Thursday, October 1, 2009

News from Cambodia

Thanks to the internet, I have found a new friend from Japan who recently visited the same area in Cambodia that I did.

Here is the report and some new pictures!

Hi, my name is Anneke and I just returned from a trip to Savong’s school in Siem Reap. Initially, I learned about the school on the Internet; when I contacted Savong he introduced me to Phil, who was extremely helpful in answering all of my questions and sharing his knowledge of what to expect. Thanks, Dr. Phil!

Savong runs a free language school for underprivileged children. The school has 440 children at the moment. There is now a small library with three computers, and two more were donated while we were there. The school is not only a place for the children to learn languages, but also a place for socializing and getting away from the everyday worries they may face.

As if running a school weren’t enough, Savong has recently opened a home for children who aren’t able to live with their parents (if they have any). He now has 14 children living there, with one person taking care of them. Most of the children are older and go to school every day, but there are a few very young children also. They have four bedrooms, where they sleep on the cement floor using only reed mats. The kitchen is a dirt-floored area where they have set up wood-burning hearths with bricks to set the pans on over the fire. There is one water pump, where the kids wash and drink. Thanks to a donation, they have an outhouse to use.

Savong has a large piece of land and wants to do so much more, but doesn’t have the financial support needed to even feed the children yet. The school runs on donations, some by volunteers who come to the school to teach. But the home desperately needs help. Savong is a generous and ambitious person and Cambodian people in general are warm and friendly. If you are ever in Siem Reap, I strongly recommend volunteering at Savong’s school for a day. It’s an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Hi Phil. Love your stories about your visit to Savong school. My family and I are planning a trip to Cambodia and a visit to Savong in early January. Would love to connect with you and pick your brain for a bit if you're willing.