Sunday, February 25, 2018

Kids, Kindergartens and Kitchens

Dear Friends,

Sometimes it is the things we don't really notice that can make life uncomfortable for others. Here in Cambodia we visit many schools for various reasons: to put in clean drinking water systems, bring bikes, build classrooms and give school supplies. The teachers and principals don't ask for much and are grateful for any support K.I.D.S. can provide. Recently we were visiting a couple of schools we have supported in the past. While there, we visited the three kindergarten classrooms and noticed that the rooms had rough concrete floors and the children were sitting on plastic sheets as to not to get their uniforms dirty. As we know little ones love to play on the floor and in a country like Cambodia most people often sit on the floor to play, learn, eat and visit. The principals mentioned that they would really like to tile the floors so it was cleaner for the children and so we had the three classrooms tiled and voila everyone was much happier, cleaner and more comfortable. We also tiled one office, where the teachers work and store supplies as they were battling dust and discomfort as well. Thanks very much to the Compassionate Eye Foundation and K.I.D.S. donors for helping make this happen!

Imagine feeding 600 kids a day with a few pots, pans and working on the cement floor...well that is what Feeding Dreams Cambodia does every school day. This great program provides free English lessons to over 600 students and a free meal program. Most of the kids live in slum areas in the city and could never afford to learn English and in a tourist place like Siem Reap English will help get them a job one day. Thanks to K.I.D.S. donors we were able to build a new kitchen; needless to say that the kitchen staff were thrilled and can now work in a clean and well equipped space and continue to churn out nutritious meals...for some kids it will be their only real meal of the day. Together over the years K.I.D.S. has provided this great school with bathrooms, clean drinking water, computers for their free computer training program and support for their outreach program. Hats off to Kerry Huntly and the incredible Cambodian staff who work tirelessly to improve the futures of children and youth.

On behalf of hundreds of kids who are healthier and happier thanks to you, we send our appreciation!
All the best until next time,
Adrianne and Rick

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Home of Their Owin

Dear Friends,

We hope all is well with you and yours. As many of you know K.I.D.S. has been supporting a home for girls for the past 9 years. The home is just that "A Home", a place where girls who have been abandoned, abused, neglected or orphaned can live together, support each other and thrive. This is all made possible thanks to You Vath, who we met many years ago when she was running a street children's shelter. You Vath tragically lost her whole family during the genocide in Cambodia, including her husband and 2 children; rather than fold to defeat she decided to help other children and to adopt an abandoned child 25 years ago. You Vath opened her home and her heart to these and many more children and thanks to K.I.D.S. donors we have been able to support them in living healthy and happier lives.

Not only has You Vath supported girls, she also supports boys who have no where to go and over the years K.I.D.S has also assisted these great boys. Many of them are now going to university, working or going to training school.

You Vath has helped hundreds of kids and many of them call her Mak Tom (Big Mother). It is truly moving when we meet some of the girls we knew, many years ago, when they drop by and visit with their own children.

You Vath has and continues to be an inspiration to us...her courage, compassion and dedication has changed so many young peoples lives and given them a chance for better futures. You Vath, her wonderful daughter Samnang, and all the great kids we have been fortunate enough to meet over the years have also improved our lives immensely.

Thank you for supporting these incredible people.

All the very best to all of you,
Adrianne and Rick 

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Dear Friends,

We are writing this from the town of Sauraha in southern Nepal, the lowland area near the border with India. It has been about five years since we have done projects in a country other than Cambodia. Nepal has been on our list of places for a future project for some time. This past summer we came upon news reports of flooding in this area, there was lots of damage to personal property and lives lost. Our research led us to a Canadian charity called Women's Education and Literacy Nepal (WELNepal) founded and run by David Walton from Toronto.

WELNepal has taught over 6,000 women, of all ages. to read and write, currently there are 560 women in the literacy program. They also sponsor many bright young women to complete high school, bachelor degrees and master's programs. In addition they support income generation programs such as: candle, incense, soap making, sewing programs and organic farming.

WELNepal supplies small libraries to the literacy class graduates, their children and other villagers to improve their readings skills. The libraries are comprised of story books relevant to the area as well as books on health issues, farming practices, human rights and other knowledge based topics.

Over the course of our stay we went out with David and Raj and Harimaya, the local coordinators for WELNepal, they took us out to visit their literacy classes and some income generation projects. We were inspired to watch the women, who six months ago could not read or write their own names, stand up and read to us and write on the white board proudly and with confidence.

K.I.D.S. has funded another library for one of the communities in this area. Poor eyesight is also an issue for many of the women so K.I.D.S. has also supplied 250 pairs of reading glasses that will be distributed as needed.

Sauraha is a poor rural farming area and like Cambodia a diverse skillset helps poor families survive, reduce their overhead and stretch their farming income. With this in mind K.I.D.S. is purchasing sewing machines and implementing another sewing training program for 28 women. Upon completion of their training they will be able to repair or sew new clothing for their children and families as well as make school uniforms for their children. K.I.D.S. will grant the sewing machines to the women after the program. We are sure with their resourcefulness that there will be income generation opportunities for these hard working women when they acquire their new sewing skills.

We also visited and distributed books, pens, pencils and backpacks for a group of 52 school children from a very poor ethnic minority called the Chepang, often characterized as the poorest of Nepals poor.

The work that K.I.D.S. does would be impossible to do without close and dedicated partnerships. Our experience here in Sauraha and Nepal has been amazing and very moving. Many thanks to David, Raj and Harimaya. We admire their compassion and commitment to improve the lives of women, children and families.

Once again we want to extend our most heartfelt thank you to K.I.D.S. donors who continue to partner with us to make change where it matters most; at a grassroots level, in people's homes, hearts and minds. Your contributions, without a doubt, continue to improve lives and change futures.

We head back to Cambodia in a couple of days and we leave behind new friends here in Nepal.

Dherai Dehrai Dhanyabad
(Thank You Very Very Much in Nepal)
Till next time
Rick and Adrianne