March 23 2011
First Hand had a fantastic trip to Cambodia at the end of March. Over the 3-day period the team visited 4 of the centres that we support there. The Riverkids, Neak Leong, The Missionaires of Charity and the Handicapped Centre. We took an incredible 400 kilos of donations with us to Phnom Penh.
We went in a group of 14 people – 5 Adults and 9 children. The aim was for the Singapore Children to share some of their knowledge by holding Art/Craft workshops for the under privileged children in Phnom Penh.
Before going all the children who were participating on the visit raised money to buy the art supplies, together with their class friends at their various schools. They also had to attend a workshop to practice the skills needed to run their own workshops in Phnom Penh. Many thanks to with Patricia Dinglestead at CIS for helping with this.
The Art workshops went down incredibly well and all the children really enjoyed the painting and clay activities. We were all amazed how artistic the children were, and how much they appreciated the workshop. It was a perfect way for the Kids Team to get to know the children in the centers and be able to share something with them. We would definitely like to repeat these sessions with them.
With the money raised by all 9 of the children from Singapore we were able to buy all the necessary art supplies for the trip and also to leave some behind so that they could repeat the activities. We also had money left over to provide vaccinations for some of the children, wheelchair parts and money for wood to make beds and desks.
To raise money to buy Art Supplies the children participated in several fundraising activites:
Canadian Int School (CIS) Grade 3-5 and Tanglin Trust (TT) Classes 5AH and 4PH took part in First Hands Change for Changes project where they eagerly helped out at home in exchange for small donations.
CIS Grade 3-5 raised $440, TT Class 5AH raised $1780 and TT Class 4PH raised $1053 – an amazing total of $3273.
CIS Grade 1-4 and children from Dover Court held bake sales to raise money. CIS G1-4 held it for the rest of the Grade 1 students and teachers and raised $500. Dover Court raised a fabulous $1460.
Also Tanglin Trust Year 3-4 collected 50 craft bags full of scrap booking kit. They were all given to the Riverkids.
We had a fantastic response to our plee for donations and took out an incredible 400 kilos to the children in Phnom Penh. This included Medicines, Vitamins, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Books, Clothes, Toys and School supplies. A big thank you to all those who donated items for us to take especially CIS G1-2 and G2-2.
Some of the children wrote about the activities they carried out during the Change for Changes project:
Hanmin Aged 8
“The things I did were being helpful, like bringing Ice Cream and helping getting ready for dinner. Well I didn’t really get money but my parents put money for my effort for me being kind. And I eventually got $10 and our class got $440!”
Alexander Aged 8
“At home I washed the dishes, did my bed, folded my pyjamas, cooked an appetizer, a meal and some desert for my family and guests. I also made some lemonade. My Mother gave me $4.00!”
Faith Aged 8
“I raised $6 to give to First Hand to buy Art Supplies by drying and washing the dishes. I also helped to set the table and put all the plates away. I hope the Riverkids will have a happy and cheerful time when First Hand comes to Cambodia.”
What did the children think?
Here are the thoughts of the children who came with First Hand to Cambodia:
Alice Gorman, Aged 8
“I have really enjoyed going to all the centers. My favourite center was Neak Leong because they were very good at Art and playing with the balls. I think they all love the art things. I hope to see them soon”
Tai Doiron, Aged 7
“I liked playing soccer. It was a fun time. I met new friends who I will remember forever.”
Ella Connors, Aged 10
“I liked it when we went to Neak Leong because they were very friendly to us and very good artists and very happy. They also had adorable puppies!”
Izzy Drewer, Aged 6
“I really enjoyed the Neak Leong kids when we did painting. They were very good.”
Sarah Doiron, Aged 8
“I liked when we played with the children and making the art and the pots.”
Harvey Gorman, Aged 6
“On the second day we went to Neak Leong and I made a friend and I played football and did some clay bowls. And I did some painting with cardboard.”
Gaby Drewer, Aged 8
“I really enjoyed the Riverkids they were really cute. I also liked Neak Leong the children are really good at Art! I can’t wait to visit again.”
Eve Connors, Aged 8
“Neak Leong was one of the best places we went to so far. They are very friendly people and they laughed and smiled all the time. I would love to go there again.”