Mekong Navigator Charity Event

Update posted by Astrid Veldwijk On Jan 10, 2018

Finally the 10th of January was there! The big day for our charity event at the local orphanage. Great thanks to everybody who donated, all the nice messages and the team work!

The kids were so, so happy with our contribution to improve their living conditions! We were able to purchase all items needed for the moment and even more. We created the canteen in a nice area with some fun elements.

The day started early to do some shopping at the local market for the lunch menu for the kids. In the meantime, the matrasses where delivered followed by the bricks, cement and soil.

Upon arrival we started right away, all the crew divided into departments, some chefs were busy painting, bartenders worked in the garden, housekeeping helped with the painting and .. cooking! Our massage therapists took as well in care of the food! As the kids enjoyed it so much that we were there, helping hands came from everywhere from the smallest ones to the students.

During the day we have painted the playground and the canteen got a fresh look. The boys (35) were super happy with their new mattresses as they never had one. Everybody (52 kids) received a new mattress protector as well. The garden was redone, and seeds are planted, plus we could leave a great stock for planting afterwards. Lunch was provided and kids could not get enough of the chicken, french fries ;) and special bean tapioca pudding dessert! Next week the floor will be delivered for the canteen, which will be a fake grass floor.. Hope the kids will like it!

We had a great day, due to the big support we have received from everywhere!

As pictures say more than a thousands words, you can find impressions of the day on my facebook account

( https://m.facebook.com/astrid.veldwijk ) More pictures will follow next week, when the floor is placed!

Thanks again to all of you!

Warm greetings from Cambodia,

Astrid

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Update posted by Astrid Veldwijk On Dec 27, 2017

Dear All,

14 days to go and already over our target! Thank you so much for your donations! It really gives us motivation to make sure this project is going to improve the living area of the kids now and in the future.

Today we went out for purchasing and ordering the items, I have to say we did well! Kanika our hospitality manager is a great bargainer, so we are in our budget and it gives us the opportunity to support more, also even in the long term. As there is a classroom located at the site, a teacher is already hired and we can help in supplying school books, English books etc. Then after, on a weekly base the crew can go there to support in teaching English or reading for the kids.

Some of you may be wondering why the crew is so willing to help out in their free time. Mostly because the major part of this team has lived in an orphanage themselves, had to work on garbage belts and joined a NGO.

In an earlier edition of our Fleetflash I shared briefly with you information with regards to a local NGO, the - PSE school (Pour une Sourire d’Enfant / for a kids smile) which is a local organization that provides less fortunate kids school and education in tourism and hospitality. The majority of our team from the Mekong Navigator got the opportunity to attend this school.

Take our hospitality manager Kanika, she started her life with her family picking garbage on a garbage belt. She was able to join a public school in the province but thankfully when Kanika was 14 she was able to join PSE. They let her start all over, so she was starting in grade 1, getting to learn all the basics. The school hours would be from 5:30 AM to 6:00 PM, at the school, she could take a shower and food was provided. In the weekends activities would be organized, either sports activities on Saturday or on Sundays they would help out HIV infected/affected kids.

7 years later, Kanika finished the school until grade 9, and continued for another 3 years into hospitality school for 3. After 2 years, she was able to work at the French Embassy, Raffles hotel and Grand hotel in Phnom Penh and Siemreap. The money earned is going back to PSE, which is their way to ensure continuation of this program. In 2008 Kanika started on the ships, as a waitress. In 2012 she was promoted to Restaurant Manager, in 2015 Assistant Purser and this year she became our hospitality manager. Without the help of NGO and local organizations, Kanika would not be at the position she is at now.

Sreynoch our housekeeper, grew up in an orphanage as her parents could not take care of her. Here she learned to speak English and hospitality classes were given. After her school she started working in the housekeeping in hotels. Here she continued studying English. In 2014 she started on the ship as a senior stateroom attendant and being promoted to housekeeper in 2015.

Just two stories to share with you, there are many many more. Therefore the crew here is so grateful for the opportunities they got and want all the other kids to have the same opportunities as well.

I am very proud to be part of such an amazing team, very grateful to be working with them together on this, and very thankful to all of you who are supporting this amazingly!

Keep you posted!

Thank you,

Astrid

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Thank you very much for this amazing iniciative!! I am very happy to be able to help out!

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