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