Saturday, 20 December 2014

Time for giving

Christmas is the time to give. Choice Cambodia are in desperate need of childrens clothing. If you have children or know of someone with children please help out by sorting through clothes they may have grown out of. Why not drop into your nearest opshop and grab a heap of clothes to donate. We will be heading to Cambodia in April and always buy extra baggage so please contact us if you can help out. We took 30kg of clothing last time and donated them to the families of the Goodwill Center.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Lip Sync Night done and dusted

Lip Sync Night Fundraiser Done and Dusted

The evening commenced with an informative talk about the plight of the Cambodian people and how the donations are being of help to the communities we support. While the attendance was lower than in previous years, the night was a great success with a wonderful meal donated by the generous Nymboida locals,

Awesome Food

superb entertainment by our talented neighbours,

Annie, Laena and Toni (Robert Palmer - Simply Irresistible)

Phil as Kid Rock (Peter Sellers - I Am So Ashamed)

Rick (Jon Ewing - A Little More Mascara)

plus a sample of the musical skills of local lad JJ Porelli and an intimate crowd.

Enjoying a meal in good company at the Nymboida Hall

Thank you so much to the wonderful people from Nymboida and Andrew who came all the way from Grafton.

A huge thank you to you all but a special thank you to all those who donated meals and to all the entertainers !

Monday, 10 November 2014

Exciting new project

During the time we have spent in Cambodia we have met some wonderful, generous people from all over the world. One of those is Ingrid, a German lady who is a passionate fundraiser and who sponsors multiple Cambodian children and their families. Ingrid approached us to ask if we were able to sponsor a young man she knew who passed year 12 and has been accepted into university but who cannot afford the fees. We have now committed to funding the university education of Seng Somnang. Somnang will move from Sihanoukville in the south to the Capitol, Phnom Penh to study engineering. He is lucky enough to have two sponsors. A lady from Germany will pay for his living expenses and we will fund his university fees, text books and uniforms.
Good luck, Somnang. We wish you every success for your future.

Seng Somnang

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Lips in 'Sync !

Lip Sync Flyer

It's your chance to be a star! Its karaoke without the bad vocals!

Email me with the song you will perform, dress as your artist of choice and ' work it, baby! '

Toni is seeking donations of home cooked meals for the buffet. The food theme is Curry. 

You get a delicious smorgasbord meal, donated by awesome locals from Nymboida, and some great entertainment and the door charge is $15 for Adults, $5 per child. All proceeds go to our projects in Cambodia.  Don't forget to BYO drinks.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Kids movie night

We are holding another kids movie night. The last one was so much fun that I have had requests for a repeat. The last one was held nearly a year ago and heaps of locals kids brought along mattresses and blankets and got really comfy.
The idea is that the kids get to choose from a range of movies on the night and we all lay back and enjoy them on the big screen (thank you to the Nymboida Public School for the loan of the projector and screen). All proceeds benefit Cambodian charities.

Nymboida Hall
Saturday 11th October

Monday, 25 August 2014

Buddha and new donors

New Donors

Two lovely local ladies have recently become regular donors. Thank you so much to Pat and Ruth for your generous support. All donations are used for projects where families live together and need help to further their education and employment opportunities. We now have enough regular donors to consider what our next project will be. We are investigating that now and will be researching those projects that embrace the same objectives that are of importance to us and our supporters, education, increasing skills etc

Working together

Frank Cervetto, a friend of ours from a nearby town has become a regular donor to Choice in Phnom Penh. Frank has been making Buddhas in different colours, styles and mediums which I sell at the Nymboida Markets. I then forward the money back to Frank to be paid to Choice, a lovely synergy. Below, is one of the first Buddhas which I bought for our garden. The colour has softened and now has an aged appearance which is perfect amongst ferns and shady trees. 

Buddha at rest in our garden

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Fund Raising Garage Sale in Grafton ! Sat, 23 August

A friend in Grafton, Marg McKenna is having a garage sale and decided she would like to donate the proceeds from the sale to our Cambodian Fund.  Marg has a lot of knick knacks that have been collected over the years, as well as items from relatives who have left "stuff" behind and she wants to clear the lot.  Come on over to her place, 20 Bent St, Grafton, near the main Clarence River bridge, on Saturday 23 August in the morning and help her clear her garage and help the Cambodian Organisations we support with our fund raising.

We'll update this post with a photo of the setup as Marg lays items out ! So check back on the website if you want to see what's happening !

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Market Stall Volunteers !

The local market stall is really on a roll with all proceeds going to the organisations we support. However it is sometimes difficult to find time to have a stall at every market. If there are any Nymboida locals who would like to contribute by helping us by either manning a stall from time to time or even to donate excess home grown produce, home made baked goods, home made jams pickles etc that we can sell, we'd love to hear from you.

Toni setting up at the Nymboida Market 
A huge thank you to Joan who donates homemade items that we on-sell.

We had a friend visiting from QLD for the last market who donated some of her delicious home made pesto's that were snapped up and she also took time taking some photos for us (above).  Thank you Sylvie, you are awesome :)

Wednesday, 25 June 2014


A few updates about what's been happening

Fashion Auction

Unfortunately we have had to cancel this event, hopefully we can reschedule at a later date

Market Stall

We had several leftover items from the Bric a Brac sale we had a while back plus some several other donated items. Some lovely locals; Dave and Laena volunteered to man a Market Stall and sell what they could, many thanks for their efforts. They raised another $70 !

A huge thanks to Joan for her donations of baked goods and home made items that she donates so we can sell at the Market Stall.  If anyone else would like to donate baked goods or produce, that would be wonderful.  If anyone else would like to volunteer to man the stall on a Sunday once a month, that would be awesome. At the moment Toni can only commit to every second stall. If we had a volunteer to take over the stall once a month, we could be at all of the markets ! Please don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like to volunteer to man it on the alternate date.  Contact Toni on 6649 4263 or via email

We currently sell handmade goods from the organisations in Cambodia we support, excess produce from our garden, Toni's home made cheese and donated items from members of the community.

Typical Market Stall

In Cambodia

Just a reminder as to where the money goes that is generously donated by the community

Community Liaison

As part of our ongoing commitment to the Goodwill Center in Sihanoukville, we have committed to employing a Community Liaison  worker.  There are a whole range of issues of violence that are difficult to deal with that keep some children away from education and with that being our focus, we have decided to fund this project for six months and then reevaluate it

Srey Touch

English Teacher

Also as part of our commitment we are paying the wages of an English teacher for extra English classes. This is an ongoing commitment. We have seen amazing progress in the childrens English language skills.

Food drops

Continued food drops with the support of Goodwill Centre, to encourage the poorest families to send their kids to school instead of keeping them at home to work

Food drop recipient

Food drop recipient

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Charity Fashion Auction Fundraiser


Some of the embedded multimedia displays will not work if you are receiving this update via email in that case, you may like to visit the website itself  to view this update.

A great night out for the ladies at Walkers Hotel in South Grafton, right on the beautiful Clarence River.  Book a table and bring your friends. Donate a quality item to be auctioned and bargain for one in return. A great way to purchase a beautiful piece of clothing, jewellery or accessory for a fraction of the usual price.

Most ladies own a dress, handbag or jewellery which they bought on a whim or no longer suit their tastes. Here is an opportunity to turn those items into donations to benefit the children of Cambodia.

Please forward this information to your workmates and friends. You can print the flyer in this link to post in your lunchrooms or staff notice boards:

Bookings essential. Complete the form below if you want to be a part of changing childrens lives:

Thursday, 8 May 2014


CHOICE do an incredible job helping the peoples on the rural outskirts of the madness that is Phnom Penh.

Transporting Pigs to market

We spent a day with them, catching up with what they're doing.  We donated U$500 to help them continue their work.

Dharra taking the donation for CHOICE

A drop in the bucket for their ongoing costs but it all helps.

One important part of the CHOICE center is a sewing area where local women make the school uniforms, receive training and the chance to earn some money by making handicrafts.  We bought some of their handmade items to sell at the local Nymboida market.

Ladies hard at work

The centre also provides extra school classes in English and Computing as well as medical facilities that visiting medical professionals can use when they donate  their time. Choice have established a network of western medical professionals so extensive that there are always doctors available.
Volunteer dentist from the USA
CHOICE also transport children in and out from the nearby rural villages so they can attend the Centre and attend school.

Rear of truck fitted with seats for transporting the children

In Cambodia, children attend school either in the morning or the afternoon,  the rest of the time they stay at the centre participating in extra curricular activities before jumping in the bus and heading home.  While they're at the centre the children are also provided with a meal

Cooking Lunch

In between doing all of that, CHOICE deliver drinking water to the villagers, who have no access to any and live  beside polluted open drains

Water delivery

Drains are used for bathing, washing, toileting and contain agricultural and industrial pollutants

Village life is a combination of hope, despair and pragmatism.

Typical village house perched over the drain

Row of houses

We have nothing but admiration for the peoples living under these conditions and their resilience in the face of the comparative harshness of their life

We can't say enough about the wonderful job these guys do and we will continue to support them with your donations. We also want to thank the staff and volunteers of CHOICE for allowing us to interrupt their busy schedule

This was the first visit by Trevor (hence all the photo's and the third by Toni)

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Cambodian Organisation for Learning and Training

While in the Capitol, Phnom Penh we visited one of the organisations who are really making positive changes to the lives of some of the poorest people in Cambodia. By focusing on education and learning, their efforts will be permanent and longlasting.
We bought some beautiful sarong bags from their sewing room which have already sold at our local market. Hindsight being a fine thing, we should have bought many more. By purchasing these bags the money benefits COLT and the proceeds from the market sales goes right back to the donations account. Win win.

Sewing room at C.O.L.T

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Romduol school

Romduol School

We managed to catch up with the group helping support the Romduol School at Ream Rv.  We attended one of their monthly meetings and took a visit to the school to see how things were progressing.

There has been some construction to build a fence around the school

One of the members installed fans in the classrooms, coke bottle lights (black when the doors closed) in the toilets etc

Fans installed

but there is ever work to be done, the playground equipment is in need of repair, and desks etc but the group are facing many challenges.

Playground equipment


Many thanks to the guys doing a great job there, they are getting back on track after some recent hiccups.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Goodwill Centre

Goodwill Centre

The centres main purpose is to teach classes in English and Computers as well as Khmer literacy classes, the latter to supplement their State based education (a couple hours a day).
Toni, catching up with the IT teacher, discussing the recent employment success  of one of the students
at a printing house doing design

It also does a great job as a safe place for local children to play and to allow the parents peace of mind while they work especially as formal schooling is only a couple hours a day (either morning or afternoon) and of course the locals have no money for toys etc so the kids have access to puzzles and games etc as well as art and crafts.

One of the projects Toni had implemented when working at the Centre was English classes for the younger children.  We fund these classes with your donations, so she was keen to catch up with the teacher, Sambath, to see how things were going.

Toni talking to the English class


Nymboida local, Kim Lavery donated a box of crafts to take over. As an added bonus, the high quality craft items aren't available in Cambodia so the kids and the staff were incredibly excited.  A huge thank you to Kim !

Toni doing craft with the kids

Hard at it !

Moi, bee, bay ! (Khmer for 1, 2 3), strike a pose !

Plenty of craft items were left behind, with Toni passing instructions on to the staff showing how they could be used


The Centre has a set up a small business making soap,  This allows some of the local Mums a chance to earn a small income as well as allowing them time together to socialise and catch up.  We had organised to buy 50 soaps and they had just finished them when we were there.

We have these for sale at the local Nymboida Markets if any one wants one !  All the money from the sale goes back to the donations account.

Soap Ladies working hard

Soaps finished and awaiting packaging

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Clothing Donations

Clothing Donations

We were inspired by our friends in Ireland, Ciaran and Audrey, and asked our local community to donate clothes for us to take to Cambodia.  Logistically it was quite simple. We paid a little more for extra luggage and booked a taxi directly from the Phnom Penh Airport to our accommodation in Sihanoukville, all paid from our own pocket not the donations. We had close to 50kg in clothing from locals in Nymboida and Grafton. We were overwhelmed. Thank you all so much but the biggest thanks come from the kids around the Goodwill Centre in Sihanoukville.

The Goodwill Centre does an awesome job and we were so happy to revisit and keep supporting them. They rolled out the welcome matt and it seemed we had never left

Sign on the Centre's wall !

Working with our friend, Jen, we laid the donated clothes out while the staff were minding the children.
Toni and Centre Manager, Jen

more clothes...

Staff and children swooped in !
L - R: Jen, Kolab and Toni trying clothes on with the kids

Local Mum's in on the action (ex Centre manager Sabine dropped in as well)

The clothes were snapped up in a flash.

We know they were appreciated, thank you to all who helped with their kind donations.

Local kids modelling the donated clothes
Local kids modelling the donated clothes

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Stueng Hav

Some of the embedded multimedia displays will not work if you are receiving this update via email in that case, you may like to visit the website itself  to view this update. 

Steung Hav

We hit the ground running. The first day after our arrival we visited Steung Hau, a smaller coastal town outside of Sihanoukville. Sabine, our wonderful friend from Germany who is one of the main drivers behind an educational initiative in Steung Hav, arranged the visit. Long time readers may remember we gave a donation to fund the construction of  the main schools all-weather shelter, this could only happen due to your generous donations. It's long been finished but this was our first opportunity to view it.

The shelter allows the children to play outside during the long monsoon season where the center's yard turns to mud.

All weather shelter

The center is deigned to supplement the Khmer State School curriculum, with access to computers for computer classes

Computer Room

and more english lessons as well as a facility the community can use (library etc).


We also managed to take a tour around the school and village itself to see how the locals live, the photo slideshow below is probably better at telling that story.

English Classes

While there, we had the opportunity to visit the night English classes. Thi is an initiative where they have taken the schools to the children. They have several of these classrooms scattered through the outer areas of Steung Hav. The German charitable organisation running the project, led by Sabine is doing an incredible job, as are the local Khmer staff.

Typical under house village English class

and another
English lesson

You can read more about the great work being done at Steung Hav by Sabine and friends here