date on the difference you are making in so many children and families lives.

Wishing you and yours all the very best,

Adrianne and Rick