In this edition of your January news:
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR.
EMPOWERING THROUGH EDUCATION.
MASTERING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
INTRODUCING POV SREYNICH.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
A very big happy new year to all of you- our wonderful supporters,
2016 was an absolutely wonderful year for the students of Mekhala House, both past and present. Despite a 38% Year 12 failure rate across Cambodia, all seven of our Year 12 girls passed their exams. To top it off, they all won scholarships to various Phnom Penh universities. We couldn’t be more proud!
We now have eleven Mekhala House alumni studying at universities in courses including English Literature, Marketing, Accounting and Khmer Studies.
Two of our other young women graduated from university late last year, and have commenced their 3-month work internships that will lead to ongoing employment. Our accounting graduate is working for an employment agency while our marketing graduate is working with a local bottled water company. Another past student is in her second year of a 2-year hospitality training course, and will be very well placed to gain employment in the burgeoning Cambodian tourism industry at the end of 2017.
Finally, Srey Em has now opened her tailor shop in her auntie’s village.
All of these amazing outcomes have been possible thanks to you. We will continue to see the impact of your support as these young empowered women return to their local communities to become leaders.
The Mekhala Learning Centre is now in its seventh year of operation, providing free 6-month courses to disadvantaged young people across the wider community in areas such as computer skills, career planning, goal setting, CV preparation and interview skills. Centre staff have been working closely with the Royal University of Phnom Penh to update their syllabus. We also ran a Technical Training workshop for local secondary school teachers for the first time.
We would like to thank Cooper Investors who supported us to purchase brand new laptops for these classes.
Thanks to your support, Mekhala Learning Centre provides opportunities and guidance to disadvantaged young people, resulting in many of them gaining meaningful employment.
Continuing to support our older girls who are pursuing their dreams at university while welcoming new girls into Mekhala House means our fundraising requirements are significantly higher this year. We thank you in advance for your ongoing support. Together, we are giving these girls the opportunity to change their future.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Chair of the volunteer board
EMPOWERING THROUGH EDUCATION
In 2016, across Cambodia, the pass rate for Year 12 was 62%.
Seven girls from Mekhala House completed Year 12 and when results were released they huddled anxiously around their mobile phones, waiting for the news.
Noy received her results first. She had passed with flying colours and was accepted into the National University of Management. Sokray burst into tears when she learnt that she had passed and would be heading to Phnom Penh University of Cambodia to study marketing. Incredibly, all seven of the girls not only passed Year 12 but have been accepted into University.
The girls studied incredibly hard, the staff supported them throughout the year and your donations helped to employ tutors when required.
Keeping the nurturing and safe home at Mekhala House running leaves very little funding to support these older girls through their studies. It will cost $1,800 a year to support each of these girls through University. Your continued generosity will ensure these girls have the chance to change their future.
Please consider signing up to become a regular donor, of $10 a month or more here: cambodiankidscan.com/empower-a-young-woman-for-life-10-a-month-initiative
MASTERING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
How do the girls in Mekhala House spend their holidays? Learning English!
While the girls learn English through school and at Mekhala House, they hear very little spoken English and practice limited English speaking themselves.
This is the focus of our “English Camp,” run by long term friend of Cambodian Kids Can, Carla Miller. Carla divides the girls into three ability groups and each ability group is split into teams. Points are scored by the girls for various English games and and the winning team wins a dinner with staff.
Three English sessions are held daily as well as a sports session and an evening session. To keep things interesting, English sessions may include singing, games, conversation or reciting the alphabet.
English language skills and computer studies are vital for future employment prospects for our girls.
INTRODUCING POV SREYNICH
It is always sad to say goodbye to our Year 12 graduates. But as they move on to pursue their dreams at University, we can offer more young women the opportunity to change their future.
We’d like to introduce you to 16 year old Pov Sreynich, one of the girls who’s just moved into Mekhala House, where she can pursue an education free from hunger and abuse.
“I dropped school in grade 8 because my family is poor so I had to look after my 2 brothers and 3 sisters.
My family situation was bad from day to day so I decided to go to work with my father in Ratanakiri province. I worked in the field and earned $US0.25 a day. I slept in the field or farm.
When I visited home, my neighbour told me there was an organisation called Cambodian Kids Can who wanted to help girls to study. My father wanted me to meet them so I was interviewed and I am so happy to be selected.
I am very happy to be living here. I am supported in everything I do including food, shelter, clothes, health care and education.
Now, I feel as if I can dream of a better life. In the future, I want to finish University and have a good job as a nurse.
Finally, I would like to say thank you to all donors in Australia and all of the Cambodian Kids Can staff who kindly support me and all of the other children.”
At Cambodian Kids Can we are often on the lookout for in kind donations. This helps to enable all donated funding to go towards empowering the girls through education. This month we are shouting out to our supporters to see if anyone can help with the following;
Laptops (less than 5 years old)
Funding for roofing materials
Funding for shelving for our storeroom at Mekhala House
Please get in touch with us here: contact us
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:
Wednesday March 8 – International Women’s Day Celebration