Friday, 1 June 2012

Starting at Goodwill Centre

Helping Smaller Cambodian NGO's

Just a reminder to other small Cambodian NGO's, we are still keen to work with them if we can help with funding from the money we have raised in Australia.  One small NGO assumed because Toni was now working as the Operations Manager (more on this later) at the Goodwill Centre, that all of the funds would be directed there.  On the contrary, most of Toni's time will be directed there but only a small portion of the funds. They are to help the children and communities of all of Cambodia, so don't hesitate to read what you need to do to meet our funding criteria, and make an application if you think you comply.

Goodwill Centre

Through a serendipitous chain of events, I was recently offered the position as the Operations Manager of the Goodwill Centre.

Goodwill Centre

The Goodwill Centre is a project of the Help the Cambodian Children English based charity. They are  working in conjunction with the founder, Henrik Ollson, a Swedish ex-pat and business owner who with his Khmer wife, now calls Sihanoukville home.  Between the charitable trust in the UK, Henrik in Sihanoukville and Sabine the German Operations Manger at the centre, the Khmer staff and now the help of an Australian, the whole gamut of international relations is happening right here, on the ground.  No need for the cumbersome bureaucracy of the United Nations I say, here is international co-operation, working !

For the last four years, Sabine has been working tirelessly on the Goodwill Centre, doing an incredible job

Sabine, hard at "work" after being 'caked'
I can follow on from the wonderful work she has done and the bedrock she has laid.  To paraphrase Sir Issac Newton; what little I may achieve, will only be because I can stand on the shoulders of giants who have come before me.

The Goodwill Centre serves a local village (we would probably use the term suburb in the west as it's within the city of Sihanoukville).  It works to help improve the education of the local Khmer children by supplementing the state provided education (which is very lacking) as well as providing a safe area for the children to play,  for continuing education in English and Computer literacy after hours for teenagers and adults in the local area.  There are a staff of four local Khmer and myself.   Some of the education in Cambodia is provided as a commercial enterprise but the people who use our centre are comparatively poor.

As part of my work at the centre, I will be continuing the wonderful blog Sabine started here if people are interested.

Every day at the centre provides me with an opportunity to be grounded in perspective as to how well off we in the West really are.  The Children make me laugh, smile and cry, often all at the same time.  This little boy,
He borrowed my sunglasses, to look "cool" 

who shall remain nameless to protect  his privacy, has HIV from his mother. His mother is too ill to look after him and is being raised by his Aunt .  He has on a pair of shorts that were donated, about four sizes too big, practising a traditional Khmer dance routine that those of you who are familiar with may recognise.... what chance has he for a bright future ? and yet he is so full of happiness, joy and wonder...

On that introspective note, I shall sign off.


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