ABCs and Rice

Empowering the poor, through education and community support,
to break the cycle of poverty.


Knitting Craze Sweeps ABCs

Posted by Tammy D on October 30, 2012 at 5:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Thanks to our gorgeous volunteer Jay Francis, a new craze that could become bigger than Angry Birds, is sweeping ABCs and Rice – knitting!

Using improvised knitting needles from sharpened chopsticks Jay introduced basic skills to her class. Word soon got around and it has now gone ‘viral’ with all but our youngest kids now knitting feverishly, and it’s not just the girls. It’s become not just a favourite for the crafts classes, but they can be seen knitting now during breaks. It has the added advantage of silence that comes with their concentration.

Jay is here until 8th November but as our ‘crafty’ teacher Theavy has really picked it up, it looks like knitting could become a standard vocational skill at the school. This is a perfect example of the sometimes-surprising result of a volunteer trying something out for the first time, and turning it into a successful and enjoyable hobby for the children.

Well-done Jay.

Team Spirit, Smiles,and Sportsmanship! Thank you GLOBALTEER

Posted by Tammy D on October 30, 2012 at 5:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Globalteer kicked off their football season on Sunday 23rd September with some awesome displays of footballing skills, teamwork and great sportsmanship in the first friendly competition of the season with the 11-14 boys. ABCs and Rice were well represented as usual, and threw themselves into the fray, cheered on by volunteers and staff, as well as the girls who are eagerly waiting on their turn in a few weeks’ time. One of the boy’s teams made it through to the semi-finals of the competition, so congratulations all round! Read Globalteer’s full report HERE

With a new co-ordinator, Charlie Pomroy assisting all of the participating organizations this year's league is off to a brilliant start. The bus ride in on an early Sunday morning was filled with bright eyed, energetic little athletes and many coffee craving volunteers. Songs and cheers streamed through the bustling streets of Siem Reap as we made our way to the field.

It was great for the kids to meet up with their friends from last year as well as make some new ones while having fun exercising and showing off some of their new skills.

ABCs would like to send a proper thanks to Jim, Sherry, and all of the gang at Globalteer, with a special thanks to Coach Charlie, Coach Flo, and Teacher Sitha for all of their dedication and hard work.

I know I can!

Run of SHAME

Posted by Tammy D on September 25, 2012 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Over 100 competitors participated in the inaugural Reaper's Run of Shame on Sat 15 Sept. The Run was organised for those people who are not quite capable of running a half or full marathon, and the race was held as a fundraiser for ABCs and Rice.

Competitors were encouraged to have some fun whilst running the 1km route from Fresh @ Chilli Si-Dang to the Warehouse. They were dressed like they hadn't been to bed yet, or at least in some sort of interesting costume.

The 30-odd who were ready at the start were joined soon after by 70 of the Hash House Harriers, dressed resplendently in red frocks complete with fake boobies.

3 competitors bounced the whole way on space-hoppers, 2 travelled on crutches and one team dressed as doctors pushed a wheelchair whose occupant had a broken leg.

Prizes were sponsored by local businesses and there were plenty to hand out. ABCs volunteer Jay took out 1st place with Globalteer's Flo and Ryan pulling 2nd and 3rd respectively. Other prizes were awarded to Best Team Effort, Most Creative Costume and Most Creative Way of Getting to the Finish Line, as well as Cutest Competitor and Most Shameful, amongst others.

All up, the event raised over $2000 to go towards medical costs at ABCs and Rice. A further $1000 was raised through an accompanying Walk of Disorderliness held in Torquay, Australia.

Most importantly, a great day was had by all with comments and feedback such as "You made the whole town smile" and "The best day I've had in Siem Reap so far". See you all next year for the 2013 Run of Shame.

I Can Acheive

Posted by Tammy D on August 9, 2011 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Tammy's Mom, is at it again, showing her love and support back in Canada.  Thanks Diane Renaud (MOM) for all that you do!!!

Tammy is up for an achievement award in Canada, the top prize being $15000, now, if you put that into Breakfast Club terms it equates to over NINETY THOUSAND meals!!!!!!!! 

You can help by going online to vote at You can only vote once a day, so please take the time to get those votes in.

Expansions,!!!Programs, Facilities, and Support

Posted by Tammy D on July 28, 2011 at 12:12 PM Comments comments (3)

With the expansion of the school grounds, we found ourselves with a dividing wall in the way, having already built the new walls and gate we were ready to knock down the one in the way…well, we decided to have a Siem Reap strong person competion, and what a fun day that was, we managed to raise about $300 and a whole pile of smiles and rubble! 7 teams entered, for safety we had them knock down each section on a time trial base, racing against one other team at a time…WOW were they fast! There was a lot of conjecture at the start of the event about how long it would take to drop each section…no-one was even close, the average time was about 12 minutes of demolition and removal…so fast…!

In April we had an open day by invitation for prospective new students, organised with great assistance from the village chief, Hunly now has her hands full with a plethora of shining new faces in the monkey room.

Soky had her first born in early May, it was very exciting to have the first ABC’s and Rice baby! Soky has comfortably settled into motherhood and is eagerly anticipating her return from maternity leave next month…she wants all of her ABC babies back 

Construction and wiring (Pete and Ros) was completed in mid June…why so long you ask?

Well we no longer have bamboo huts! We are now sporting 5 new demountable classrooms and one enormous Art/General Purpose Room.

The Office/Library/Residence Building, which we took over in February was renovated by Pete and Ros and their trusty sidekick Tom, amazing construction and electrical work. We don’t know how we survived without the office and library for so long! We’ll see you guys really soon for the next round 

You can imagine with 7months of construction work we’re very, very, very happy to enjoy using the new facilities, the students are overjoyed with their new learning spaces, it really is amazing how much easier they’re finding it to learn in a bright comfortable environment.

That’s all the fun and games! We’ve also been working on the expansion of our programs…now this is the really big news! Planned for the start of the school year in October we were to enroll 30 students into Wat Bo Primary school, well that plan didn’t work so well…They started last week!!!!!! Through our friend Lori, we managed to begin a fantastic relationship with the Principal of Wat Bo P.S. where we can enroll our into what is considered one of the best Primary schools in country. Not only that, once they graduate they are able to attend Angkor Lycee High School! We are overwhelmed with delight at being able to provide our students with the opportunity to receive a full problem free education.

Wat Bo P.S. is now testing our students over the next 3 months to ensure they are in the right grade and ready to begin at the start of the school year.

Of course with such a dramatic increase in the ‘Back to School’ program, we have also seen a doubling of ‘Breakfast Club’, which now has 50 members. We hired a very caring mother to live in and cook breakfast for the kids, her first few weeks were fairly simple, but now she is doing 2 sittings, one for the crew getting on the truck to school at 6am and the second at 7:30am for the ones that are studying at the regular time at ABC’s and Rice school. Bong Na is doing an outstanding job of keeping the kids well fed.

One Year In, and the Sky is the Limit ! (Late 2010, Early 2011)

Posted by Tammy D on March 20, 2011 at 7:34 AM Comments comments (1)

Lots of Changes

Posted by Tammy Durand on Thursday, December 16, 2010


Hi everyone!

What has been happening at ABC’s & Rice you ask? Well as usual the list is never ending!

 We have just recently begun the ‘Back to School’ program, where students who can’t afford the daily cost of going to public school are being supported by ABC’s & Rice. The program consists of selecting students with good attendance records and a drive for the future. |The students on the program are enrolled into the local public school, where we must negotiate the daily fee for the teacher, which we pay monthly, ensuring the students have a seat in the classroom. On top of that, the students are provided with uniforms, shoes and school bags. The families of these children are given rations of rice and seasonings, including; Vegetable oil, soy sauce, toothbrushes and such are delivered each month to take the pressure off such a large part of whatever income they can come across. The first few students on the program are very excited to be back in the school system and making new friends.

We’ve held a few minor fundraisers in the last couple of months, including “Fashions on the River” based on the Melbourne Spring Carnival, video of the horse races were sent over, so we could conduct sweep stakes and minor betting on each race. We raised $180US on the horses. The exciting night was topped off with a fashion parade of dresses from local boutique shops and modeled by local volunteers, all of whom were a little nervous at first to be on a cat walk, but ended up having a fabulous time and are already excited to do the next one J

On the school site we’re going through a little remodeling in preparation for the expanded land space come February, many amazing and exciting things going on there…stay tuned…

October saw ABC’s & Rice go on their first field trip to Beng Melea Temple, all the students had a fantastic time as did the volunteers who came and us. It was a rather scary event to organize, taking 100 students on such a large excursion…wow…a daunting process! All our fears were for nothing as the day ran smoothly, the students were very well behaved and the truck drivers were wonderful!

Since then, we have ventured out and taken the senior classes swimming at the |Sydney Aqua pool last week (only some minor upset for the younger siblings that couldn’t go J ) Little did they know that the junior classes were on for the next excursion and so we are taking them to Kids Plaza this Friday, smiles all round!

Christmas is coming up next week, so we are planning a small Christmas Eve fun day, less to do with Christmas and more to do with fun and games! We will keep Christmas pretty low key, as it is hardly a Buddhist festival and we are planning to have quite the Shindig come February, for the opening of the new space and ABC’s & Rice School turns 1!!! Where has the last 12 months gone?

Of course it doesn’t stop there! Our school football team has been training for some months now, and are ready to play competitively…Jan 9th will be ABC’s & Rice School Football Clubs inaugural match! The team has ear to ear grins and are training harder than ever! We’re all looking forward to the season and hope to sneak in a win or two along the way.

February will also bring the Siem Reap Giant Puppet Parade, students talented in art will be chosen for the workshops to build the puppets and the floats. The workshops run for about 2 weeks and once complete everyone gets together and displays their creations through town. The Giant Puppet Parade is an exciting event for the students and Siem Reap itself. We feel very lucky to have been invited to such a large town fundraising event.


Well that’s all for now, stay tuned…remodeling…….


ABCs and Rice

No Child Forgotten

Boy have we been busy!

Posted March 2011

In December we started building our new classrooms, kindly donated by; Jenny and Gary Spence, the Schage family, and our resident artist Bryn.  New gardens are in bloom, thanks again, to the amazing Jenny and Gary (can’t wait til your back in town!).

In February we signed a new lease, an the lot of land beside us, and celebrated the school’s first birthday party. Wow what a day of fun and games! We played Bobbing for apples, blind mans bluff and pin the tail on the donkey. There were pinatas, water relays, sack races, and watermelon eating contests. We had helium balloons, balloon animals, and darn near professional face painting (Trixie and Heather). Every child got a prize, and everyone ate more than Im sure they usually have per week for their family. The smiles were priceless! The students favourite was of course…the giant jumping castle! The kids were a little nervous of it at the start, as they had never seen such a sight before . As the day concluded we enjoyed Birthday cake, courtesy of Annie, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house when a level 4 student, Demone, sang a heart felt Happy Birthday ABCs, followed by a touching "Thank you ABCs, Big-Big". 

We really are proud of how far we have come, and look forward to taking ABCs to the next level.

The big bash was quickly followed by the Giant Puppet Project which all the students had a blast building, then prancing around Siem Reap bursting with pride of their giant, puppet creation, and school. The parade ended with many sleepy faces.  The kids were so pumped with energy from 4pm till nearly 10pm. By the time the truck stopped, some of the little ones barely had the energy to climb out.