A little bit about the projects....
Trip Start Dec 25, 2009
23Trip End Feb 08, 2010
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Globalteer is a UK registered charity set up with the objective “to promote sustainable development by the relief of poverty and work to improve conditions in socially disadvantaged communities.” Their definition of sustainable development is development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own requirements. They have projects in several countries and it seems to be real grass roots stuff but with the aim to utilise local resources, get the people trained up to be self sufficient and move on to the next cause….There is no big head office and no UK salaried staff at all. There are a couple of westerners here at the hostel co-ordinating things and the rest are locals. The funds go pretty much straight into the local community………
Here at Globalteer House in Siem Reap, they have up to 25 (I think) volunteers staying at any one time
The projects also get volunteers from other sources too.
Grace House is a Globalteer project – they started it from scratch at the end of 2008. As far as I can make out at this point, this is where most of the volunteers from here go in the morning! This is also where I think we will use our donations. The kids are not fed as there is no kitchen. My experience this week makes we realise all the more how important this will be. I think we will also build some toilets. Apparently they only have one (for everyone) so it strikes me that this would be a good (though I admit not the most glamorous) use of our money. I am being slightly vague here as the person I need to discuss this with is on holiday until next week.
New Hope is an NGO providing a complete range of basic care to the poorest of the poor
Anjali is where I am placed. It was founded in 2006 under the umbrella of the Angkor Photography Festival Association. It started back in 2005 when some international photographers came here to use photography to highlight the humanitarian issues in South East Asia. They involved the street kids in various workshops and were amazed at the difference this made even in such a short period so decided to do something permanent. Anjali (offerings in Sanskrit) was born…..
The school now has nearly 80 kids (it is at capacity) registered. They are between 4 and 16 years old. They do half a day here. The other half of a day they all do basic state schooling. So, the half day they are not at school they would otherwise have been on the street begging. They arrive in their uniform and change into whatever. Their laundry is done (I think clothe sharing is the order of the day). We ALL spend our day barefoot – yes, even outside playing football. They get fed twice a day and on a Saturday they get to take home a week’s supply of rice to supplement the family income that is lost because they are not on the street…….
I eat with the kids every lunchtime. Some of the kids mothers cook the meals. We have boiled rice and a watery stock with as many vegetables as possible (but not many – supplies are limited). There is sometimes a piece of fruit for dessert. The kids eat a second time (same thing, I think) either before we start or at the end of the day depending on whether they are morning or afternoon kids. They are being taught to clean there teeth after every meal but basic hygiene levels are poor. Yesterday I had to pick a child up (he had fallen) and as he lay on the ground crying, I noticed he had the most horrendous jagged grey and black teeth. I can’t tell you his age but these were probably his adult teeth………
So, my first real day I was helping the advanced class. This class has a range of competency levels and the brighter kids are really being held back in spite of all efforts. Anjali is about to fund their education at a real school. Their applications are in and they should leave Anjali in January. They will go into different levels and there is hope for their futures…. This is excellent news. As far as I understand, these are the first kids to come off the top of Anjali. It will free up space for new entrants and for the current levels (baby, beginners, intermediary and advanced) to be shuffled a bit as there remains a huge discrepancy in even the lower classes.
Every day we have 3 one hour sessions with each class: English, General Studies and Creative workshop. This weeks Olympics have been the Creative Workshop. We volunteers get to drive what they do.
There are 2 of us from Globalteer at Anjali (Annie from New Zealand) and myself. We share a tuk tuk every day. It costs $4 for the return trip. There are 4 other volunteers and Sam heading up the project on a full time basis until it is properly up and running with Khmer staff.
The kids continue to be included in the photography festival. They are excellent photographers – I will buy some to bring back. All the photos on the website are taken by the kids.
I think that is a reasonable summary but more can be seen at www.anjali-house.com