Charity projects in rural Cambodia 2011

I feel extremely privileged having had the opportunity to support the children of Cambodia. More than a hundred friends, colleagues and relatives contributed generously with their donations. Our friend and local tour guide Ta in Siem Reap helped me to make this happen; his unlimited determination to help the poor is unparalleled. If you ever want to visit Cambodia, I can recommend him as a professional tour guide (elitangkor@yahoo.com).

School desks for CambodiaCambodia school desk project Newsletter 1 School desks for CambodiaCambodia school desk project Newsletter 2

School desks

At one of the the famous Angkor temples in Siem Reap I met a young girl who was selling souvenirs to tourists. She took me to her primary school. It was a typical Cambodian rural school. They were in great need of new school desks as the government hardly provides funds to maintain the schools.

I spoke with the school principal and offered help. Six weeks later I returned with USD 4,000 donated by sponsors: enough to purchase 111 new desks from two local suppliers.

You can download the newsletters here and here.

The schooldesk project in Cambodia

School uniforms

Deep in the rural areas the people are very poor. Khmer children go to school in uniforms, but usually these clothes have to survive multiple generations; from brother to brother to brother. The principal of one of the schools I helped with new school desks suggested that it would be better to provide a uniform to the children rather than giving money to the parents. 

So a second project was born and in six weeks I collected USD 6,000, enough to buy 1100 uniforms. 

School uniforms for CambodiaFlyer for the school uniform project in Cambodia

 

Charity project in rural Bangladesh 2014

In November 2013 I traveled with a friend to his home village in the north of Bangladesh. Seven years ago he left to Malaysia to earn money for his family. He had never returned since and the reunion with his family, friends and other villagers was very emotional. 

While I stayed at his parents house I visited the village school. It was a simple building of six classrooms. It looked like the construction was stopped midway. The children followed class sitting on bare ground, there was no furniture. I made many photo's of the school and the children, rearranging the girls to sit in front; not how they are seated normally. All the children and teachers had a lot of fun. They enjoyed this strange foreigner was visiting their school.

At some point the head teacher asked if I could help them with new schooldesks. With the experience of my former charity projects in Cambodia, I knew it could be easily done and I committed to help them. Back home in Malaysia I raised USD 3,200 enough to procure 65 schooldesks and 90 uniforms.

Flyer for the school desk project in Bangladesh Flyer for the school desk project in Bangladesh

In April 2014 we returned to the village to collect the schooldesks and uniforms and made the final payments to the local carpenter and tailor. You can find the newsletters and photo's here and here.