BLOGTROTTE au-delà du voyage – KEPCHILDREN

BLOGTROTTE au-delà du voyage – KEPCHILDREN

Good morning to you all, I’m happy to welcome you back for our new coverage and present to you today,
the faces of those who wanted to get involved with important causes around the world. These people help those who need it the most. I’m taking you to Cambodia,
in the small town of Kep, where I met Anne-Sophie Grasset,
who is the KEPCHILDREN association director. It is an association that allows
underprivileged children in the region, to be guided in their education, but she also offers a permanent support
to their families in their day to day lives. I talked with Anne-Sophie about
her work since 2012 with these families. Its goal:
to enable the poorest children to achieve their dreams and to have adequat education to achieve it. I will let Anne-Sophie speak,
to tell you more about her association. Let’s start with BLOGTROTTE au-delà du voyage We were four of us at the beginning of KEPCHILDREN
in 2012, so it’s been 7 years now, on site, we were two to stay,
because 7 years ago we were a group of friends who had decided to help the children go get access to education. The first year,
I came as a volunteer to an association in Kep, a French school, where I gave lessons and other people from the association
(from KEPCHILDREN) it was two people, Florian and Aurélie
who were running a guesthouse in Kep and Khet, who was a volunteer in
the association with me, the language association, and during this year, we realized that many of the students
were not going to Cambodian school, for so many reasons at the end,
we thought we had to do something. We started in 2012 with 6 families, we were talking about 20 children. At the beginning, we did not necessarily have a space it was more of as a one-off help, once a month and the meetings were taking place
into my backyard and now, 7 years later, we are helping 20 families, 50 children, for an equal number for boys / girls, because we are questioned sometimes
if there is more girls than boys. At KEPCHILDREN, especially this year,
we really have the same number of boys & girls. At the very beginning, our project was not look like this,
we did not have any premises, at first, we just gave the school equipment and the bike and we went to public school
to see how that was going on, and then, we have one of our other partners, which is Educating Smiling Children, a Swiss association, which building schools in Cambodia,
places in some areas where there is none and one day,
they built a little kindergarten in the fishermen village near by and so,
they are the ones who welcome our kindergarten. and they lent us a space at the beginning. So it really started,
for only staff, the tuktuk driver and the animator, I worked beside… As one goes along, it went naturally. Our goal is to be really close to families, so it remain a small local project. We want to offer our help until they go to college and therefore, it requires a budget,
it requires a follow-up, because we follow the family,
the health and to do things well, it is better to have less children,
to follow them well. Our goal is for kids to go to school. To go to school,
they need to have a roof, because they can not study at home
if it’s raining and if they have nothing. They have to have something to eat too,
otherwise they can not go to school. They must have clothes, uniforms, shoes… Our goal is to reduce economic inequalities and that they can all have access
to the school near by. In Cambodia, children are taking care each other, they are benevolent,
they look after the younger ones… they teach us more than that we actually teach them after all, because they have beautiful values here in Cambodia. So, me, as a director.
Every year, it’s been 2 years, so for now we will continue like this,
if everything goes well, we have two volunteers in Service Civique
who come to help us for a year, so one of the volunteers who helps
us on a communication side, he is also participating in recreational
activities with the children, but it’s still a communication job. And the other, who works more entertainment side, because he is with kindergarten in the morning,
with the Cambodian animator. For the Cambodian team,
there is a Cambodian animator, who takes care of kindergarten in the morning, there is a chef, then we have a housekeeper, we also have a cooking assistant. because two meals a week, we offer a meal
to all students of the association. So our chef, who makes meals
for kindergarten every day, she needs a hand,
because it goes from 10 children to 50 children. We have a guard and then a tuktuk driver. And then Apsara dance teacher on Sunday. He is more a side partner of the association, he just gives a lesson once a week. And the Cambodian teacher, who is the director
of the public primary school near by. That’s how I met him, when he knew I was looking for a teacher,
he was motivated to help us out. It’s good too, because it allows us to have an
even stronger connection with the public school, because he’s the director, so that’s a good thing. He watches by himself, even if
the courses are going well, because he sees the difficulties that children encounter. We have a monthly meeting,
where we give the sacks of rice and we talk about the problems encountered, it’s time to meet all the families and talk. Sometimes, when I really have to talk
about particular problems, I go directly to the families, but I try to do it during the meeting, not to stop by their homes all the time. During the monthly meeting,
I go to public school, meet the teachers of our students. We are in relationship with the director, but to talk about classes,
you have to talk with the teachers, because the director has a large
number of students. In those particularly moments, I’m going to see the teachers,
to know if the children are absent, if they have difficulties at school,
need equipment… that kind of thing. So that’s how I make the link
with the teachers at the public school. Our project is to stabilize the association
as much as possible, to have a sponsor for each child, that’s why we do not have those bigs projects
in the next two or three years, because we want to stabilize the association. We have small projects that are created, for example, since this year, support classes were offered at the end of the day. The canteen, 2 meals a week, we would like, in the years to come,
to offer the canteen every day for all of our students. But it’s a budget to close, so that’s why for now,
we can not afford it. So we propose two days for now,
it’s not that bad. Then, that’s why it’s more
of the small projects that are created, as the year progresses,
when we realize the difficulties. For example next year,
I would like to open a small class, for 5 or 6 students, who are struggling at school and they need a real support. There should be a special class for them. These are small projects. Every year so far, thanks to an association, we organize a visit for the children to a dentist. There are little things that are created as and when… but our biggest project is one day to buy land, and build our school on it, to be in a quiet place because here we rent,
we still have a contract for 3 years, so in 3 years… Kep is changing,
the land becomes expensive… the owners could tell us to leave, so it would be the time to buy and build. And then by building, to create
the structure we want entirely, because it would be our buildings. Can be proposed as a training center, something like a CAP program in France,
because there is a big lack in any case in the region. Before embarking on the biggest developments, we must already have a solid foundation. There are lots of ways to help us: financially, we have a big financial need. There is a way to sponsor children. We propose a shared sponsorship: It’s a sponsorship at 15€ a month
or 180€ a year. It allows us to take care
of school materials, uniforms, shoes… the assumption of the expenses of health and transportation, for the little ones,
the tuktuk and for the big ones, the bike On our website now,
we have our projects that are well indicated. for example, taking the children to the dentist
is a partner association which supports us, but we need money to go there,
pay the trailer, pay the meals, so we explained this and if someone wants
to help for a specific project, “I want to support such project”,
it is possible too. We also need bandage, compresses… For the material to be really
useful to the association, we invite you to reach us,
so we let you know our needs, so that you do not buy things,
which in the end do not serve on the spot. Send us material, clothes too. send them by someone who goes to Cambodia. There is always a way to help us,
by talking around you, by making the association known. To involve your company:
there are plenty of companies now, who have business foundations, who have specific grants to help NGOs. You can also involve your children’s school, because there are a lot of schools
doing actions for children. There are plenty of ways. We always need help,
always need all possible helps, even, by making known the association, so thanks to you, if you can support us, talk around you about the project. We thank you
and the children too! If you too, you want to support this action
and make a difference, connect to the site to donate and help the children of Kep. I want to say a big thank you to Anne-Sophie
who received me that day. I hope you enjoyed this first episode of BLOGTROTTE au-delà du voyage and you can find me on my
Facebook page: BLOGTROTTE to follow my adventures. See you soon!

Author: Kevin Mason

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