Distribution of Materials in Som Roung Village

Continuing on from a distribution project started back in Spring 2013, SCAO has adapted its distribution of materials to the poorer families in Som Roung Village. The project started off by distributing rice and fish sauce to families. Now we have had more donations of various different materials from all over the world.

Fifty of the more vulnerable families in Som Roung were invited to SCAO II on Sunday the 17th of August. At 8am as the volunteers started to organize the materials, the families started to gather around the school. It was organized that the families would receive clothing that was donated by various volunteers who had worked with SCAO previously. These items of clothing ranged from young infants to adult clothes in both men’s and women’s styles.

The clothing accompanied the main material bag that the families would receive.
This bag contained the following:
5 bars of soap
1 mosquito net

With the rainy season approaching within a month, these items will be essential to the families in the village. With the rising water, comes stagnant water and stagnant water is an ideal breathing ground for mosquitoes. Malaria is not a major concern in Cambodia, but Dengue Fever is. Dengue Fever cannot be treated and there is no medicine or vaccination you can take to prevent it. However, through the correct use of a mosquito net you can reduce the risk of a mosquito biting you or your family. Mosquito nets are a highly valued household item that is essential for a family living in rural Cambodia.

SCAO would like to thank the following for their generous donations that helped to make this project a success:
Rotary Club Phnom Penh in conjunction with other Rotary Clubs worldwide.
Jean and James Downey
Rebekka Nagy
Kathy Walsh
Nicola Corless
KPMG Singapore
CIA FIRST International School, Phnom Penh

This distribution project is something that we would like to keep running long into the future. If you would like to get involved or if you would like to donate items to SCAO please do not hesitate to contact us through email: info@savechildreninasia.org

Teacher Training at SCAO

In the end of June SCAO II hosted an Irish volunteer Kathy, a teacher with 9 years experience, who was very kind to provide two teacher’s training in both schools. As for new volunteers, as for Khmer assistants, fresh breath of new and slightly different vision of education was very productive and useful.

At the training Kathy and teachers were speaking about classroom management and classroom control, teacher and student position and lesson planning. Kathy was sharing her experience in Secondary school in Ireland, and how she sometimes manages trouble behavior and issues in the classroom. Although, she admitted that because of cultural difference and not similar background of the students, she wouldn’t use the same approach in Cambodia what she’d use in Ireland. She gave some good examples of type of situation where she would act very different with Irish and Cambodian student.

Kathy also pointed at importance of lesson planning, what was introduced in schools by previous Education Officer Natasha. Kathy highlighted that each lesson should have different type of activities so student’s won’t lose their attention, what especially important with the youngest ones.

In very informal and relaxed way Kathy and teachers were sharing their classroom stories and finish very satisfied about the meeting. Kathy also left her email address so anyone who faces not easy solving situation can write her and ask for advice. After visiting SCAO Kathy went for her vacation around Cambodia.

How to Volunteer: Getting Started

Carl, one of the many volunteers I’ve had the pleasure of working with! Gives some good advice in this blog post!


Your keen to volunteer. The boarding gate is calling your name and you feel the excitement crawling through your veins. Adventure awaits and the world is your oyster. Your already looking online at flight specials, then you realise “I don’t know where the heck I’m going and what I can do?”. Never fear, help is here.

Below are 7 important steps I believe every volunteer should take before getting on the plane to make a positive difference.

Getting Started

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Being sick Abroad!! Make the most of your time on the toilet!

The days of pulling a sickie to out of going to school were some of the best days of your childhood. If your parents had to go to work you could just sit on the couch all day and watch cartoons all day long. You did have to ensure that you were back up in bed before they arrived home or else you would have to have a good cover story to be walking around the house. However when you are actually sick it is a whole different story.

The same goes for when you are working abroad. If you want to get out of a meeting your just not prepared for you can always use the iron clad excuse of having a ‘bad stomach’, which is code for having the shits, runs, trots, scutters, squirts or if you want to be politically correct; diarrhoea. Of course once you say this there are no more questions asked, because to be honest who wants to go into the details of someone else’s bowel movements.

It is very common for Westerners to get diarrhoea while they are travelling or living abroad. This is basically down to the new foods that you are eating and new bacteria that is making its way into your stomach. Again some people can get it worse than others, and this is purely down to luck and how your body reacts. It is inevitable that you will get it at least once!

I was luck with my time in India that I did not suffer too much, in comparison to other people I was living with.  I do recall one time while out on a field visit to a project outside Kolkata City. It was about 42°C and I had brought a two litre bottle of water with me, it was not enough!!  After about 2 hours I had exhausted my bottle and there were no shops out in the slum areas selling water. There was however water from the taps in the slums. I realise now and I realised the next morning that drinking that water was not a good idea, but at the time I would have drank anything to quench my thirst. I remember by colleague saying to me that I will get sick. My response, ‘I know, but that’s future Peter’s problem’. Needless to say, I was awoken to a deep grumble from the depths of my bowels and had to make a quick dash to the toilet.

When you are abroad with other volunteers conversations about bowel movements are common and no one ever judges someone else on what they say. In fact sometimes they even take place over the dinner table. Everyone is in the same boat when we are abroad, and people help each other out when someone gets sick, be it offering advice, medicine or just good company.

When you are reading this now you probably think that I have the shits, but I don’t, and I actually haven’t had them in some time (touch wood) I do however have a terrible ear infection, and to be honest I’m not sure which one is worse. I’ve had this ear infection for four days now and I finally decided to go to the doctor today to see if it was anything more serious, and of course it wasn’t, but it’s better to be safe. An ear infection is terrible because it is constant, it is always there and it’s right in your head. It also affects what you can eat because at the moment I cannot chew without immense pain. This morning’s breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs and baked beans, all foods that can be ‘chewed’ by your tongue. I am now starting to feel better, but this may just be the amount of painkillers that I’m on at the moment. So it basically means that I’m on antibiotics for the third time in my life, and the second for an ear infection. I don’t like taking them, but in some circumstances it is better than the alternative of riding it out!

So moral of the story, while you are travelling abroad you are going to get sick, there is no denying it! When you do seek the necessary treatment, rest and drink plenty of fluids. If someone else is sick, be nice, offer some comfort or just chill and watch a movie with them, the company may distract from the illness.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!