First Hand Service Trip to Damnok Toek, Poipet – June 2018

First Hand Service Trip to Damnok Toek, Poipet – June 2018

On June 11th 2018, a team of four from First Hand departed for a 3-day service trip to visit our main partner Damnok Toek (DT) in Poipet, Cambodia. The purpose of the trip was to check in on DT’s local child-protection projects and see where help and funding are needed. Together, Annette, Gitte, Sandi and Tori brought along 120kg of school/sport/medical donations that we had collected from our supporters in Singapore (thank you!) Poipet is a few hours’ drive from Siem Reap and is located right on the border with Thailand. It is not a nice place to visit and is notorious for its many casinos and as a hotspot for illegal cross-border migration and many forms of exploitation. Overall DT are running six different programmes around Poipet to help vulnerable children and their families avoid exploitation at all the stages when they are at most risk. This starts with prevention at their drop in centre in the slum which offers a safe place for children to play and learn at all times of the day while their parents are absent or street children take a break from their own working day .       Many Cambodians come to Poipet with the misinformed idea that they can easily get a job, or they use Poipet as a base for working illegally across the border in Thailand – where they can earn up to triple a normal Cambodian wage. Sadly many of these workers are often exploited and end up being rounded up by the Thai authorities and dumped at the border crossing. Many of those deported are children, some have even been...
Donations-in-kind requested for Damnok Toek

Donations-in-kind requested for Damnok Toek

A small group of us from First Hand will be travelling to Poipet to visit Damnok Toek at the beginning of June. Please see below for the list of items that have been requested for us to take with us. Please contact a member of the First Hand Team or e-mail us if you have a donation to give. Thank...
First Hand Annual General Meeting – 20th March 2018 – Blu Meze

First Hand Annual General Meeting – 20th March 2018 – Blu Meze

Notice is hereby given of the 2018 Annual General Meeting of First Hand. The meeting will take place from 7pm on Tuesday 20th March 2018 at Blu Meze restaurant, Block 10 Dempsey Road, Singapore 247700. First Hand supporters are invited to attend our Annual General Meeting where we will elect new office bearers and discuss plans for the coming year. Attendees are welcome to order their own dinner and drinks at the new Blu Meze restaurant, next to Blu Kouzina, at Dempsey Hill. RSVP by March 15th to...
First Hand Info Evening – 7pm, February 27th 2018, The Sail @ Marina Bay

First Hand Info Evening – 7pm, February 27th 2018, The Sail @ Marina Bay

First Hand Information Evening 2018 7pm, Tuesday February 27th 2018, The Sail @ Marina Bay, 2/4 Marina Blvd, Club Room, Level 44, Singapore 018985 Are you curious to hear more about First Hand and our plans for 2018? Then please come and join us at our Information Evening. Enjoy a glass of wine and some nibbles while you learn about volunteering opportunities and how you can help make a difference. We will also go more into depth about our two service partners and the impact of the work they are doing in Cambodia. Pre-registration is necessary please, to allow access to the Club Room. RSVP by February 24th to...
White Christmas Ball raises $21,969 in aid of Damnok Toek and Mother’s Heart Cambodia!

White Christmas Ball raises $21,969 in aid of Damnok Toek and Mother’s Heart Cambodia!

We are so happy to share that the First Hand White Christmas Ball has raised a grand total of $21,969.43! This amount has been sent to our two direct service partners in Cambodia – Damnok Toek and Mother’s Heart.  The Ball was held at the Swiss Club Singapore on the evening of Saturday 2nd December 2018. The night began al fresco with drinks on the iconic Chess Lawn and music by Intan Duo. Soon after, a three course dinner was served in the beautiful Arbenz Restaurant which overlooks the Club’s lush grounds. Throughout the dinner, 100 guests were entertained by Welles Tan Party Portraits and Christmas songs were performed by the amazingly talented Ukuladies.  Later the emcee got the crowd going with a spectacular Live Auction featuring a signed NZ All Blacks rugby jersey, dinner at Les Amis, a hamper by TheAC and a holiday to Batu Batu. Afterwards, guests danced the night away in the Rifle Lounge with disco music courtesy of DJ Raj Khera. In all, it was a spectacular event which lived up to the season-of-giving spirit. Thank you so much to all of our wonderful guests, generous sponsors and amazing team who made it such a night to remember! There are lots more photos of the event on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FirstHandVolunteers UPDATE: the Ball is featured in the February issue of Expat Living 🙂...
Dr Rith of Damnok Toek wins international Child 10 Award 2017

Dr Rith of Damnok Toek wins international Child 10 Award 2017

Congratulations to our dear friend Dr. Sam Sovvanarith (Dr. Rith to us!), Executive Director of Damnok Toek, on winning the Child 10 Award 2017. This award is given by the Reach for Change organisation in Stockholm, Sweden and identifies and supports Change Leaders – “exceptional individuals who have a strong desire to promote children’s rights, an innovative idea to change the world for children, and the passion and the drive to create this change.” Dr Rith was one of 10 winners from all around the world,  all grassroot children’s rights activists who are determined to eradicate the inequality and human rights violations many children face today. Dr Rith and Damnok Toek have been given the award in recognition of their important work helping children at risk of trafficking. “Due to socio-economic instability in Thailand and Cambodia, nearly 25 unaccompanied children cross the border each day in search of a better life. Damnok Toek aim to prevent child trafficking and sexual exploitation, rehabilitate traumatized youths and guide them to social inclusion.” For a short video, made by the Child 10 organisation, about Dr Rith’s work see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7e8MBYrWdk0 and for more about the Child 10 Award 2017 and Reach for Change see...
September 2017 First Hand Service Trip to Cambodia

September 2017 First Hand Service Trip to Cambodia

First Hand have recently returned from our latest service trip to Cambodia. Between 7-10 September 2017, 18 volunteers (adults and children) from Singapore travelled to Phnom Penh and Neak Loeung to deliver aid, meet our partners and help with projects at the centres. Top of our list of priorities was to deliver the 4 ‘tilt-in-space’ wheelchairs that had been specially ordered from Singapore to meet the specific requirements of 4 children with cerebral palsy, new to the Disability Centre at Damnok Toek Phnom Penh. While there, we further delivered a correctly sized walker for a teenage girl who also had mobility issues from cerebral palsy – she was overjoyed with her new device! Leading the visit to this centre was Singapore-based Rehab Consultant, Dr. Jenni Cowlishaw, who conducted medical assessments ahead of a future medical mission trip. First Hand committee members Annette and Carina helped assemble the wheelchairs with the local care staff and took measurements to check which extra bolstering should be customised from Singapore for the chairs. The visit generated great interest and excitement amongst the residents and it was heart warming to see that the donations were received so well. In addition to the wheelchairs we were able to bring with us more than 120kg of donations-in-kind that had been generously donated by our supporters in Singapore. These were handed over in Phnom Penh to our two partners Damnok Toek and Mother’s Heart Cambodia. These aid items consisted largely of sports equipment, school shoes, learning aids, healthcare supplies and baby clothes. We would especially like to thank the 3 teachers from Dulwich College Singapore who brought...
Training session with ‘Writing Through’ in October

Training session with ‘Writing Through’ in October

Please check out our new friends at ‘Writing Through’ who offer creative writing workshops to schools and NGOs in Cambodia and Singapore. Their next training session in Singapore is on October 27th 2017. For more info please check out their website: http://writingthrough.org/singapore/ and a recent video about their amazing...
First Hand and Blu Kouzina Summer Wine Evening raises $10,378!

First Hand and Blu Kouzina Summer Wine Evening raises $10,378!

Thank you to all our guests, sponsors and especially to Blu Kouzina Greek restaurant at Dempsey Hill for an amazing night on June 13th 2017. The Summer Wine Evening has raised $10,378 for First Hand. All the proceeds have been shared with First Hand’s two partners – Damnok Toek and Mother’s Heart Cambodia. On the night, guests indulged in an array of Greek and Mediterranean dishes all prepared with organic extra virgin olive oil from Blu Kouzina’s family–owned Olive Grove Estate in Messinia, Greece. It was a typical balmy evening in Singapore and everyone could enjoy dining on the patio under the stars overlooking the peaceful greenery of Dempsey Hill. Vineyard owner and winemaker Dionysia Brintziki of Ktima Brintziki organic wines was in town and introduced four of their wines that were being tasted on the night. Martin McDarren also shared about the ancient Greek traditions of winemaking. After much food and wine, DJ Raj continued to entertain the crowd with music for grooving on the dance floor! The silent auction showcased amazing art, lifestyle, fashion and homewares products from our very generous sponsors: Astrid Dahl, Swiss Club Singapore, Expat Kitchen, Sandra Macheroux photography, White Ginger, Rouge, Jubilo Joias, Ellie Lasth, Edition Limitee, Screening Room, Affordable Style Files, Bode, Cote and Badt, Dansk and the Danish Seaman’s Church. Thank you everyone for a beautiful and memorable evening! More photos of the event are available at our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FirstHandVolunteers/...

FIRST HAND AGM

Notice is hereby given of First Hand’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 21st March 2017 at 7.30pm at SPAGO Restaurant at Marina Bay Sands. Do come along if you would like to be more involved with First Hand’s activities. Please do let us know if you intend to attend by e-mailing info@firsthandvolunteers.com. Thank...