News December 2020

Newsletter December 2020

Dear friends of Kamboo Project,

the year is coming to an end, and surely most will agree: It has been a year that has been exhausting. Covid has changed a lot and upset many plans. We are all the more pleased that we were able to implement and achieve so much after all. This has to do with the fact that we have apparently succeeded in setting up our resources in a good and sustainable way so that they prove their worth even under difficult conditions. And it has to do with the fact that we ourselves have been given strong support this year as well. Through their donations, foundations, companies and many of you have provided us with the financial means with which we can not only maintain ongoing projects, but also plan important new projects. Many thanks for this!

The projects that we have successfully launched have given us an additional boost. The fact that Kamboo Project “works” is proven by the small and medium-sized enterprises that we can achieve with our strengths. A particularly visible proof of our performance, however, is the first really large project that we initiated and implemented with Geberit in 2019. Anyone who has not yet had the opportunity to take a look at the Geberit Social Project 2019, or who would like to look back again, can find our summary report here:

Geberit Social Project 2019

WASH goes into the first round

Of course, we did not foresee the long-lasting pandemic situation. Nevertheless, it is no coincidence that our program with the title “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene”, in short WASH, is attacking at a particularly important point right now: hygiene. Not only the pandemic has shown it, but it has made very clear: basic hygiene in everyday life is one of the essential factors for a healthy life. What is needed is a secure basic supply of clean water, sanitary facilities and established hygienic behavior.

We launched our WASH program in March 2020. Currently, we have the funds to support a total of six elementary school over the next two years. In November, we will start the implementation at the two elementary school Wat Roka and Arranh Reangsey. Both are located in the province of Siem Reap. Why does it need a lead time since March? As is typical for Kamboo Project, we first established a clear project framework and detailed procedures including review criteria. Then we discussed and agreed the project, specifically the hygiene plan, with the first six elementary schools and the district education office. It was also labor-intensive to survey the initial situation in detail to be able to measure the impact of our program over time.

A lot of new things in the elementary school Ta Ey

Together with the Kleine Hilfsaktion e.V. Kamboo Project has already carried out a project in the elementary school Ta Ey in 2019. At the beginning of 2020, Roland Debschütz and Nadine Urbansky from the Kleine Hilfsaktion visited the school with their 300 students in Trapeang Thum in the province of Siem Reap to see how things are going there. They talked to the children and teachers, looked at the three school buildings and spontaneously decided that a second round of renovation would be a sensible thing to do.

Until September 2020 a roof was renewed, floors were renovated, windows, doors and walls were built. It was not only about cosmetic repairs, but actually also about safety. A large part of the renovation work took place during the time when the pandemic forced the children to miss school and lessons for several months. The school was sorely missed, and all the more eagerly everyone waited for the new classrooms and the reopening of the school in early November.

It is extremely gratifying to see how the needed 12,000 US dollars for the project were collected. A full 25 percent of this was raised by the school itself – a great achievement for a small community. Ta Ey Primary School and Kamboo Project would like to thank Kleine Hilfsaktion e.V. and the families Böttcher from Germany and Ehrensperger from Switzerland for their generous financial support! This was the second joint project of Kleine Hilfsaktion e.V. and Kamboo Project, and it will hopefully not be the last.

Better teaching and learning environment at school in Chea Smon

Approximately 600 students attend school in the Chea Smon community in the Prasat Bakong district. Unfortunately, the conditions for both teachers and students were not ideal until June, when the work began on a fundamental renovation of buildings and building services.

Two school buildings have been completely renovated, from the roof trusses and leaking roofs to the floors, from the doors to the windows and a friendly new coat of paint. At the same time, ventilation systems were installed in all rooms and electrical wiring was laid. For the teachers there is now a renovated teachers’ room, two meeting rooms and an office. The parking lot and storage building have been repaired, and, more importantly, the toilets can now be used again without any problems after extensive work.

The work was completed in September and the cost was approximately 30,000 US dollars. A special thanks goes to a Swiss company that made this great work possible!

For the essentials at home – an emergency package for children

Together with the South East Asia Foundation – which provided the funding – we literally put together a package for the children of the Norodom Sna Sangkream Primary School. The school belongs to the Balang community in the Prasat Bakong district. Here as elsewhere, many families have lost their income due to the Covid pandemic. To counteract the acute need, we have been putting together food packages for the students since October 2020, but also, just as importantly, hand washing equipment for use at home.

The devices essentially consist of a portable, robust water container with a tap and soap. As simple as these devices may seem from a Western perspective, they are also effective in preventing infections. However, it is equally important that the devices are accepted and used consistently. The knowledge of why hand washing is so important and how to do it properly is conveyed at the handover. We will continue and expand the project as necessary.

Outstanding commitment – our team in Cambodia

Conditions are difficult, schools are often closed for long periods, restrictions imposed by the authorities have to be observed – and yet our team on site manages to keep started projects running and to plan and get new ones off the ground. Great work is being done here, which deserves high recognition.

We also use the growing experience and agility of our team to involve other young and committed Cambodians. We offer internships to get to know them. Our first intern, the student Somnang Pin, tells all interested people in a video message why she finds the work in the Kamboo Project so valuable, see her video:

Watch Video

And to the good end: Christmas is coming, and we are happy about every donation to further our projects. We see every day in Cambodia that it is worth it and that we can really make a difference. Maybe you, dear friends of the Kamboo Project, will tell your acquaintances and relatives about it. A small gift to a social project in Cambodia is something that many people besides us will find meaningful – and it also makes for good karma!

Best regards,
Your Kamboo Project Team

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