Projects Abroad in Cambodia donated food such as noodle, soy sauce, soup powder, and some ingredients for cooking to Marathan Organization Cambodia(MOC) on 25thMarch 2011. Those stuffs are very vital to make food for the kids.
MOC’s director would like to express her gratitude and thank to Projects Abroad that always helps them in need. All the donations mean so much to them.
As the increasing the number of volunteer in Cambodia, recently we have cooperated with the placement which call Asia's Hope. Below is the short description of Asia’s Hope.
It was found in 2001 by Pastor David Atkins and businessman John McCollum and began its work in Cambodia partnering with existing, indigenous organisations. Asia’s Hope’s first projects focused on housing and leadership training for university students from rural backgrounds. Within the first three years, Asia’s Hope began a gradual narrowing of its focus to concentrate on children, specifically orphans.
In 2005, Asia’s Hope expanded its services to Thailand, opening its first orphanage for hill tribe children in Doi Saket, just north of Chiang Mai. Today Asia’s Hope operates 6 orphanages in Thailand and 9 in Cambodia. The organisation also runs a school in Cambodia and numerous micro-enterprise and vocational training programs in both countries.
Asia’s Hope has always been a grassroots organisation, and even as it has grown, it has maintained a high level of volunteer support. In 2009, more than 85% of the organisation’s budget was spent on direct program costs. Asia’s Hope has only two paid employees in North America, and more than 90 in Asia. All of Asia’s Hope’s employees in Asia are indigenous; Thai, hill tribe or Cambodian.
In February 2011, Projects Abroad Cambodia and Asia’s Hope became a partnership. In Cambodia Asia's Hope is directed by Mr. Savorn Ou, Cambodian man.
In March, we have two volunteers who are working at the placement. I hope they are happy and we have good cooperation.
My name is Swithin Lui and for the last three months, I have been a volunteer on the Diving & Marine Conservation project on Koh Rong Samloem. During that time I have earned my Open Water & Advanced Diving license, completed countless seahorse and reef check surveys (for Marine Conservation Cambodia, the Cambodian government, and the United Nations), trained other volunteers in doing so, created a backpacker accommodation site in the jungle, made some unforgettable Khmer and Western friends and been with the girl of my dreams.
When I first got to the island the project was going through a transition stage. Many long-term volunteers were leaving and as the end of the wet season was taking its toll on the waters, the weather and diving patterns were sporadic. As time went on and I became a certified diver, the weather made the diving schedules more organised and the volunteers were spurred on by an increased sense of motivation. Soon enough there were four dives a day, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. New volunteers would follow our instructor for diving lessons, while the seahorse survey, reef check survey and bleaching survey teams would take the boat out once or twice a day to perform their individual tasks. In the meantime, those that did not dive at an allotted time took their own liberty to train themselves or be trained in a specific expertise by reading manuals and ID guides about fish species, invertebrates, coral bleaching and substrates. Staff and volunteers were always available to take time out of their day to teach newcomers and answer questions. Many volunteers also chose to go on jungle treks or help clean the beaches during this free time.
As a member of the reef check ‘Dream Team’, I often found myself looking forward to the next survey from the night before. When we were working on the GPS site dives for the United Nations, we would often take the longtail boat out for four or five hours at a time with two teams doing two surveys. Not only were these dives meaningful for marine conservation while giving the chance to dive off the coast of a beautiful island in a third-world country, but even the non-diving aspects of the survey were rewarding. When the other team was diving on a survey, Nic, my partner and close friend, and I, would take the hour and a half to explore more areas of an island that we knew so much yet so little about. There were occasions where we would swim up onto Lazy Beach, a renowned beach resort on the other side of the island, from the water with masks and fins to the shock of the tourists and staff alike, who had no idea how two volunteers just managed to appear out of the ocean on a secluded beach, two and a half hours from mainland! There were other times where we would stumble upon abandoned military bases (equipped with Gatling guns and trenches with barbed wire), and there were times where we simply wrote tributes to life in the pollen sand of an unknown shoreline, building totems out of logs and sticks in commemoration. After both teams completed their surveys, we would head back to our base and enter the data information on a computer. Sometimes in the afternoon, we would help one of the other teams with a survey if there was a volunteer shortage, go on a reef survey at a closer location, do training or a land based project and that was a day’s job well done.
As my time passed on the island, I realised more and more how much the project is not only about marine conservation, but also about the M’Pai village. In the morning and night, volunteers would actively teach the village children English, while the staff taught the older villagers. Volunteers would help the village with any task that was needed, which ranged from solidifying the local well or pushing broken boats onto the beach. We would also offer them medical assistance and it was not uncommon to see a villager being treated for infections, cuts and general illnesses during dinner. The relationships between villagers and volunteers is very close, many on a first name basis, and towards the end of my stay, it was nearly impossible to walk back to my bungalow through the village without being invited to eat squid, drink whiskey or dance. It became a formality that locals and volunteers ‘went out’ together for the night in the village, whether it was playing pool, midnight pier jumping or something in between. On the day I left, I was touched to find that many of my Khmer friends were waiting on the pier at 8am to say goodbye.
On the weekends you could usually choose to stay on or leave the island. In the beginning, the thought of staying on the island during the weekend bored me to death. As I became ‘closer’ with the island (and yes the island is a conscious entity that one develops relationships with) the weekends became a much more exciting prospect. Whether it was setting up bonfires on the beach, tracking water buffalo, getting lost in the jungle with a machete and running into cobras, exploring the coasts or swimming to Snake Island, there was so much to do and so little time to do them. My friends and I loved to talk about the ‘missions’ that we wanted to accomplish before we left. We actually probably only went through with a quarter of them, granted half of them were utterly ridiculous and severely life threatening! Otherwise, Sihainoukville is just a boat trip away and Kampot/Kep as well. My fondest memories of Cambodia were spent on the road with large groups of volunteers exploring all that this fiery country has to offer.
My last three months in Cambodia rank among the most enlightening and spiritual journeys of my life. Not only have I taken away from it some wonderful relationships and valuable lessons but I’ve also been able to finally take the time to concentrate on my passions in life that are most important to me; these being writing and photography. I’ve learned more about fish and substrates than I’ve ever wanted to know and diving is just plain awesome! If I were to leave a future island volunteer with a piece of advice, it would be to never sit still. When you’re tempted to lie down in that hammock to nurse your common morning headache, do it snorkelling on House Reef instead or sweat it out in the heat of the jungle. When the project or village needs your help with a task, go out there and give it 100%. There are always a hundred reasons why you shouldn’t do something right now, but as I found out the hard way, there will never be a better place or a better time.
On my first week on the island, I asked another three month volunteer how she felt about the island as she was just preparing to leave. She told me that in the first month, you tend to feel restless and you’re always dreaming of something you left back in the ‘real world’. The second month you begin to feel an inexplicable love connection to the island, which feels definitely like home. The third month, all you want in the world is to get engaged and stay here forever. I almost did.
Diving and Marine Conservation Project
Our two volunteers – Sam and Tricia have donated a lot of stuff for people who live in the slum area. Yesterday, they brought some medicines and toothbrushes for the people at there and taught them to clean their teeth regularly. Then, they played some game with the kids who always wait for Sam and Tricia. Sam and Tricia are mature volunteers who be able to adapt themselves to all situation and culture shock and currently both of them are working in two placements which make them experience about the culture and livelihood of some part of developing country.
was to renovate and paint the kids house and kitchen. We started from 8:00am to 3:00pm and there were a lot of participants not only around 20 volunteers but the kids of the orphanages.
Consequently, we have paint in and out of kids’ room and some part of kitchen room.
Thank to everyone, you are the greatest volunteers:-).
To Projects Abroad Cambodia volunteers, there is no where compare to their placement and their kids. Everyone is being inspired by the lovely kids at the orphanage. Volunteers keen to help the kids and placement as much as they can. In response to this, Projects Abroad Cambodia has always do a Dirty Weekend every month so as to give the chance to volunteers to help those orphanage and to increase the quality of living of the kids and the surrounding environment.
Have you experieced it? The taste of the grilled corn. In Cambodia, it is a snack which is so good. And it is very easy to make it.
How to make:
Kroeng is the name of ingredient which mixed a lot of species. Char Kroeung is one of the famous Khmer food for Cambodian. Want to know what is it and how it cook, let's see the above description:-).
How to Cook:
Sprinkle with remaining peanuts and serve with rice vermicelli noodles, lettuce, fresh mint and bean shoots.
After hearing the mix sound of boat engine and the sound of sea wave for two hours, I again arrived on the paradise island, Koh Rong Somloem. It was my fourth time and was the best time ever as I have accomplished a few tasks.
Once I had arrived, I was welcomed by our staff, volunteers and villager. Those of welcome words made me felt relax and forget of the tiredness feeling. After talking with some people, I went straight forward to the main bungalow to talk to Sara who is a doctor from UK and has decided to volunteer for three months with Projects Aboard. As needs, we have suggested her to manage a medical check up on the island for three months. In January, she had set up a medical check for children and it went well as most of them can communicate in English and there was nothing complicate and serious disease – for kids diseases it’s just a kind of stomachs, headaches, toothaches and so on. In Feb, she has decided to manage an Adult medical checkup, but almost all of the adult villager could not understand in English, then it is hard for Sara to do this. So, I was assigned to help her dealing with the language barrier – interpretation. Having talk for a while, we had set up the schedule. First, we informed to the Chief of the village to announce to all the villagers that it will be from Monday next week. The day come, there are around 40 villagers had came for checking. Sara had checked their blood pressure, urine and asked if there is any disease they have. During my interpretation, there are some technical word they I didn’t know but I had tried to explain to Sara, luckily, she understood what I referred to. Happily, everything went well.
Besides assisting Sara, I spent my time for doing translation of Community based on Entire fee project which is in plan of our director of Diving and Marine conservation project. Furthermore, I had spent my time with our lovely volunteers on the island, swimming, going for sun set at the other part of the island and have conservation with them because I wanted to know about their feeling toward this project whether they have a great time. Definitely, almost all have. During our talked, I had been repeatedly encouraged to dive with them, but I could not as there is no instructor :-). Moreover, I and all volunteers had participated in village activity by carry the stone for making barriers so as to stock the water for general using in whole villagers. SO FUNNN :-) because the way to the place was so difficult and a lot of mud and so slipper.
Sometime I missed Phnom Penh and my volunteers and everyone in Phnom Penh, no doubt when I arrived in Phnom Penh I also miss my volunteers and everybody on the island especially, Anna, Anja, Kate, Jac. Now again I am in Phnom Penh, I hope to go back soon to help and to meet them again.
Responses to Save Children and Communities Development Organization (SCCDO) suggestion which is our new partner, on 24th February 2011 Projects Abroad donated some educational materials such as books, pens and water purify to the placement. Although these just a small donation package but it will help orphans to have materials for studying, especially by using water purify they will drink pure water for healthy life. During that time, director and all of the orphans of SCCDO were so excited and felt very grateful to receive donation which Projects Abroad had donated. Before saying good bye I was asked to take photo for them as they like to take photo so much. Later on, we happily took photos together – including our volunteers Mio and Sebastian who were working there.
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