We (Carla & Yaswanth) both met as independent volunteers through The Bamboo Project. Bamboo has partnered with a local NGO, KIDTEA (http://www.kidtea.org), who helps provide education for underprivileged children teaching them English and other useful skills as well as doing development work building houses, toilets, and more for families in a small village on the outskirts of Seam Reap. We both had similar mindsets, left our jobs, and wanted to come out to a country we've never been to before and try to help make a difference to their lives in some way.
Carla is volunteering for 3 weeks on the Community Development projects helping to build houses and toilets for the Speankaek village to help improve their quality of life. Each week will be a new project and a new family that is helped especially with the rainy season starting, fixing roofs and building houses are even more important.
Yaswanth is teaching English for 2 weeks to the local village children who voluntarily run or cycle to school every day eager to learn. The families very much feel English is the way forward for the children and the children love learning! Teaching 3 classes of kids, with 33 students in total ranging in ages from 8 to 15.
The two schools (Kidtea School built in 2013 & Happiness House built in 2015) and the community development projects have been solely set up and supported by the kindest man, a former Buddhist Monk, Sophara (So-Para) Ngoeum. He learned English during his days as a Monk in the Bakong Pagoda and realized the best way to help his community and raise them out of poverty was to give his village kids the same opportunity to learn English. With much support and help from some Australian friends of his, he went to university, improved his English and education, returning to his home village to set up this wonderful organization.
Every week new volunteers come to the village as part of Bamboo's projects and every single person is touched and moved by the incredible work Sophara, his teachers, and the local Bamboo team does to help the kids and the village. We have had conversations to find out how much basic things cost and how far donations can go and this is what Sophara has passed on:
$25 - 50kg of Rice for a poor family
$37 - Secondhand bike
$45 - Breakfast for 100 kids
$50 - New Bike
$150 – Sponsoring an Orphan at public school for 1 year
$200 - Water pump for a poor family
$600 - Toilet for a poor family
$1100 - New house for a poor family
We are hoping to raise $2000 (or more if possible!) which we hope will help make a positive contribution to the village and will be able to update everyone about where the money has gone and see the actual impact your donations are having on the lives you have helped to improve so much!
Carla & Yaswanth