Tuesday, 17 March 2015

All over bar the unpacking...

Toni is back at home after a whirlwind trip, we'll have a couple of posts coming, to keep people updated.  Most of our projects are up and running, with little work now needed from our side, thanks to the help from our contacts in Cambodia.  What we're mainly over there for is to make sure the projects we fund are running well and make sure the money that's donated is used in the best possible way by touching base with everyone.

Phnom Penh

This year, the clothing we'd had kindly donated was delivered to CHOICE, who support the poorest of the poor on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital.  We also made a A$500 donation to the organisation to support the awesome work they do.  CHOICE was started by Ross and a small group of ex-pats.  Ross is an Australian from Geelong.

The clothes are well deserved and were well received. As always it's very confrontational to visit these villages.
Handing over the donation to Vanhy, the Khmer manager of CHOICE. 

Delivering fresh water to the villages (Toni's Mum, Annie)

A makeshift classroom as so many children are now attending classes

We also purchased items made at COLT, another organisation doing a great job in Cambodia.  These we on sell at the local Nymboida Market, so any locals wanting one, make sure you catch up with Toni at the next Market.
Beautiful sarong bag from Colt

We also managed to meet with Seng Somnang, a young man who we are sponsoring through University in Phnom Penh.  He's currently in his first year of Civil Engineering and doing well.

As we had Toni's mother Anne with us, we spent a couple days in Phnom Penh showing her the sites, sounds and yes... smells, of Cambodia's capital city.

These fishermen live on their boats on the edge of the Mekong. 

From Phnom Penh we headed down to Sihanoukville

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Where does the money go ?

As everyone who follows us knows, we have several projects that are supported by donations, we thought that as we've just returned to Cambodia, we'd do a quick recap some of what we do.

Goodwill Centre


Via your donations we currently pay for two teachers at the Goodwill Centre in Sihanoukville.  We'll be meeting with both of them when we are there next week.  They do an incredible job along with all the staff at the Centre.

"Kids to School" Food program 

Some parents keep their children from school and instead have them work to raise money for food.   As long as the kids are being sent to school we give them a food parcel once a month.  The photo's below show some of the people you support with your donations.


Do a wonderful job with some of the most disadvantaged Cambodians on the outskirts of the capital, Phnom Penh.  They're a larger organisation doing an incredible job of education, providing fresh drinking water and job creation opportunities via training. The organisation is overseen by expat volunteers and employ sixteen Khmer staff.


We currently have two scholarships we are supporting that has allowed us to fund two University positions.  We met with one of the students last night who is studying Civil Engineering at University in Phnom Penh (First Year) and another student studying English and tourism in Sihanoukville.

Exchange Rate

While the reserve bank of Australia wants the Aus. Dollar to depreciate against the US Dollar, it makes it much harder for us, as Cambodia's economy runs on the US Dollar. This means we have to raise considerably more money to keep funding the projects at the same level.  With this in mind and exchange rate uncertainty going forward, combined with our current donations, we are unable to take any more projects on unless we can increase our donations.  Currently we're down about 25% against the US Dollar.

We'll keep everyone updated as we can while we're here in Cambodia and being back simply reinforces the wonderful work we can do with the generous donations of our friends back in Australia.

Where the money doesn't go.

It doesn't go on us, all of our expenses, including accommodation, airfares, meals etc are all paid directly by us from our own money.  All the money goes to help fund the projects we support.