It is not new about Ivanhoe Grammar School (IGS) Students Service Project that always have Angkor Kids Center as one their core and active targeting beneficiary groups since 2008, from just a fun moment with few hours to an entire day service. As of June 2016, another remarkable record has been breaking by this wonderful project with a group of students, teachers and trip leaders up to around 40 participants which is the biggest number we have noticed.
During the pre-event stage, Mr. Don Page-Wood, one of the IGS trip / project leaders had written more to what we our AKC priority needs were. Without any expectation of what it could happen, 3 things were prioritized, and those were the choice of them to raise and to fund (1: Ceiling to minimize the temperature as it was close to 40 degree in Cambodia and our corrugate metal roof classroom was just sauna; 2: Green Project Development with a proper garden with heat stabilizing tool, running water, pigs raising, and basic care taking labor cost… 3: A proper safe seedling house whic is a part of the green project too) with estimated budget around $4000. Just before the group departure from Australia, we learned from Ms. Cassey Green, the accountant of Ivanhoe Grammar School telling us that the fund had been transferred to our Foundation Helpucation e.V. based in Germany, that was a bit panic for us to what action we should take to answer how thankful we are to the team.
As this is really a Project not just Activity, which required steps and stones that our team need to take action like recruiting a proper team of expert to take care, good consultation from experts, check the quality of our existing stuff….Therefore only limited accomplishment that we could do prior to the arrival of the donors and overseas work deliverers to see by that service day. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that they did not have enough work to do, here are the following work flow of the day report extracted from their daily post trip report:
Today our task was to erect some wooden poles and nail bamboo crosspieces in place for a vegetable patch. Next week the villagers will cover the framework we built with shade cloth, and the planting will take place at a seasonally appropriate time. They will plant tomatoes, eggplants and chilies, and hope to be able to grow enough of this produce to sell to one of the big hotels in Siem Reap.
Those taking a break from the physical work were entertained by the village kids, whose beautiful smiles are enough to melt even the hardest heart. There were plenty of cuddles and piggy back rides and games all around the perimeters of the work site.
Lunch was prepared by the villagers with a little help from Miss Lidgett and her volunteers. We ate under the shelter of Salin’s father’s house. The timing of lunch was perfect, as a heavy tropical shower came and went without causing any interruption to our working day. After lunch, joined by Hak and Meam, our team built a fence around the AKC school. We’re getting rather skilled at building village fences by now!
When the final nails were put into the fence, we gathered both groups together for a team photo, and were entertained by Meam on his traditional Khmer instrument, known as a Tro.
Up to August 2016, Mr. Kerb KOEUN, the expert of Vet. and agriculture who has been in placement with professional training and actual practice for years, volunteered to take care all this Green Project and Mr. Por CHHON as his assistant and the permanent care taker. The pigs now are growing well but just a bit slower than last time as this time our expert decided to feed them with organic food to save the cost and make it safer food for the people. We just built a new pump well by the side as last well broken (no more water could be pumped out) and save the location of the current pump well for the space to build the seedling house. We still need more time to treat the soil as the quality is still bad with viruses before we install the planting tools (running water tube, sprinklers, rowers…. . Kerb is very busy as he also works for the village as the deputy village chief. We hope we could get all done during this first half of August. With your extra personal donation from Mr. Garry & Mrs. Marg Chapman (hose the husband Garry is one of AKC active supporter since his first trip leader in 2008) we will buy around 40 local species of chicken to let them live in our empty chicken house.
Furthermore, if you are following our social media channel especially Facebookpage You must have seen that we have renovated the old playground that Ivanhoe students built last year plus new sets and we have also decorated the fence that this recent group had spared their last little time from the agriculture work to finish it. This colorful work are done with our hosted students groups from China in July through ANT (Asia Natural Tour), this financial support is from ANT group budget, so it meant we still have all fund from Ivanhoe to be invested on other things in which the development of Green Project is the priority.
As a conclusion to this update, we would like to share with you how successful the recent project day activities were through the response made my Mr. Garry Chapman to our project update report as following:
Thanks very much for the update on the agricultural project at AKC. I have been telling so many people in Australia about how people like you and your community are working so hard to make life better for the people of Cambodia and I can’t tell you how proud I feel of what you are achieving. I had such a great time working alongside your friends building the fence and the agricultural framework. It just a day full of international friendship and community spirit. I wish there was more of that in the world. I saw the photos of the playground that the Chinese people helped with and it looks fantastic – such a nice place for the children of your village to come to and learn. On Monday this week Don came to school and sat with me while three of our students gave a presentation to the whole school assembly about our Cambodia trip. They showed many photos of the happy times at AKC and they spoke with great affection about the children they met there. This has created a great deal of interest in the next year level of students for next year’s trip. I won’t be going on the next trip, but I will certainly be working hard at school to encourage students to visit Cambodia and to raise funds to help with your projects. I told Marg about the chickens your bought and now she has a big smile on her face – so do I 🙂 Keep up the great work, Sam. Friends always. Garry
This is all for now, stay with us more story are on our way to come.