Over the past year I have worked in close contact with CFC, posting photos on the facebook page. This summer I had the pleasure to travel to Cambodia and work on a MAD trip, while also filming a documentary for my school about CFC. As I become more and more involved with CFC I really see the inspiring and important work they are doing. They don’t only supply children with one of the most crucial tools to be successful: education, but they as well work on providing health care and career training. They even go as far as to make sure the environment in these children’s homes are supportive. I am so proud to be working for such an amazing organization and continue to be amazed by the success stories of children in the many different schools.
2015-08-26 at 9:23 pm
In mid July I had the amazing opportunity to experience the work done within the Caring for Cambodia schools. I had decided to focus my Extended Essay (as part of my A Level Qualification) on the impact of educational charities in Cambodia with a specific focus on Caring for Cambodia schools. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience. Speaking to some of the most senior members of CFC allowed me to see how significant the role of the Charity has on the educational development in the country. One of the most inspiring aspects of my trip was a visit to a pre-school session. I watched mothers from all over the area arrive on bikes and on foot, determined to attend the session, and I sat in awe as the mothers and children were taught such important life skills that I take for granted. Finally, after the session I talked to some of the pre-school mothers and asked them questions about their experiences with Caring for Cambodia and the positive impact it has had on the community. The responses I received filled me with both joy and inspiration.
2015-08-16 at 4:40 am
For three weeks this past July, I volunteered with Caring for Cambodia developing science experiments that can be done using some of the new equipment that schools have in their fabulous new science labs. This was my second time working with CFC and I was so impressed and glad to see how far things have advanced in just one year.
We used household chemicals to make soap, demonstrate inertia, generate oxygen gas, show the 3-D nature of molecules, and many more wonderful things.
I will never forget walking through local markets with Chanda looking for chemicals disguised as every day items, and the teacher’s faces as they watched money burn without being consumed.
I am proud to be associated with such a successful and well-run organization. I can’t wait to return.
2014-08-08 at 5:10 pm
I spent 4 days working with CFC in May this year and found it a truly enlightening and rewarding experience. The CFC schools have some fantastic, enthusiastic teachers, and it was a pleasure to be able to work alongside them to share some ideas, as well as learn about their way of teaching.
Participating with the CFC team allowed me to learn about the difference that the charity is making to the lives of children in Siem Reap. It is an excellently run and well organised charity, that brings hope to the lives of many children through its teaching programmes and Food for Thought campaign. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to be able to contribute in a small way to the ongoing training and development of this fantastic organisation.
Sian Dooley, Tanglin Trust School, Singapore
2013-06-08 at 2:10 am
I was lucky enough to be able to return for a second visit to Aranh school. Last year was a bit daunting as it was my first time, but I enjoyed it immensely. This year was wonderful as I knew some of the staff and the school. Selfishly it is very fulfilling to be able to pass on some of the good practise that we are lucky enough to be part of at Tanglin. The Cambodian teachers are so eager and focussed it makes my job easy and rather satisfying! The visit is very carefully planned and executed and I would like to say a big Thank you to Diane and all the mentor teachers for organising our resources for us. We couldn’t do it without them!
See you next year!
Jane Andrews, Tanglin Trust School, Singapore
This is my second year of coming out to Cambodia to work with Caring for Cambodia to share new ways of working and ideas with the Cambodian CFC teachers. On both occasions I have been so impressed with the way our visits have been structured and organised. There was a clear focus for what CFC wanted to achieve and through working together, teachers and translators, we were able to realise our goals. The best part about the trip was seeing the teachers with their classes, putting into practice some of the new strategies that we had been working on. A truly rewarding and memorable experience: one I would like to continue to be part of.
Michelle Robertson, Tanglin Trust School, Singapore
2013-06-08 at 2:09 am
I recently returned to Canada from Siem Reap after volunteering with the Caring for Cambodia (CFC) organization from December 2012 until April 2013. My time with CFC proved to be the most rewarding experience of my life!! My role was to help the CFC Cambodian English Teachers teach English to Cambodian students using my native English-speaking skills for pronunciation practice. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in each of the 5 schools where English is taught in the Siem Reap area. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I plan on returning next October to do what I can to help. It is amazing how much a wonderful organization; caring and communicative leaders (especially Diane Ayers); excellent, enthusiastic teachers; and, eager-to-learn, happy students changed and improved life. Thank you so much CFC for giving me the opportunity to learn and grow from this opportunity. I also want to thank Karen and Steve Blyth (Singapore) for introducing me to this wonderful organization.
Linda S. Stewart
2013-04-25 at 12:03 pm
Sometimes the most important events in life come from the unexpected. I was not expecting my time in Cambodia to have such a profound impact on the way I view the world. It showed me that there is so much more to life than what we learn inside the walls of a university. The time I spend with the CFC students and teachers has changed my life in immeasurable ways, both personally and professionally. Professionally, the students in Cambodia have provided me with a vision for my future research and career goals. Personally, they have changed the way I look at life, the world, and the future. I am overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to spend time with such an amazing group of young students, who despite all of the obstacles they must overcome, have given me a more optimistic outlook on life.
2012-12-24 at 5:10 pm
My husband and I biked around Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples for three days last week, and while that was an incredible experience, the highlight of our trip was going to be our visit to the Bakong School. We were invited to serve breakfast to the students and to tour the school. And our experience was wonderful in every way. We were scooping up porridge and trying to greet all the beautiful students who crowded in to eat before class. The school was well organized, light, cheerful, and clean. The teachers and administrators were gentle and calm with the students and very welcoming to us as visitors. Everyone took pride in the school and did their part to keep it running smoothly. We watched the children clean their bowls after breakfast porridge, tend to the school gardens, and sweep the dirt courtyard and porches to keep the school tidy. They even took time to brush their teeth! We visited the library and two classrooms, meeting a few brave students who wanted to try out their English with us. We wanted to try out our new Khmer words too, so it was great fun. One girl wanted to be a doctor and I felt so thrilled for her to be getting an education and having the hope of actually reaching that goal. Education is the single most important thing we can give to ourselves and to others. I learned as much as the children that day and I won’t forget the joyous energy and the sense of community in that place. One of the students wished us luck for every day for the rest of our lives. I was so humbled by that, and I wish the same for every one of those darling, brave young people. They face odds that I know nothing about, and yet they so readily offer a smile and a cheery hello. It was a privilege to serve them in such a small way. Caring for Cambodia is doing this important work and making the very best use of their resources to reach as many children as possible. I am proud to support this organization and lucky to have spent a few hours at the Bakong School. Thank you, CFC, for your outstanding work, and for giving us the chance to share in your success.
2012-12-19 at 1:35 pm
It was so excited that this event happen at my homeland. I was born at Dam Dek commune, Sonikum district, Siem Reap province. My family stay at Chhong Caosue village and I grow up within CARE organization. Right now I found really pity to young children couldn’t read and write well. Currently I work for KAPE in Phnom Penh for School Drop out prevention pilot project for lower secondary school cover with 6provinces, but not Siem Reap. I wishes to find the work in Siem Reap after I end contract by September, 2013. I think that I will have time to help the young kids to complete their study well.
2012-10-03 at 9:47 am
“For me, traveling in Siem Reap in March of 2012 was a transformative experience.
I was deeply moved by the beauty of the area, the temples, and the people that I met, and found myself hoping for a meaningful way to give back to this incredible country. The majesty of the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor Wat was a stark contrast to the desperate poverty that I saw in the surrounding villages, and I felt very affected by my time there.
Upon my return to Singapore I though often about the need for better education for the school-age population in Cambodia. These are the people, these young students, who have the potential to change the way they live and learn, but it was clear to me that many were not getting the schooling that they deserved.
I was so uplifted to discover Caring for Cambodia shortly after my trip. Luckily, I picked up an Expat Living that highlighted the Caring Tea from November of 2011, and the minute I saw the photos of the ladies in their orange t-shirts I had a feeling I had found the right place for me.
I was ‘Thinking Orange’ already and I didn’t even know it… and after doing my own research on the organization, I realized that CFC is most definitely making a major difference in the lives of many, many school kids in the Siem Reap area, and in turn, their families, and their communities.
Through traveling through some of the most amazing countries of SouthEast Asia, we are very often confronted with people in serious need. Caring for Cambodia creates an opportunity for us to be involved in a way that makes a real difference, not just temporarily uplifting someone with money or food.
CFC helps give these children and their communities the tools to lift themselves, and others around them, up into a healthier, stronger future. The opportunity for a solid education is a life-changing experience for many, and I feel so firmly that we all deserve access to the schooling that we want, and many so desperately need.”
2012-08-21 at 7:03 am
“I am always dreaming of helping my people. I grew up in an NGO so I know how difficult life can be. I know how the children feel if there is no hope, and no love to give to them. It doesn’t mean that you give money to them, that is love. You need to give it by your heart that is important. That is why I like CFC. You work hard for the children that need help and hope. Your success brings a new life to them.”
Alice Samnang kindly donated beautiful watercolor paintings for CFC’s 2012, Art Aid along with this moving testimonial. We find her a true inspiration.
2012-08-08 at 12:11 am
Our family arrived at the Kravaan School early Monday morning on the 26th of March to begin our service work with the Caring For Cambodia organization. It proved to be a great day starting with the “Food for Thought” program …. our kids took great pleasure in serving porridge to the Kravaan primary students. The smiles were infectious and the giggles contagious.
Our service was to paint bookcases to be used in the classrooms. The students’ recess brought many eyes and subsequent helpers to our project. We all had fun working together while making some new friends.
We had a wonderful experience of giving back a small amount of energy and lots of love as we were able to witness the magic that CFC has created. Our children, ages 14,12,10,9, and 6 yrs, became fast friends with the Cambodian children and were delighted to be able to play with them on the playground. It left us all with the feeling that we made a small difference in the kids’ lives and we thank CFC for organizing this trip.
CFC has created a wonderful opportunity to get involved and we encourage every family to participate in this experience. We received so much more than we delivered in sheer joy alone, a memory we will not soon forget!
The Salyards’ Family
2012-03-31 at 5:19 am
This Thanksgiving, 25 tired and stressed out SAS faculty went on a teacher training trip to the CFC schools in Siem Reap and were warmed by a thousand happy Cambodian smiles.The theme of the trip was cooperative learning and for many of the teachers we trained, this was a novel idea.
What was magical about this trip was that we could see the effects of repeated and consistent training in the quality of teaching. The CFC teachers are now not only able to absorb our lessons but they are able to modify and adapt them. This is a HUGE difference from years ago when lessons were applied rigidly, without much reflection. The teachers today are a lot more relaxed and animated with students and with us. Friendships have been forged between CFC and SAS teachers and we are now more like colleagues than trainers.The classrooms too have been transformed from dark, dingy spaces where kids sat in rows of desks all day. The Amelio and Bakong Schools are now bright, cheerful places where students have opportunities to move around and learn in large and small groups. More and more classroom supplies are being created locally by CFC teachers using indigenous materials. Most importantly, the children look healthier and cleaner in their sparkling white uniforms!
This does not happen overnight. It builds slowly, with repeated training and with people like Kaye Bach and Diane Ayers on the ground to keep the initiatives moving along. True to the motto of Keep It Simple and Succeed, each baby step has resulted in this revolution in the CFC schools. And yet a lot remains to be done.
There were many moments of being blown away but most inspiring to me, was the community reading of the English-Khmer book that I wrote on cooperation for this trip. As a student read the book out loud to the crowd in the scorching sun, the tableau of expressions on the faces of old and young villagers was priceless and I was moved to tears. This book too was a cooperative effort. Kaye shared information and Pen Rithy, a talented young Cambodian artist and alumni of the CFC schools, brought my words to life with his stunning artwork. Many CFC volunteeers put the books together and the SAS team lugged them all the way to Siem Reap.
Thank you CFC for allowing us to feel like we too can make a tiny difference in the world. We SAS teachers came home, relaxed and rejuvenated, reflecting the same happy smiles we saw!
2011-12-13 at 1:02 pm
Blue, yellow, black, green and red colored rings were everywhere, but for me it was like five golden rings, Olympic gold, that is. My summer was to be all about the Olympics. It was 2008, Beijing, China and I was there. This was to be my first Olympic experience and was I pumped. My family planned our trip with close family friends who were living in Singapore at the time and who now reside in Austin, Texas. They encouraged us to side trip to Cambodia after the games.
I had no expectations for the side trip, as the Olympic games were that of which dreams are made. However, as great as that experience was, it was Cambodia that touched my heart. Cambodia was to capture, for me, what would be a life changing moment. Our friend, Jamie had created a charitable foundation that focused on building schools for the poor in Cambodia. We flew into Siem Reap, Cambodia and my personal journey began. I was mesmerized by Jamie’s comfort level in such a different world. You see, Jamie is a tall, blond Texas woman with a sweet smile that stood in stark contrast to the backdrop of Cambodia. This was a world not at all like mine. We were in the monsoon swept wetlands. We were taken down dirt roads with shack type housing, insane traffic with tuk-tuks, which are three-wheeled scooters with multiple passengers. Finally we came upon a small school. The poverty was compelling. This school had already undergone some renovations at the hands of Jamie’s organization, “CFC”, Caring for Cambodia. Running water and bathrooms were being built and a complete curriculum was in place. You could see the enthusiasm the children displayed as they ran up to Jamie expressing their gratitude with their big smiles. They were proud, happy and showed a sense of hope with great appreciation for the opportunity this amazing woman had brought them. Together we helped serve breakfast to the children in order to start their day with a warm, hearty meal. It was more of a rice soup cooked in an extremely large kettle. I also played soccer and volleyball with the children. My dad donated toothbrushes and we handed them out to each thrilled child.
I was able to experience the atmosphere of a country in need. I saw hardships that I had never imagined for those my age and younger. How could these children attempt to better their education with such harsh living conditions? Well that is where Jamie Amelio comes in. The Charity, “Caring for Cambodia”, has now led to the creation of multiple schools in Cambodia which supplies children with uniforms, school supplies and structure. In a world so far away, so obscure from the gilded path, my friend Jamie Amelio, made a difference. I now viewed her in an entirely new light. This was not just my friend’s mom anymore but a doer, someone who took an idea and a ray of compassion and turned it into something relevant and kind, not to mention life changing for so many people, including myself. If she could achieve this, what could I achieve in my life with that same sort of determination?
2011-12-07 at 11:48 pm
I could not have been more thrilled with my experience with CFC in Siem Reap. Seeing everything about such a wonderful organization that I had heard about for years was phenomenal. I got the chance to meet and interview incredible students with unique experiences that truly inspired me and even got the chance to teach them and learn from them in a dance exchange where I tried to learn the beautiful intricacies of Apsara and watched the children of the Kong Much School gracefully nail a contemporary dance routine that I choreographed for them. I had such a wonderful time with all of the students and teachers who made my trip memorable and I have been talking non-stop about how amazing CFC is ever since. I can’t wait to be back in Siem Reap!
2011-10-21 at 3:03 pm
Some people, when they are thinking of going to Cambodia, are a bit hesitant. Some think it will be too sad. But when you go, the smile on the kids faces is priceless. It makes you wonder what your life would be like if you were a Cambodian child. But most of us can’t imagine. The great part about CFC is that as a family, we help you see their world differently. We help you see WHY those kids are so happy when you are helping out at the schools. You get the greatest feeling knowing why and how you can help! Together we can see a brighter future for them and together, we’ll see it through.
2011-10-06 at 1:10 pm
After visiting the children in Cambodia my life was never the same, I had to help. CFC has given me the opportunity to do my small part in helping others.
I love being part of an organization where everyone is in it for the right reasons. Never have I worked with such an incredible group of loving and caring people who just want to help. CFC has accomplished so much because of the quality of these volunteers.
2011-10-06 at 1:09 pm
I always wanted to be a teacher; because I wanted to help others learn. I teach math, because it is a universal language. My children are part of the new future. They want to be doctors when they grow up. They know that education is the key to their future.
2011-10-06 at 1:07 pm
I am very grateful for the experience for me and for Connor…we will both stay involved and plan to get the other family members to Siem Reap in the coming months. The teachers, did a GREAT job and the trip was an excellent balance of work, pen pal connection, touring of temples, and free time. Very well done…thank you
2011-10-06 at 1:06 pm
For some time International Medical Clinic was working towards identifying a suitable charity to partner with – and we decided on Caring for Cambodia. What a wonderful decision this has been! CFC has a solid focus on the education, well being, and future of the students of the CFC schools. CFC is not trying to reach every Cambodian child, but simply to make a huge difference to those who attend a CFC school. In turn, many students that have a CFC school education hold the potential to make a huge difference to the future of Cambodia and its people.
International Medical Clinic and Caring for Cambodia have worked so well together since the inception of our involvement. Our objectives are aligned, and we are already seeing results from our joint health related initiatives. IMC staff who have become involved and join our visits to Siem Reap have derived enormous satisfaction and fulfilment from the immediate difference we are making to the children of CFC.
International Medical Clinic’s involvement with CFC has resulted in far more for our organisation, our staff, and the children of Caring for Cambodia than we ever anticipated. The team at International Medical Clinic look forward to continuing our close association with CFC for the benefit of the children into the longer term.
2011-10-06 at 1:05 pm
Before my trip, I had only seen pictures. Pictures only speak words, I was missing out on so much. When I arrived in Cambodia, all my senses were alive.
Hearing the sweet voices of the children for the first time, the giggles, the singing.
Seeing the inquisitive looks of a blonde visitor, the curiosity in their eyes and the immediate acceptance.
The sweetness of an unexpected embrace and giddy laugh.
Smelling the richness of the food that each student anticipates each day from CFC.
The appreciation expressed in their smiles without ever communicating a word.
The dedication shown in taking care of their schools.
The pride demonstrated in wearing their school uniform.
The eagerness to learn.
Witnessing their true life and why they need our help.
The light of hope of the future, shining on their innocent faces.
Once experienced, never forgotten.
2011-10-06 at 1:01 pm
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