ABCs and Rice

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

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The Fund and Awareness Campaign- Canada 2012

Posted by Tammy D on April 13, 2012 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (5)

Recap, by Tammy Durand;  

It has been a hectic 2 weeks!

Siem Reap->Seoul->Toronto

and that was just day 1 :)   From there, with the help of Mom (Diane), Aunt Sue, and Uncle Ron, I have been bouncing all over Ontario.

The kind people of the Hamilton Rotary Club greeted me warmly on our first Wednesday in Canada. The reception was was so touching that i was already an emotional wreck by the I met up with the AMAZING Mindy Tweedle, of Tweedle Productions.

But this amazing woman put me right at ease with her kind smile and tremendous amounts of posetive energy. We jumped right into a (COLD) outdoor interview for 100 Huntly Street.

I spent Easter weekend up North, with friends and family, celebrating, catching up, and running around preparing for the fundraisers and presentations still ahead.

Monday... On the road again! First stop, Cambridge Ontario, where the wonderful folks at Gleaners Christian Charities packed us up with over 15000 meals of dehydrated vegetable soup mix. Shelly Stone was kind enough to give Ron, Sue and I a tour of this inspiring facility and also extended the offer to any Canadian volunteers coming our way to also fill up a suitcase or two to help support our Breakfast Club program.

Next stop, Hamilton Ontario. We had an early morning interview with CHCH's very own Nicola Jones. Mindy and I spoke about the ABCs and Rice program and put out a final invite to that evening's fundraising event "Mojitos and Munchies'.

That night was a HUGE success, over 100 in attendance, all enjoying a variety of Mojito samples and some great Asian fare, all whipped up by the staff of the Hamilton Club. A huge thank you to all who attended, the final count of donations collected that night... $1700!!!!

We left Hamilton, traveled through the night and made it to Sudbury in time to attend the Rah Rah Rotary, Sunrisers of Sudbury. What a great turn out! This fine breakfast crew made me feel right at home while I spoke about ABCs, how it began, where we are now, where we are heading and how important these programs truly are to the children we work with. The feedback was fabulous and we may even have recruited some Canadian volunteers :)

Immediately after I was fortunate enough to meet with Sudbury's own Jenny Jelen of the Northern Life. We shared some laughs and enjoyed some much needed coffee as she pieced together a story for ABCs and promoted ABCs first Gala, to be held tomorrow (article to follow).

Mom, Jenifer Durand, and I spent the rest of the day getting some final details sorted for the Gala, and it was off to bed (a real bed ahhhhhh).

This morning I met with Brad and Leanne of KICX 91.7FM for a live interview. These two are so kind, and have been so supportive of ABCs and Rice, it was really quite an honor to share our story and spend time at the KICX FM studio.

I have a fair bit to catch up on this afternoon, but this evening I will get to visit some friends and family whom I haven’t seen in years.... I can barely wait! Tomorrow is the Gala (YAY)! Then, just a few small presentations to follow in the next week. So, I’m keeping busy but missing the kids.

I'll keep you posted :)

Giving it all up for ABCs and Rice

 

Apr 12, 2012- 2:52 PM

By: Jenny Jelen - Sudbury Northern Life Staff

Fancy dinners have been replaced by breakfast clubs, high heels with muddy feet and the corporate ladder with smiling children's faces.

Five years ago, if you'd have asked Tammy Durand to give up her hair appointments and stilettos, she would have laughed. Now, she couldn't be happier to be in T-shirts and bare feet.

Two years ago, the former Sudburian went on an adventure tourism trek that should have taken her through Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.

“I was off for the adventure of a lifetime,” she said — and that's certainly what she got.

Once Durand experienced the bright young faces of the Cambodian children, she didn't want to leave.

So she stayed.

Now, Durand is the founding director of ABCs and Rice. In January 2010, the school that works on a reverse tuition system was established with one bamboo hut. Now, there are seven prefab classrooms on her acre of land, where more than 180 kids aged five to 16 come to learn about English, music art and more. Instead of having to pay for their education, families are given food for sending their kids to ABCs and Rice. It fulfils the centre's mandate of empowering the poor to break the cycle of poverty.

“It's the best job in the world,” Durand said. “The kids are amazing.”

When she first decided to make a difference in the lives of people living in the Poom Sala Cosigne community, she had no idea how to go about it. She had the unpleasant task of lying to her mom Diane Renaud, telling her she wouldn't be world's away from home for much longer.

Now that Renaud has seen what her daughter does, she's quite proud of her.

“I miss her terribly, but I've never seen her so happy,” she said.

Rightfully so — every day, Durand is able to watch young minds blossom while supporting an entire community. She said every time the facility needs new supplies, building materials of even workers, local people are contacted first.

“We really try to keep everything in a circle,” she said. “Everything (we do) is supporting someone ... in the community whenever possible.”

The school recently hired a cook who happened to be the mother of a student attending the school who had underwent a particularly challenging period. The main breadwinner in the family abandoned the mother and children, taking the family's bike. With no money to pay rent on their hut and no means of leaving their space, in fear of it being taken away, they all stayed close to home.

Once Durand learned of the situation, she offered the woman a job, as well as housing for the family, on the school's property.

It's just one of the things she is doing to better the community — another project in the works is the Full Belly Farm. Durand and her team are currently in the process of creating a space to keep fish and chickens, as well as grow vegetables. Once the farm is up and running, Durand hopes the school will be fully self-sustaining.

Then she can move on to even more remote places.

“The further you go (from major cities) the worse it gets,” she said.

Eventually, perhaps near the end of her journey, Durand said she'd like to have also established a sort of “Ikea-version” of ABCs and Rice schools, where others interested in helping those less fortunate have the tools and resources to get started.

“I wanted to help, and I had no idea how,” she said. Having a formula to get others started on similar projects would only mean more well-fed, educated kids in places like Cambodia.

While she's visiting home for a month-long stay, Durand is hosting an ABCs and Rice Gala fundraiser. On April 14, the community is invited to purchase a $50 ticket for the dinner and music show which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn.

For more information, or to reserve a seat, phone Renaud at 705-566-0586.

For more information about ABCs and Rice, or to make a donation to the organization, visit abcsandrice.webs.com.

Posted by Arron Pickard

March 2012 Newsletter

Posted by Tammy D on March 30, 2012 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

 

 

Newsletter 3, March 2012

This last month has been absolutely huge! We've played finals in soccer which included winning two trophies, had our very first art exhibition called Look! Look! Look!, farewelled much-loved volunteers and experienced the most amazing and incredible event of all ... our end-of-year celebration, ABCs and Rice - the Musical, followed up by the second most incredible, the party on the last day of school. Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who donated to the Barangs on Bikes fundraiser - over $8500 was raised which is a brilliant effort and will go a long way. Please note: as school is closed for April, the next newsletter will be the end of May. Until then, keep smiling ...

 

 

 

We Are The Champions

Our soccer teams competed in the Globalteer Siem Reap Soccer Competition this year and had some sensational results. The 12 and unders (pictured) had a sensational season and made it into the final, playing against the highly-skilled Stepping Stones. The improvement in their performance was outstanding and they proudly brought home the trophy for runners-up. The 15 and unders pulled together brilliantly as a team which was evidenced by their trophy for "Most Improved". All players were a credit to Coach Pherin who has worked hard with them throughout the year.

 

 

Look! Look! Look! Art Exhibition

20 highly talented and gifted students were privileged to have their works framed and exhibited at the inaugural ABCs and Rice Art Exhibition at Fresh at Chilli Si-Dang. Teacher Bryn has done an extraordinary job with the students, helping them to express themselves, be creative and produce stunning works. The proof is in the pudding with 15 of the 20 paintings selling on opening night. Thank you so much Bryn, for all the hard work and dedication you have shown to the children. Exhibitions are planned for Canada, Australia and the U.S. in the near future.

 

 

Volunteers - worth their weight

Volunteers are imperative to our existence. Without their invaluable time, dedication, commitment and love, ABCs would not be such a huge success. Over the past year we have had some exceptional volunteers and whilst there are far too many to list here (but we love 'em), we must make special mention of two extraordinary people who have become the glue that keeps ABCs moving forward. Ros and Pete, (pictured here with the teachers) - from the bottom of our hearts we say "Aw kuhn tom-tom" (thank you big BIG)

 

 

 

ABCs and Rice

- the Musical

Teacher Beth and the students have worked incredibly hard to put together an uber-special end-of-year celebration for our families and friends. ABCs and Rice - the Musical tells the story of a typical day at our school, intertwined with songs and dances. Each year level was designated their own song: Level One's did "Pump It" by the Black Eyed Peas and "I Like to Move It" from the movie Madagascar. Level Two's did Katrina and the Waves "Walking on Sunshine". Level Three's had everyone in tears with John Lennon's "Imagine". Level Four and Level Six combined to do Journey's "Don't Stop Believin". (Contd)

 

 

 

Every student performed an adapted ABCs version of Paul Kelly's "From Little Things Big Things Grow". Special mention must be made of our brilliant Director Beth McCord, who received a surprise dedication from the students. The concert was an unforgettable experience for all present and the children had so, so much fun learning the songs and dances and then performing to the hugely receptive audience. Lastly, we had a party on the final day of school with apple-bobbing, tug-of-war, an obstacle course, dancing to music and a pool filled with mushy jelly - excellent fun!

 

 

 

 

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Newsletter, Feb 2012

Posted by Tammy D on February 23, 2012 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Barangs on Bikes, Giant Puppet Parade & Full Belly Farm development

Newsletter 2, Feb 2012

Another jam-packed month at ABCs, including the Giant Puppet Parade, studying space, practicing songs and dances for our end-of-year concert and great efforts in soccer with the 15 and unders winning their first game of the season. The staff and volunteers have also had a big month with the the Barangs on Bikes fundraiser and also huge developments on the Full Belly Farm site. To donate to the bike fundraiser please go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=ABC-rice&pageUrl=3

Barangs on Bikes

On the 18th, 19th and 20th Feb, 10 barangs and 2 Khmers rode a massive 320 km (200 miles) to Poipet on the Thailand border and back to raise money for ABCs. They endured their fair share of trials from rain, mud, heat, dust, rogue geese, wandering dogs and many open-mouthed locals along the way. And returned home to the warmest of welcomes from the kids. Great, great job Team ABCs!

Its a new building!

The new kitchen/toilet block/play room/storage room building is moving ahead rapidly. The build team has done an exceptional job, building the walls and inside structures to compliment the work done by the local builders. Tom-tom thanks to Pete, Jeff and Dave (the Aussies) and Little America (Dan, Tom and Andy) and Steve who is being adopted by the Aussies because "he's just like us!" Now to spend a lot of time teaching the kids how to use toilet-paper.

End-of-year concert

Volunteer Beth has been working hard with all the kids to prepare them for the end-of-year concert. Song and dance routines are practiced regularly and at any time of the day, music is blasting out of one of the classrooms, generally coupled with laughter and giggles. From Journey, John Lennon, Katrina and the Waves, Black-eyed Peas, the theme from Madagascar and Paul Kelly - there's something in it for everyone - complete with dance moves!

Space - it's out there

This month's study theme has been space and all the children have enjoyed learing about the planets and stars that make up our solar system. Craft activities have also involved designing moonstations and making rockets from toilet paper rolls. The highlight has been the giant rocket built by our volunteers from Team USA (Dan, Andy, Vanessa and Tom) - thanks so much guys, the kids love it!

Giant Puppet Parade

30 extremely excited kids plus a bunch of equally-excited volunteers and staff recently took part in one of the biggest nights on Siem Reap's calendar - the Giant Puppet Parade. ABCs kids spent 2 days building a scorpion (with help from the event organisers and artists from Battambang) and then paraded through Siem Reap to the delight of thousands of locals and tourists who lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the 8 giant puppets. What an awesome night! Photo credit: Oyen Rodriguez

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Copyright © 2012 ABCs and Rice, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

ABCs and Rice

Poste Restante Angkor Siem Reap

ph 077 707 514

January 2012 Newsletter

Posted by Tammy D on January 30, 2012 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

ABCs and Rice School

 

 

Newsletter 1, Jan 2012

The Team at ABCs and Rice is excited to bring your our first newsletter. This first issue contains news of our Full Belly Farm development as well as a report of our Christmas party held on Boxing Day and the first results in the Globalteer Soccer League. This month, the children are learning all about dinosaurs and next month they will learn about space. Current funding priorities are: the toilet block and kitchen building furnishment, a fence to enclose the farm area, and fish for the fish farm. Current fundraising initiatives include: Barrangs on Bikes! A bike ride to Poipet on the Thailand border, on Feb 18 (over 300kms there and back). To donate, please go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ABC-rice

 

 

 

Full Belly Farm = food

Sustainability is the future for ABCs. We hope to grow enough vegetables, raise enough chickens and farm enough fish to not only provide a full breakfast club for all students, but to sell enough surplus to generate a regular income. Of couse, we will be doing this in the most eco-friendly ways possible.

 

 

Watch this Space!

Central to the farm area will be a new building fitted out internally with toilets, storerooms and a kitchen with pantry. It will be situated just behind the fish ponds you can see in this photo. There will be enough space on the school side for a playroom and a deck on two sides of the building. On the farm side the structure will have an additional storage room.

 

 

From Shack to Residence

A run down building in the corner of the site was dismantled and replaced with a newly built unit. Our thanks go to Pete, Ros, Tom, Ron and Sue for all their hard work.

All the materials removed were recycled or re-used where possible within the village. This will house the cook/caretaker and her family and will provide added security to the farm site.

 

 

 

Christmas at ABCs

Being a Buddhist country, Christmas is not an official holiday in Cambodia but ABCs and Rice held a party on Boxing day at the school. There are more photos on our Facebook Group and on www.abc-rice.org. The bouncy castle courtesy of Board Member, Tom Orr, was a huge hit with the children, their friends and families.

 

Globalteer Soccer

ABCs and Rice junior teams got off to a flying start with 3 wins and 1 draw in their first 4 games on Sunday 8th January. The seniors on Sunday 15th weren't quite as successful, but showed great tenacity and determination. Well done to all the players and Coach Phearin.

Give me an A! Give me a B!

Give me a C! Go ABCs!!!

 

 

 

 

Prizes, Fishies, and SUSTAINABILITY

Posted by Tammy D on October 24, 2011 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)

ABCs is so excited, and wishes to thank everyone for their support (and votes).

Tammy was selected as the third place winner in this year's "I Can Achieve" contest, and as a result, a very generous prize of $5000 Canadian is being put towards the ABCs and Rice food project in Siem Reap.

Some of the prize money will be allocated to disaster relief, as Cambodia has been hit hard by the floods. Many families having lost their homes, and most having lost their crops.   ABCs has been working with the Commune Chief to identify villages and families most in need, as our immediate villages have not been hit as hard. Many volunteers have come out to help with food and clean water deliveries. Thank you Globalteer for all the extra help!

The remainder of the prize money will be used to help fund our farming project. We have leased an adjacent plot of land and have been very excited to seen the plans developing. Our dear friend Nate has dedicated many hours of research and creative energy to this project; and with a lot of love and hard work we will make this currently empty lot into an amazing, self sustaining food production project.

There will be four tilapia fish ponds, each staggered to ensure that there is year round food for the children of ABCs, and income for the project. A very intensive chicken farm, primarily for egg production and a "Veggie Mansion", three layers of crops, all high in vitamins and nutrients.

The goal of this project is to produce all that we need to support our various food programs, and then to sell the remainder to the local markets, with the profits feeding the educational costs of ABCs and Rice. The plans are AMAZING, from flowers that act as a natural insecticide, and butterflies for pollination, to composting of animal waste and the breeding of maggots (YUCK). It will offer jobs to the impoverished, and education to all in the area who are interested in Horticulture, Agriculture, and Aquaculture.

We have volunteer professionals lined up and thanks to some of our fabulous donors and the winnings from Canesten's "I Can Achieve" we are ready to put the plans in motion :) If only this flooding would cease!!!

Looking forward with high expectations, and sending loads of love to you all,

ABCs

I Can Achieve Results

Posted by Tammy D on September 13, 2011 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

The Results are in and our very own, Tammy Durand brought in an astounding $5000 CND as third place winner in the Canesten I Can Achieve contest. The $5000 prize money is now in the ABCs and Rice account and will be put towards the creation of "Full Belly Farm".  Full Belly Farm aims to add sustainability to the food and education projects of ABCs and Rice.

Sudbury altruist 'blessed' by work with kids

By LAURA STRICKER, THE SUDBURY STAR

Aug 2011

For children in Siem Riem, Cambodia, $15,000 means a lot of rice.

Sixty-eight thousand, seven hundred and fifty pounds of it, to be exact.

Sudbury's Tammy Durand, the founder of ABC's and Rice, hopes to make the money hers. She's been entered in the I Can Achieve contest, which celebrates the achievements of women.

Since 2009, ABC's and Rice has provided educational opportunities and proper meals to poverty-stricken kids in Cambodia.

"(The kids went) from no education whatsoever and little food, and we now are blessed to see 180 smiling faces come to school to learn and play everyday," Durand told The Star in May. "There are no rumbling bellies, no unattended medical issues and the hugs seem to be in limitless supply. I love my life, I truly am blessed."

Durand, who lives in Cambodia full-time, said the feeling she gets from helping kids is hard to explain.

"I feel like I have won the lottery everyday. I am so blessed to have found exactly where I'm meant to be. I wish it was selfless, but we get a lot out of it. More than I could ever express."

Voting in the I Can Achieve contest is open until Sept. 3, and can be done every day. In order to be considered to get the money, Durand needs to make it into the top 10.

To read Durand's story and vote for her, visit www.contests. citytv.com/icanachieve/st ory. aspx? sid=893.

[email protected] Twitter: LauraStricker

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 http://contests.citytv.com/icanachieve/story.aspx?sid=893 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.

 

Mid 2010...Finding Our Feet, and Seeing all the Potential (a few bumps along the way)

Posted by Tammy D on September 17, 2010 at 7:28 AM Comments comments (0)

Storm Damage at ABC's and Rice

Posted by Tammy Durand on Monday, June 7, 2010

Well, if you had ever considered making a donation to ABC’s and Rice, today may be your chance to make a difference! It’s bee a tough week for Matt, Vanna, and myself. Tuesday’s storm violently tore the brand new roof off of our two junior classrooms (one structure with a dividing wall). ... Luckily no one was hurt but the integrity of the building was compromised and has left more than 80 students without a classroom to attend. We are so fortunate to have a wonderful network of friends around us who are helping us to rebuild. Special thanks to JOSH at the FUNKY MUNKY!!!!!!!! Who dropped everything to help us recruit a team and get to work.

Much of the old material is reusable, but the rebuilding cost is looking to be about $200 US. This is quite the hit to ABC’s and Rice and will be taken out of the flooring budget. We are optimistic that classes will be reopened on Tuesday of next week but with the rainy season fully upon us now, the floors are a top priority.

We have been raking our brains for fundraising ideas (above the usual trivia nights) I promise to keep you posted on any plans made, and in the meantime; anyone wishing to donate from Canada can simply make a cheque out to ABC’s and Rice, and deposit at the Nickel City Credit Union in Capreol for my local supporters or to TD Canada Trust Bank Account #6405236... Branch 3716. If a swift number is required please send a request via email as these out of country donations are handled differently.

Alone we are a drop….Together we are an ocean!

In a nut shell

Posted by Tammy Durand on Friday, September 10, 2010

Well...yet again we have been flat out since the last post, and as is usual many, many things have been achieved since.

First and foremost, our damaged classrooms were rebuilt with great speed at cost of $300, slightly more than we’d anticipated, but we do have stronger structures that have withstood many a storm since!

ABC Go, part two, the bicycle ride to Thailand and back, to fund the rebuilding was a fantastic success! Tammy and teacher Phearin made it from Siem Reap to Thailand in 11hours and 30mins and a distance of some 180km, with a sizeable headwind! It was a hard but interesting first day with two very tired cyclists, who managed to find enormous humour in a dubious menu at the restaurant that we met Phearin’s sister at! The ride back was much faster, coming in at 10hours and 20 mins, (a rather helpful tail wind, for the return journey!). On arrival home we met with a reporter from the Phnom Penh post who wrote a very nice article on ABC’s & Rice and the mega bicycle ride.

The ride was made much easier through a generous loan of decent bicycles from Intrepid Travel and with the highly entertaining and helpful Mr Sarrom of Ecstatic Pizza, who kindly offered to help Matt as road side assistant and translator. He was especially helpful with the negotiations for the purchase of pigs along the way, (more on that saga later J). Other generous sponsors for the trip were; Rosy Guest House, X-Bar, Fresh at Chilli Si-Dang, Sydney Aqua Pool and Bar, not to mention all our expat friends with their generous support, particularly Ida and of course, Annie, who cooked us an amazing veggie lasagne for our return dinner, cheers Annie! All in all we raised about $1000US! Next year we plan on making the bicycle ride bigger and better, so watch this space!

I suppose you’re wondering about the pigs? Well the X-Bar’s Porkula 1, 3rd annual charity pig race was held on the 14th of August, as they were planning on hiring pigs for the event, we at ABC’s & Rice put up our hands to purchase the pigs and then place them into the community to begin small, sustainable pig farms using worthy and capable families. The race itself was a great success, raising over $850 for various charities, (please contact us if you want a full list of beneficiaries), over half of which went to ABC’s & Rice to begin the pig program. We are now near experts on pig farming theory and the practicalities of it! We hope to expand this program as the first litters come in. The pigs themselves were very difficult to source at the right price, we did manage it though, and so we now have a few families breeding pigs! We will continue to monitor their progress and hopefully, with all the processes that we’ve put in place, this project will generate sustainable income within the communities.

Those two events took a lot of planning, organising, and running around to get them off the ground and running smoothly, but the results are speaking for themselves. In the meantime we have also come to an agreement with Globalteer charity, who are helping us with volunteers and have set us up with Virgin Just Giving under the Globalteer umbrella, enabling us to more easily access donations, please visit http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/abc-go .

Not to mention we have just negotiated a very generous five year lease plan on the current school site, as well as, the site next door. This will enable us to speed up our registration process and allow us to expand the facility without having to worry about having to move it, what a relief that is!!!!

August saw a large group of volunteers coming from Korea who donated a very generously in the form of, the start up costs for breakfast club (including a few months of breakfast for 20 of the most needy students)...Hooray Breakfast Club is here at last!!!!! J, new bicycles for the children who are without, a new fence and gate (increasing security), internet installation and 2mnths of service charge at the volunteer house, mechanical transport with a GPS unit (very helpful for collection census data, and so we don’t get lost when we are checking on the pigs or a family in need), and a generous sum for admin needs. A big thankyou to our Korean friends for their hard work fundraising and their time with us. Without people like you raising awareness and being proactive, we can’t hope to achieve the goals we have set. Thank-You!

As we continue to make these milestones we will continue to keep you updated! Thanks to all our supporters and our fantastic students and teachers,

Talk to you all soon,

ABC’s & Rice J “Being the change”


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