Some weeks ago we changed to “wintertime” and soon we will be celebrating Christmas. Therefore it is time to have a look back and also forward to the developments around the SSCR projects of 2015 and the new projects of 2016.
During the Cambodian New Year in April the Don Bosco Children Fund (DBCF) was able to distribute 231 bicycles to 114 girls, 104 boys and 12 students who all live more than 3 km from their schools. See here some of the happy children with their second hand bicycle in Andaung Chenh, Battambang:
We thank our donor Mrs. Fleur Ligteringe for her private initiative: she fulfilled the 60 km tour version of the Amstel Gold Race in favour of our bicycle project. She had asked family, friends and clients from her travel agency to support her by donating towards our project and she had a great response to this! Wild Geese added a 50% contribution on top of all donations received.
Also we could welcome Fleur her husband, Bart van Merriënboer in February as a new board member after our long time board member Christian Messing had to stop this task due to personal reasons.
End of 2014 SSCR started the funding for the extension of the school farm for the Don Bosco Technical school in Sihanoukville (DBTS) with a chickens and a ducks house plus a pig sty. Wild Geese added a contribution of 50% to all donations and in September all building works could be concluded successfully and the last hens, ducks and pigs could be bought. Now the students have more possibility to experience agriculture in practise and the school can provide more of the daily necessary food for the students from their own farm.
Together with the farm extension Wild Geese supported another project for a bicycle shed for the growing number of students at the two Don Bosco Vithalaya Schools in Andaung Chenh. Fortunately we could reuse the former bicycle racks from the Goes Lyceum – thanks very much for that valuable donation! With the beginning of the new school year 2015/2016 in October we were surprised that due to the again growing number of students who come to school by bike we shortly will have to build a second bicycle shed next year. In case any school or company wants to donate (second hand) bicycle racks please let us know! Three of our donors have suggested to their birthday guests to donate to one of our projects and these three private fundraising actions have helped us a lot to get the necessary funds. Thanks to these donors and their guests! By the way: Wild Geese does add a contribution of 50% on top of these donations. Perhaps something to consider with your next festivity?
In April Wild Geese confirmed to co-finance the funding for a new “Girls Home” for the 30 female students and their two supervisors from the two year practical course at the Don Bosco Guesthouse. Before the building process could start we had first to remove the old wooden house which SSCR donated to a poor family who lived outside town. The family broke down the house very carefully so that they were able to rebuild it on their own land where the construction company had made a new foundation for them free of charge. Once this was done the building process for the Girls Home did start and we hope it will be ready before the end of this year. On the following picture you can see the situation as of end July.
In Augustus the new 6 classroom school was officially opened in a grand celebration. See here a YouTube video from the building process until the grand opening ceremony. Finally all 300 children from the surrounding villages can now attend school on a regular basis which will certainly better their school results. Two special school attractions for the children are the library with books from Stichting Biblionef and a wonderful playground with swings and slides. The children play and read already long before school starts and also for hours after the lessons have ended.
Father John Visser
In September Father John came to Holland to celebrate not only his 82nd birthday but also his 50 years priesthood and 60 years as missionary. Here you may read his Christmas letter 2015. On the following picture you see Fr. John in front of the flag of our co-finance organisation Wild Geese during his reception in Weert (The Netherlands):
Our SSCR volunteer Susan Vroomen returned to The Netherlands beginning of September after she had successfully been teaching for one year at the Don Bosco Technical School in Sihanoukville. She gave lessons in AutoCAD which is making technical drawings with computers. This was her life dream and she fulfilled the job in a superb way and did manage very well in between all the male students. Thank you very, very much for your great enthusiasm and endless hard work during this sometimes difficult period far away from home! We wish you all the best and lots of success finding a new challenge and job in The Netherlands or somewhere on this planet!
New Sustainable Development Goals 2030
After our contribution in the last 15 years to reach the Millennium goals SSCR will from now on concentrate on the realization of the recently agreed Sustainable Development Goals 2030. Our main focus will be in the fields of: education in combination with clean water and sanitary situations, equal rights for girls and women, the use of sustainable energy and the strengthening of a worldwide partnership to reach these sustainable development goals.
20 years Anniversary for SSCR in 2016
In 2016 SSCR will be celebrating 20 successful years of direct and small sized development work in Cambodia. The SSCR board members have decided not to organize a costly celebration event but to donate all possible extra incoming donations to our new sustainable goals in 2016:
Solar panels for school
In our jubilee year SSCR has decided to finance the extension of the existing first large scale grid connected solar panel installation of Cambodia at the Don Bosco Technical School in Sihanoukville. The goal is that this technical school will become independent of any fossil originated energy source at the end of 2016. After the new extended installation the school will only use green energy and this will save not only more than 629 tons of CO2 emission in the coming 20 years but will also save yearly some US$ 50.000 extra on energy costs. It is the intention to spend this cost saving on salary increases for the teachers so that we also will contribute to another sustainable goal of fighting the poverty in Cambodia. So this project will in fact support two sustainable development goals at the same time! As a side effect we also hope that the teachers will than stay longer at the school and will not change for another job in the economy.
For this project SSCR prepared the request on behalf of the Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia for co-financing from EEP-Mekong and made an own co-financing request from Wild Geese. EEP-Mekong is an organisation from the Finnish government for the promotion of solar-energy projects in the Mekong - region. If decided positive EEP-Mekong will contribute 49% of the project costs. We also hope that Wild Geese will co-finance another 17% so that SSCR will have to find only funds for the balance of 34% of the total project budget. The existing installation is the first large scale grid connected solar panel installation in Cambodja. This means that we do not need to invest in expensive batteries as we can deliver all electricity not needed by the school itself into the public electricity network. See here a YouTube video of last year’s initial installation. About 50 students will complete the installation together with their teachers and a professional volunteer under supervision of the Cambodian company Kamworks on the roofs of DBTS. By doing so we will save on costs for manpower and most and for all the students and teachers get more practical knowledge which will be very useful in their future career in the field of solar energy.
Village school 2016
Even after 20 years of building and repairing schools in Cambodia there is still a lot to be done. In 2016 we will finance the 63rd school in the commune of O Mlu, for the villages Protorng and Bet Thun, in the district Stung Trang of the province Kompong Cham. There are around 300 children in that area who should be able to attend school but actually only 127 of them are allowed to go to school. The former wood building cannot be used any longer as it can collapse any minute and therefore the lessons are given temporarily in a small shed which cannot fit all the 300 children. The school committee has asked the government for years to build a new replacement school but until now never got a positive response. So they asked our Cambodian NGO partner Spie-en to help them to finance only the building material and this request was passed on to SSCR. The commune will provide the ground for the building and the villagers contribute by helping during the construction work or they will pay the labour costs for the workers. They also will set up a fund for the future maintenance works so the sustainability of the building is guaranteed. Stichting Biblionef will donate the books for a school library and Spie-en will sponsor 6 water filters. SSCR is busy with the fundraising. Wild Geese has agreed to co-finance this project so that all donations received by SSCR will be upgraded by 50% through Wild Geese! Many thanks to Wild Geese for their trust into our work and the way we handle projects which results again in their 50% contribution on top of all donations received by SSCR! We will finance only the costs for the building materials, 2 toilets, the furniture, a playground and some notebooks and pencils for the children and the village people pay the labour costs for the construction workers or assist them.
Schooluniforms and bicycles
Our Cambodian NGO partner Spie-en and also the Don Bosco Children Fund (DBCF) requested for 2016 in total 10.000 sets school uniforms and another 100 bicycles for orphans who live more than 3 km from school. Both projects will be co-financed by Wild Geese so that all donations will be topped up with a 50% contribution. Just for your information: one second hand bicycle cost ca. € 40 and one set school uniforms ca. € 8.
One of our donors celebrated their 40 years Anniversary and asked their guests not to give a present but to donate to the bicycle project with a stunning result of 16 bicycles! Thank you very much for this private fundraising campaign!
School children and students in 2016
The future of Cambodia depends on the education of the youth of today. Therefore we try to find more sponsors who are willing to support a school kid with € 15 a month until grade 12 or a student with € 25 per month during the two year practical on the job training. The Don Bosco Technical Schools are offering the following courses for a future career in: metalwork, electricity, motor technology, computer technology, book printing , journalism, secretarial , management , fashion design and sewing. At the special Don Bosco Hotel School we offer possibilities to learn all aspects in the field of hospitality from working at the reception, kitchen, bar and restaurant up to hotel management and also in the cleaning department or accompanying the children of guests. Until today all students who have graduated after this two years courses were offered a well paid job with a good career opportunity. Therefore we are proud that these two year courses are in fact a 100% job guaranty and the graduates are able to build up a self-supporting life which can support all their families! If you would like to support a school child or a student please contact us per email on: email@example.com
Last but not least
You have nearly reached the end of a long story about the SSCR activities in 2015 / 2016. We want to thank all our donors very much for their generosity with which you supported our projects and helped us to change the world just a little bit. Without your help the children and students would not have been able to follow their education. And please remember that it is not the amount you donate but the idea that there are so many of you who share the same idea and donate whatever you can afford to make the world for underprivileged people a better place. Also we are very thankful for the support of our sponsors: Steens & Partners for their review of our annual report and accounts, the 125-year jubilee Kuehne + Nagel for the possibility of transporting donated goods in Holland and to ship them in 40ft containers to Cambodia, Stapels for het donation of stationeries and Stichting Biblionef for donating books for school libraries in Cambodia. We are also grateful to Stichting De Brug and their Cambodian sister organisation Spie-en for their endless effort to convince the communities about the necessity of their own contribution to their local school projects and make the realisation in a sustainable way for the future. Spie-en also takes care for the often long project planning and finally the control during the building process of the new village schools. Without the local knowledge and help of Spie-en SSCR would not be able to realize these schools. And last but not least we thank Wild Geese for co-financing all our investment projects. With the different input each of you have made towards our projects we were once again able to support the most underprivileged in Cambodia and helped them to a better and self supporting future.
Your possible donations are welcome at ING Bank in Amsterdam with BIC/Swift: INGBNL2A and our IBAN account number: NL88INGB0004258870 in the name of Stichting Scholenproject Cambodja.
We would be very happy if you could visit SSCR on Facebook and give us your like. You can find our website on www.sscr.nl. In the coming months we also have crowd funding actions on the site of the 1% Club (www.onepercentclub.com) where you can find our projects and are able to make donations: select the country Cambodia and go to the projects: “New village school in O Mlu” until 9thDecember or later onwards “Solar panels can also help erase poverty” . Furthermore we will propose a project for the Dutch students action “Nacht van de Fooi” (translated: “Night of the Tips”) which will take place on 28.5.2016.See for more information on www.nvdf.nl.
Another way of supporting SSCR is the upcoming election of the “Private Initiative (PI) of the year election” which will be organized by Wild Geese. You can vote here from 23.11. until 31.12.2015. Please help us to get as many votes as possible and perhaps SSCR will win €10.000 for a project.
Last but not least two tips: Whenever you want to recycle your printer cartridges, please do so via www.123inkt.nl and donate the refund to our foundation Stichting Scholenproject Cambodja Rotterdam. And in case you want to buy a book online please do it via www.youbedo.com and select to support SSCR: YouBeDo will donate 10% of your payment amount to SSCR.
We wish you, your family and friends a Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year in 2016!