Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Replies from Duncan and Savong

Sometime ago, I had a friend who had a project on giving ebooks to children in Cambodia to facilitate their learning. I sent an email to Mr Stuart (Duncan) and Savong to ask them for their opinions, and here are their replies, plus some news:

Wei Lei (Wei Li),

This week has been far too busy (our small office is sometimes frantic!)
so I have been slow to respond to your kind email. My apologies.

At the school things have been busy - but the biggest concern is for
Aneed's health which has been very poor for five days. She goes to
hospital tomorrow and hopefully they can treat whatever it is that
prevents her from eating. Savong has been worn out running everything
and also looking after the two children who, fortunately, have been in
fine health. Even little Sunna is now speaking Khmer.

At the orphanage we've kept a lid on the number of children - and Seyha,
that lovely guy who ran off the rails last month (lured by peer pressure
and bright lights of Siem Reap) has been granted permission to return.
I'm glad of that. What Savong is working out is whether he's able to
employ Seyha's mother at the orphanage. Like Seyha, she is a victim of
her husband who has a serious alcohol problem.

More and more, the orphanage has extended its outreach - really forming
what, in my country might be called the Social Welfare Department - at
least for the local community of 600 families (around 3,000 people.)

Apparently the classes that teach sewing have been extremely popular,
and the local women are industriously making items for the local market:
giving themselves self-employment, and also (importantly I think)
providing a vibrant adult presence at the orphanage so that the children
are surrounded by a caring community. Those new classrooms at the
orphanage have really facilitated a lot more than I ever envisaged - and
as a resource they continue to make so much possible. 

Recently a friend of mine, a retired architect John has been over in
Siem Reap, spending a fortnight at the school and orphanage and teaching
the art of drawing which the children loved. Self expression, I realise,
is a real luxury for these children. The classrooms are a fun place to

Those ebooks sound a great idea - I've read about them (are these the
ones that require a short burst of hand cranking?) The key is, of
course, the content - and being in Khmer would be a requirement for
uptake by younger children and by households. One way to manage
distribution might be to use the school (or other schools too) as a
lending library, and to use the ebooks in conjunction with lessons
(adult literacy included).

The usage and effect of these would need to be trialled and assessed, to
ensure that as a resource they are able to have the most possible
effect, but the self-powered nature of these gets over the biggest
hurdle of electronic anything in Cambodia. (University students there
love Apple Macs not because of style so much as the fact that their
batteries last longer.)

So I encourage your friend, and please let them feel welcome to "use"
the orphanage as a place to pilot the scheme.

My best regards to you, and my deepest thanks for your ongoing interest
and support of Savong's project. If you see students who took part in
the XinMin project please pass on the news that their efforts - their
labours and sweat - has made a huge difference for the orphans (a place
to learn and to play) but also the local community.

Each of you are welcome back any time!

Kindest Regards

Duncan Stuart FMRSNZ
Kudos Organisational Dynamics Limited

Dear Ang Wei Li,
It is Savong. how are you doing ? I hope that you are keeping well and thank you for writing me and I am sorry for replying you too late because I have been too busy and got sick but I am fine.
Children are going well and everything is going well the same before.

It is very good if you can make this book for children and students in the orphanage and school. Many students and children like English, math and history etc...
Presently I have been too busy and if you want to know more infor you click: you will see a hold infor and what we do.
Any questions, please let me know .
Kindest regards

Well, that sums it up. Do tell the other XSP scholars about these news, and pass it down to our junior (sec 3s) too!

-> Wei Li

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Increase in population?


Savong Orphanage Centre's population just increased to 28 children.

Wei Li :D

Some updates...

Hello Scholars and followers!

Savong School now has its own twitter account! The need to keep telling the story about the school and orphanage is relentless... so come on, set up that twitter account and follow Savong School @Twitter!


Also, check out the school's Facebook account too!

Last but not least, scholars who went to Cambodia, please checkout the photos here or use your own collection, and choose a photo that you feel for. Then, write a short caption about it, then send it to me @ Please do it quick! Our juniors are coming in soon!

Wei Li :D

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Each block finds a place in art

Marcus here. Decided to post this poem of the last day at orphanage. ^^

Each block finds a place in art
Plastic bricks built from their heart

Pencils scratch on papered floors
Draw open life's infinite doors

Folded sheets of nature's wood
Rivet the ceilings with pristine good

Melodic rhymes and nurseric beats
Fill the rooms with alacritous feets

Whispered words with he who reads
Brings to light their daily needs

Plans were buried in sunburnt clay
Innocent musings had swept the day

Everyone's tied by an invisble cord.
Though each orphan's on his own accord.

XSP outing

XSP Outing on 3rd January 2010 @ East Coast Park! (Confirmed!) Meet at Hougang Mall 12pm @ Donut Empire: Option 1: Have lunch together. That's the only option. x.x, and wear the xsp tee! Blu colour de! Latest till 9pm!

PS: You are free to post on this blog, treat it as your own personal blog!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Heyhey guys! Liren here, and here's a poem about the trip. It's not very good so =X

I remember the
Of unsweet mangos

Sitting in a bus
For bicycles to be assembled

And I remember
Feeling welcome
In a place I had no relation to

And now that I’m back
In a home, in a life
I find myself

Rushing backwards
For all that I felt
Trying, to keep it real

Of eden overgrown
Between mansions

Of climbing bars
Attached to the sides
Of houses

Of piping
In soil
In roads

Of sunsets
Marred by rust


To look underneath
Our expectations
To what was actually

And to keep, and treasure
Till I could pass it on, and even after

I remember the taste
Of crunchy,
Unsweet, mangoes

My hope
Is that
One day,

You will too.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Email Reply from Savong

This is Savong.

Thank you very much for emailing me and let me see your blog it is very nice and some your comments to to the school and orphanage.

Did you get email from Duncan? If not I will tell him to write to you soon .

Thanks again for spending a wonderful and golden time with my children in the orphanage and we were very happy to see all of you and I wish one day I can see you again.

Keep in tough each other

Hoping to hear from you soon


ps: Savong has seen this blog!

:DD Wei Li

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Photos 1