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Old Jul 26, 09, 2:29 pm   #16
 
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Hiyo-
Thanks for the warm welcome! Yes, I suppose I should put my site in my sig line. In the meantime, for those who are interested, it's simply
www.wired2theworld.com

For anyone interested in Koh Ker school, you can go here to see what it looked like in December 2007
http://www.wired2theworld.com/Cam2007SiemReapDay4.html
and then compare that to Hiyo's experience. Pretty much night and day there.

The latest PLF newsletter gives a little more current info and photos than what's on their website:
https://app.e2ma.net/app/view:Campai...076a912d06ffbf
When I look at how much improvement has happened in the last 18 months, I get a teary-eyed (in a good way).
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Old Jul 26, 09, 3:16 pm   #17
 
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I'm glad to see this posted here

I made a trip there a few years back. "Life" starts very early there for the young, and often this does not include getting an education.

While photos like the one I took below offer a romanticized National Geographic-like view of life in an exotic land, one has to ask oneself if there is an opportunity for education for the young lady at the bow of the boat. Most likely she will have a young life full of chores, as in this run to the market, while her parents work as fishermen where she will join them in her later years.

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Old Jul 27, 09, 9:24 pm   #18
 
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Heading there in March with a group of college students. Have already contacted Poheary whom we have had the good fortune to have met a few years ago.
Any advice about things to bring even though it is a long time from now?
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Old Jul 28, 09, 12:33 am   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naxos View Post
Any advice about things to bring even though it is a long time from now?
We only brought ten, but the kids that got them really enjoyed the frisbees!

All the students at Koh Ker got a Polaroid photo, which this little guy has in his other hand.
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Old Jul 28, 09, 1:00 am   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naxos View Post
Heading there in March with a group of college students. Have already contacted Poheary whom we have had the good fortune to have met a few years ago.
Any advice about things to bring even though it is a long time from now?
You can ask Ponheary about this but from first-hand experience supplying kids with stuff in rural Cambodia, Burma, and China, I offer the following:

1) School supplies, notebooks, pencils, crayons, paper etc. would be the #1 most important thing on the list, IF THE SCHOOL's basic needs are not being taken care of through normal channels. If needed, do not bring these from home, but plan a couple of shopping hours in Siem Reap the day before your trip to the school--you can pick up these sorts of items more cheaply there, and support local businesses as you buy. Presentation protocol best done to school as a whole, with head administrator/teacher doing the official receiving.

2) If need #1 is already taken care of, "fun" stuff that is not too expensive and that EACH child can get is probably next best. Like sheets of stickers or a small cheapie souvenir toy. With a group of people that can share additional space and weight needed on the long-haul flights to get to Cambodia, this is probably best purchased in home country. I didn't find a great selection in SR, and didn't have time for an exhaustive search there. Stuff like this can go directly to the kids themselves, but be careful if there are disparities in perceived desireability of the various goodies. You don't want to create hard feelings after you're gone.

3) More significant toys that can be given as special prizes, or put in a common resource area and shared between children during non-class study times. NOTHING THAT REQUIRES BATTERIES!! Things like Frisbees, balls, badminton equipment, jacks and marbles, simple old fashioned games like Barrel of Monkeys, maybe puzzles. Nothing that requires a football-field size play area, as most schools don't have this kind of safe space available to them. As the ages at the schools Ponheary supports ranges from 4-5 up to early teens, best to plan for a range of age-appropriate items, not overly concentrated just on littlies or older ones.

Before going the common resource (non-individual) route, it should be determined if there is a responsible person (adult) and place at the school to manage the resources/dole them out/store/etc. And presentation of this sort should be to the headmaster/head teacher or administrator, with the others in attendance. Not to the kids directly.

4) Everybody focuses on the kids themselves, but what really makes the difference in these kids lives is the local support system from adults, and specifically the teachers, volunteer teachers, and others (i.e. the doctor at Koh Ker school). Do not neglect these people--without them, the whole system of good works will fall apart. I was at the school about 10 days ago, and elected to bring teacher/staff bonuses in USD in envelopes. Not enough to insult, but a little "thanks and keep up the good work" in an envelope for each that could help out their personal situations for a few weeks (based on Ponheary advice).

5) A useful item that the teachers need/could use to make their lives easier. When I was there, the doctor (who serves as the Chief Whip Cracker) specifically mentioned a solar-powered clock they could hang to keep track of class time. Ask Ponheary a couple of months before you leave for Cambodia, so you can buy and test before you leave. Just remember that anything brought over has to be simple, work in harsh conditions (hot and humid), be reliable, and need little or no maintenance.

6) Don't forget that Ponheary is supporting 5 schools right now, each with a little bit different set of needs. She knows what the needs are at each place and can advise. With a group of you going over, you might consider splitting up and half going with her to one school, the other half with her brother (also a guide) to another school. Spread the wealth around! You have time to figure this out and set up in advance.

Last edited by jiejie; Jul 28, 09 at 1:12 am.
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Old Aug 28, 09, 6:19 am   #21
 
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Thank you so much for your thoughtful and detailed reply. I will be in contact with Ponheary of course and we will happily distribute what we can to the proper people.
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Old Aug 28, 09, 6:34 am   #22
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiyo View Post
We only brought ten, but the kids that got them really enjoyed the frisbees!
Oooh! Nice marketing placement! Hit 'em young eh?
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Old Oct 4, 09, 3:50 pm   #23
 
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Nice video of Ponheary, Lori and the Foundation from Profiles In Caring.
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Old Oct 25, 09, 8:50 pm   #24
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I contacted Ponheary for a guide and, though she was busy, the woman I traded emails with said Dara was available.

When I confirmed for Dara they had screwed up and he was already booked.

They offered another (nameless) guide for the same price... has anyone used other guides from here? Not sure if I should take an unknown quantity from a local service for cheaper or these guys for a bit more.

TIA
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Old Oct 25, 09, 9:17 pm   #25
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
I contacted Ponheary for a guide and, though she was busy, the woman I traded emails with said Dara was available.

When I confirmed for Dara they had screwed up and he was already booked.

They offered another (nameless) guide for the same price... has anyone used other guides from here? Not sure if I should take an unknown quantity from a local service for cheaper or these guys for a bit more.

TIA
I know Ponheary and Dara, but not anyone else affiliated with them.

Maybe search "Angkok guide" on this forum? I recall there have been many equally good recommendations for great guides in Siem Reap.
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Old Jan 16, 10, 9:31 am   #26
 
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News From The Field - The Year In Photos

From Lori Carlson, co-founder of the Ponheary Ly Foundation:

Quote:
Keeping up with all the activities at 4 schools can be daunting. Reporting on them all seems even more so. At the end of the day I just don't think that cleaning everyone's ears at Knar school is big news. After spending the last couple of days organizing the photos from this year I see all the little things stacked on top of each other and I suddenly see a story worth telling. I don't know how to tell it except to share these photos.

In them I see a story of growth, of laughter, of hard honest work, the coaxing of the bright flame of learning, of people coming together from the four corners of the world with no agenda except to grow peace in this forgotten corner of the world.

Ponheary and I feel a depth of gratitude that cannot be measured for all the friends we've made along this journey. Thank you for your generosity, your good ideas, your labor, your exuberance and your compassion. We wish you all a splendid 2010 full of health and well being and every kind of happiness.

As the sign at Knar says
"Good luck every day, every time."
The Year In Photos
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Old Jan 18, 10, 10:19 am   #27
 
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Thanks hiyo for posting the "News from the Field". I am fortunate to have Ponheary as my guide for my upcoming trip in 2 weeks. Hopefully my group of 4 will have an opportunity to visit the School at Koh Ker.
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Old Feb 3, 10, 7:37 am   #28
 
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Heading to Siem Reap with university students in March. A return visit for me and we will stay at Ponheary's guest house. Have been in touch with Lori of PLF and if there are any DC FTers who would like to send stuff for the kids- vitiamins or other small stuff, I will be glad to deliver it. Feel free to PM.
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Old Jun 12, 10, 11:17 am   #29
 
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Ponheary on "CNN Heroes" 18 June

Ponheary is profiled on CNN Heroes this Friday June 18. In October they'll have a special featuring the top 10 as decided by a panel of judges from among all the nominees. Then viewers decide the winner from the top 10 by going to a website and voting.

After the segment airs, Ponheary's profile will go on the website - http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/

Check to see what time it airs in your area and I will update as I learn details as well.
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Old Jun 16, 10, 2:41 pm   #30
 
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Wow, that is outstanding news!! I am the person that nominated her for CNN Heroes. I heard from them initially, they asked me for more detail, but then nothing more. I am so happy to hear that she will be profiled. I had the privilege of spending some time with her at one of the schools she helps and it was a great experience. I hope this exposure will bring good things to her and help with all the good work she does for the children.
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