KNGO provides vocational training (computer skills and English) to underprivileged children in Battambang, Cambodia.
We work with KNGO in June 2010. Our activities include
- decorating the center
- donating stationary and libary books
|Name||Khmer New Generation Organization, Battambang, Cambodia|
|Aim||To support poor children getting a better chance in life.|
|Since||founded in 2007|
|Staff||4, plus volunteers|
|Donation||150 USD for materials and cash donation.|
Sun Saveth comes to pick us up with his tuktuk. He is very friendly and helpful. On our way to his office he tells us that he has become a tuktuk driver because his NGO is still very poor. Indeed, he doesn’t attract any sponsorship and although a professional grant application has been written and KNGO is an officially registered charity, funds are lacking. A number of foreign benefactors had helped building the office, that is an extension of the house where he lives with his family (he championed honesty by telling us later to be careful not to paint the private part of the building). There are English textbooks and three computers available. But the most important asset are the local volunteer teachers. Some of them have two paid jobs, but still find the time to teach the local children English. There is also a student who teaches the children computer skills: typing, word-processing, spreadsheets.
We want to make an impact on this small organization and do what we can in the time we have. We show Saveth how to connect to other ngo’s and share with them, how to be more present on the internet and be attractive for volunteers. We set up several accounts on websites, told him about the importance of online photo albums, references, and regular blog updates.
After this computer session we went shopping and boughta set of supplies: bilingual books, pens, 30 English textbooks, 200 notebooks, a football, paint, brushes, paper, tape. We went back to the KNGO office on his tuktuk and started our paint-job straight away: the idea was to decorate the bricked wall in a playful way that would make it a place for the children where they wanted to be, and would make it clearer to visitors and passers-by what is going on in the center.
Simultaneously, we work on a bookshelve and Genie, a smart American volunteer, will install a library. In order to make the kids return the books, I suggest that they pay 500 Riel. That way, they also learn how to deal with money. There are many books that suddenly appear from a big shopping cart, and can now play an active role in the KNGO.
This kind of projects, however small, set the right signal, I explain to Saveth. They are not only a good start, but also a way to show benefactors that you have the capacity and resourcefulness to run a center.
We had a great time at KNGO, eating together with Saveth and Genie the wonderful food his wife cooked on the patio in front of the small KNGO computer and reading room. We shared our stories and ideas, and felt that this is the right place for intrepid volunteers that can seize the initiative.