The School Newsletter was the vehicle that we wanted to present Cambodia to the School.
The following articles have been abstracted from those newsletters.
Remembrance Day annually reminds us of man’s inhumanity to man. As we watch our TVS and listen to the news we are made aware that this is still part of our world today. War and conflict are all around us – and despite all we may think we are very lucky to be part of this small island community – even with its many flaws.
In Asia there is a small kingdom called Cambodia, which is slowly emerging from a desperately dark time in its history. Still in political and social turmoil this country and it’s people are struggling to come to terms with the terrible toll history has dealt it – it is believed that within a few years 2-3 million lives were lost. The median age is 22 years, and only 3.6% of the population is over the age of 65. (http://asianhistory.about.com/od/cambodia/p/CambodiaProf.htm)
Sometimes we do not realise how fortunate we are, however Lympsham School has been lucky enough to have acquired some links with charities within Cambodia. We are being given the opportunity to support children there in small, but significant ways. Over the coming year your children and yourselves will be introduced to the various personalities involved and hopefully we will be able to make a significant difference to their future lives.
The immediacy of television has recently brought to us the horrors of the crisis in the Philippines. This area of South East Asia is known for its devastating weather systems. Last newsletter introduced you all to the small kingdom of Cambodia and the catastrophic horrors that it underwent in the latter part of the twentieth century. It is only now beginning to experience changes that we too readily take for granted.
Rice is its main crop and as such much of the land is underwater. As you fly over it water dominates the land scape. The success of the rice crop determines whether you will eat or go hungry.
The Cambodian people are very proud and want to become self-sufficient but they need help. Dengue fever and malaria proliferate during the wet season and the most vulnerable are the elderly (of which there are few) and the young. There is aid but it is very limited. We shall be working throughout this year to build links to improve the lives of the children in Cambodian and hopefully help them to have a better future.
Cambodia is a small landlocked country in South East Asia. Over the past 40 years it has experienced civil war, genocide and occupation. If you talk to the people they say that the Khymer Rouge are still there but dressed in suits.
Although it is a sovereign state – the King has little power and respect is limited. Corruption abounds and power is in the hands of the few.
In the North of the country lies the jewel in the crown – Siem Reap – the land of lost palaces and temples. A UNESCO site that attracts thousands of tourists every year, but this industry is very much dominated by international companies and very little of the wealth reaches the villages that exist in the surrounding areas. Here poverty pervades and life hangs in the balance with malaria, dysentery and denge fever being the main threats to health.
The water villages are particularly affected and sanitation and dirty water are a serious problem. They might only earn a dollar a day and cannot afford the fuel to boil drinking water.
The hospitals rely on fundraising and have been mostly supported by the Swiss. Education is limited in the rural areas, with sparse resources.
Survival mostly depends upon the success on the rice harvest – and that fluctuates with the monsoon. Life is difficult but the sense of community and optimism is amazing.
We will be exploring how we can raise awareness and support as part of our social, moral, spiritual and cultural learning in school.
Christmas 2013 was a major fund raiser for Cambodia
A Home of Our Own
The children worked spectacularly hard and performed a fantastic production. Photos will follow on our website and newsletter. A DVD of the nativity will be available in the New Year. At present the generosity of our audiences has raised £400 for the children in Cambodia, however we are hoping this will increase throughout the year
People were so generous - we had personal donations presented by adults and children
Thank you for all your kind donations to the ‘Cambodia Appeal’ collected at the Christmas Performances. We raised a staggering £245.26.
We are moving forward in our fund raising to support Cambodian children. Many have come forward with generous offers of help and kindness.
We will keep you updated with our progress and give more information about the characters and circumstances of this worthy cause.