The new 2011-2012 school year has just kicked off, and though the Siem Reap floods had seeped into our student’s and staff’s homes, they didn’t stop the students from learning or the school from beginning exciting, new programs. It was a great summer at TGC with the arrival of two new Minerva Fellows from Union College, and volunteers from Norway, Australia, and Dubai. The students have been enjoying their sewing class with Teacher Chhaylon, two-hour traditional Khmer dance class on Tuesdays, and weekly Karate class.
25 Students Graduate from TGC on August 20, 2011
On a sunny, Saturday afternoon, 25 students and their relatives joined staff, volunteers, donors, and government personnel for the graduation and award ceremony. After much preparation, the school was transformed to hold forty people with a beautiful banner and podium for various speakers. Dara started the ceremony off to welcome all the guests and students, and to congratulate the students on passing their exams and moving forward in the school curriculum. The microphone passed to government official, Mr. Sam Lorn and then to Lida’s father, Mr. SengLeang, to remark on how his son has grown since starting at TGC. Then Radhy spoke of his own experience with TGC, translated into English by SreyKeow. Radhy told the audience how much he had learned from TGC in just one year and how eager he is to continue studying. Outstanding student awards were given out to Kanya, Radhy, and Young Chi (fifth grade), Sari, Sokoam, and SreyKeow (sixth grade), and Numheang (seventh grade) for being the top in their class.
The ceremony commenced upstairs with snacks and refreshments, and a performance of “The Not Lazy Song” with Piron on vocals, Marot on piano, and the help of younger boys and volunteers. The rest of the day was filled with performances by the rest of the students. It was a great day, enjoyed by everyone.
The morning of Friday September 9th was a tad different for the students and staff of TGC. Rather than starting it off with instant coffee and English lessons, they trudged through the side streets of Phum Wat Bo, peering into the street gutters looking for pieces of trash to pick up as part of monthly “Environment Day.” Donning white TGC caps and blue facemasks, gloves and plastic bags, they were ready to take on the litter. The rest of the morning was spent walking the streets of Siem Reap and picking up trash—and although we only made a small dent in the litter, we set a good example for others to do the same and think twice about tossing something on the street!
's New Promotions
Recently, Joe To Go has started a whole slew of promotions to increase profits going towards The Global Child. Between 2 – 5 PM, a free cookie is served with any coffee purchase, and from 6 – 9 PM a free ice-cream scoop is offered with any food purchase. For regulars at Joe To Go, membership cards are now available when $20 or more is spent, and customers can enjoy 10% off of every meal and 5% off at the Beau Fou boutique. For shake and coffee lovers, after every 5th glass/cup, they can receive a free drink. The Joe To Go staff is hard at work, and together with volunteers they are working towards getting Joe To Go’s name out to the tourist and western population through partnership with hostels, guesthouses, other boutiques, and new “meet and greet” events held at Joe To Go.
Rated One of Magnificent 7 Boutiques!
A recent article in the Phnom Penh Post rated TGC’s own boutique, Beau Fou, as one of the “Magnificent 7 Boutiques” to see while in Siem Reap. The following is what the article had to say about us: “Beau Fou—The style? Cute as a button ethical buys. Anyone with a glint of kitsch in their style will feel right at home at this sweet little shop, upstairs from its brother business, Joe-to-Go. Polka dot dresses and pretty striped tees make up Beau Fou’s basics, while ethnic bags, sheer blouses and embellished jewelry tot up the rest. With all the store’s profits going towards The Global Child, a Siem Reap-based non-profit school, a Beau Fou shopping spree is a buyer’s remorse-free zone.” Meanwhile, Beau Fou was also featured in a travel article in Hong Kong Magazine for November 2011. It features a beautiful photo of Business Director Nimol Pong within Beau Fou; an adorable capture of Savonn, Srey Am, Kontea and Nari outside of TGC; and a written segment with “The Global Child” interspersed between sentences of Cantonese characters. Now if only we would read it!
Destination Chosen for April Trip
The students have voted on visiting the province of Mondol Kiri in April. Every year the students, staff, and volunteers save enough money to go on a school trip together for a few days in April. Last year the school went to Sihanoukville. There is much excitement to the see the jungles and meet the people who live in this remote part of Cambodia.
Advancing Engineering Consultants at TGC
Advancing Engineering Consultants traveled out of Phnom Penh, all the way to Siem Reap to visit TGC to present to us their newest published title, a children’s book in both English and Khmer. The story follows children as they discover the many things they can do, created through engineering. After reading the book and discussing as a group, students split up into groups of four to create bridges of their own design. Upon completion, the straw and tack bridges were loaded up with rocks to see whose was the strongest—and alas, it was Rahdy, Ratha and Marot’s bridge!
Trip to Baray
The kids and volunteers went to West Baray in August. The kids swam for eight (!!!) hours, riding atop inflated animals and each others backs, creating little tsunamis onto the lake front as they floundered about, knocking each other over, pulling hair, making general fantastic ruckus. It was six hours of intense play, no rest except to inhale lunch courtesy of Mah Lim paired with pumpkin sticky rice for dessert. Smiles abounded; it was a well-deserved day for students and volunteers alike.
Bakong Pagoda for Pchum Ben
Friday the 21st of September dawned sunny and slightly flooded, but that did not stop students and staff of TGC from going to Bakong Pagoda to celebrate the beginning of Pchum Ben. Pchum Ben is traditionally a time when the gates of hell open and deceased wrongdoers have a chance to end their purgatory. Thus Cambodians nowadays flock to the pagodas with food offerings, spending time and paying respects to deceased relatives. TGC offered food to the monks and had a day of relaxation and games. It was also a great chance to educate the students on their Khmer traditions, since Pchum Ben is one of the biggest festivals in Cambodia.
One of the biggest news of the school year is the employment Vutha, TGC’s oldest student. He has just started a job with Exotissimo Travel Agency. After completing an internship with them over the summer, Vutha was offered a position as assistant manager. He is the first student at TGC to go through high school, and vocational school of tourism at Paul Dubrule, and now start a job. He is a role model to all the students at TGC of what their hard work and determination can accomplish. He will still be supported by TGC through University as he starts the process of his transition into the adult world.
Exotissimo Travel Agency Visits and Makes Donation to TGC
A generous group of 23 tourists visited from the Exotissimo Travel Agency, where TGC alum Vutha has recently been employed. They came and conducted various sports games with the students for a few hours, and also donated many things the school needed from our wish list. The donation consisted mainly of office and school supplies, as well as soccer balls, basketballs and tennis rackets. The group also raised over $200 for TGC! As a token of thanks, the kids taught the visitors the Cambodian National Anthem. Afterwards, the new balls were utilized back at the woodhouse as students divided and played basketball and volleyball together. Thank you!
Past, Current and Upcoming Activities
This summer, the students took part in a two-week art class with a short-term volunteer from Dubai. They made bracelets, shorts and tee shirts out of paper, amongst other small treasures. The same volunteer offered an intensive two-week marketing class for the older students. Both classes were well received and different from what other classes they have taken in the past. Since the new school year has begun, volunteers have taken charge of a weekly debate class with the older students, art lessons on the fundamentals of art and design, and a six-week swim lesson course. Some projects that are still in the works are a health class, digital art class, theater class, and a pen-pal program. The students recently made e-mail addresses to correspond with past volunteers too.
Judy Wheeler’s visit to Siem Reap began in the form of excited whispers and anticipation before she even arrived. Her unannounced arrival date creates quite the stir in the TGC community: talk of “Did you hear when Judy is coming?” or “Judy will come soon, I know it’s soon…” bounced around the hallways. Apparently, Judy keeps her impending arrival secret, rousing excitement from all as students and staff attempt to uncover the real date of her arrival. Judy Wheeler and her sister Jackie landed in Siem Reap at the end of October, just in time for the last of the floodwaters to recede. Suddenly everyone was swept up in joy and hurried to welcome them.
Likewise, Judy and Jackie got straight to business, coming to school every day to meet with various staff members and students, observe classes, and oversee all kinds of official business. And of course, as is customary, they treated all staff to a delicious dinner at Square 24 Restaurant, and all students to a massive Pizza Company feast, complete with pizza slices larger than their heads. One of the many highlights of their stay in Siem Reap was their announcement of two special bits of news: the first, Education Officer, SophaHeng’s promotion to Assistant Principal of TGC; and the second, the news that Vutha Art is now an employee of Exotissimo Travel Company and will be moving out of the Wood House to be on his own— a true TGC success story!
TGC Needs Your Support
We’ll need your help to keep the school running. A small donation goes a long way. To donate go to www.theglobalchild.org
To send a check by mail to: The Global Child, C A Raboin CPA PC 5 Short Bluff Rd Newport, VT 05855. Should you have any questions or would like to discuss ways to help The Global Child, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join us in the fight to destroy corruption, poverty and withheld education in Cambodia. Please remember that Today’s Children are Tomorrow’s World.
Board Chair, The Global Child