LUNCH FOR KIDS 2018 : PURSAT, CAMBODIA

HELP US FEED 200 KIDS FOR A YEAR

LUNCH FOR KIDS : NOV 2018

+ Our 2018 Campaign @ PURSAT, CAMBODIA

Come November 2018, LUNCH FOR KIDS is going to Prey Kan Tout Primary School, Pursat in Cambodia for the third time.

This time round, 200 needy children will be selected from the school population and we will provide daily lunch to them for a year during school term.

Poor students are motivated to attend classes when food is provided. We believe that education is an important stepping stone out of the poverty cycle and we hope to motivate these children to attend school through our food aid programme.

As a donor, you will receive a photo and biodata of your sponsored child. A periodic report of the campaign will also be sent to you over the course of the year. Do support our cause to feed a child in need for a year. Your generosity will mean the world to another child in need.

+ ABOUT LUNCH FOR KIDS

LUNCH FOR KIDS is a food aid program that aims to reduce malnourishment among students in developing countries within South East Asia. Malnutrition is a common health deficiency in impoverished communities where food is scarce and nutrients in food are lacking. Children are most likely to suffer from malnutrition, which affects growth and development in the body.

Although one meal may not resolve the enormous poverty issue, it may still save a few young souls. Lunch for Kids’ ultimate goal is to avail more educational opportunities to young children in the hope that education can induce positive changes. This is the second year of Lunch For Kids and we hope for many more to come as every trip meant hundreds of children will have access to food and hence, education.

Lunch For Kids does not use any amount of the funds raised to cover operational and administrative costs. Every cent donated goes to the food for the children. Any other cost is borne by the volunteers.

Field Report : Thank you 2017/18 LUNCH FOR KIDS Donors

+ Our 2017 Trip to PURSAT, CAMBODIA

The morning sun was scorching and the dusty road extremely bumpy. The 12 of us held tight to any handrail we could grab in the van, anticipating how this trip, which had been brewing for a year, would finally unfold.

The van was graciously lent to us by the minister. A huge green banner shouting “Lunch For Kids Pursat, Lunch For Kids Singaporean” was strapped across the front of our van. Acting like an immunity plaque, our silver van made heads turn and opened up traffic wherever we went.

I pondered on how much this van was carrying. A carriage full of diverse life experiences coming together to fulfil a big ambition to feed a village of malnourished children. Our youngest volunteer was 12 and the oldest 71. In between was a group of mid-life fellow Singaporeans, each seeking a larger purpose beyond the pursuit of worldly desires.

Glimpses of the village flashed by as our van entered an endless path flanked by nothing but expansive rice fields and greenery.  We could see tiny stilt houses built with wood and dried leaves. They formed part of the beautiful scenery but are certainly not the ideal homes you would want to find yourself living in. The villagers looked on curiously, then waved coyly as our van passed by them.

Just when we were almost out of breath, drenching in sweat after being rocked around for the last couple of hours, the van swirled into an open area. And there it was, the school! We made it!

+ THE SCHOOL

We jumped off our van one by one and were overwhelmed by the sight before us. It was literally the scene of “a whole village.” The mothers, fathers, grandparents, babies, toddlers and, of course, the elementary students of the school. They were all congregated under the shade of a big aged tree. What a heartwarming sight!…there must had been hundreds of them. We were told that these villagers and students had been waiting for us for hours, not including the long walk some of them made from their remote houses to the school.

The students sat patiently during the whole ceremony. They were young children ranging from 7 to 12, all in some kind of school uniform which were mostly worn out and dirty. Some “luckier” ones had sandals on while the rest were barefooted. I felt a heaviness in my heart as I considered the stark contrast between this reality and the schoolchildren in our home country. Amongst the children was a tan and slender young man shouting in Khmer to restrain the excited kids. He was small-built and his clothes were equally worn out. I found out later that he was the teacher. My heart sank deeper.

+ THE TREATS

Baguettes layered with Dutch Lady condensed milk – I used to love them when I was a child back in the 80s. As we handed out these “special treats” to the children, courtesy of the minister, the grins that appeared on their faces were priceless. A loaf of baguette costs less than a dollar but it is a luxury item in the rural village. I also realised that in the last 3-4 hours’ drive, I had not seen a single shop selling bread. Hence, this was not just a special treat but a rare occasion for them too.

The excitement didn’t end there as we began to give away close to 200 sets of stationery donated by the minister. The free baguettes and stationery were a bonus to Lunch For Kids’ efforts as the local government had decided to make complementary contributions after seeing the support rendered by foreigners to help their own people.

In fact, Lunch For Kids also had a great local ally, which is Pursat Alumni Association (PAA). Founded by Rem Chendara and Thorn Sophearoun in 2011, both of whom had  experienced hunger and abject poverty during their childhood. As beneficiaries of monetary support from donors, they were inspired to give back to those in need. Their NGO focuses on initiatives to help the children of Pursat, one of the poorest provinces in Cambodia. Both in their 20s, they founded PAA in the hope to foster relationships between students and all generations of Pursat. By doing so, it hopes to create a harmonious community that cares and helps one another rebuild their homeland.

While they could have ventured abroad to pursue a better quality of life, they have decided to abandon their comfort zones and dedicate themselves to helping their own people. Their courage, spirit and determination had earned the respect of their Singaporean counterparts, most of whom almost twice their age.

For this trip, PAA managed to gather about 20 over youths who had voluntarily given up their school holidays or taken leave from work to join our Lunch For Kid trip. You can imagine the interesting dynamics between the local young people and a bunch of foreigners, who have little in common, share the vision for a better Cambodia.

+ THE LUNCH

It took Lunch For Kids 365 days to raise 152 yearly lunches (each costing SGD200) for the children in Prey Kan Tout Primary School. However, our joy of achieving this target soon dissipated as we found out that hundreds more impoverished students of the school had applied for our lunch sponsorship. In fact, as we visited more rural and remote schools in Pursat in the next few days, I felt an urgent need to scale up our donation drive. Overwhelmed by the enormous task ahead, I remembered Andrew, founder of Lunch For Kids, encouraging us to just do our best and move forward with one child at a time, and not let the sheer numbers stop or slow us down. Indeed, when you embark on social responsibility work, it is a lifelong journey, a marathon to keep the project going. I appreciate Andrew’s philosophy or “strategy” in keeping Lunch For Kids a sustainable program to help the Cambodian children for as long as possible.

Before this trip, it didn’t even cross my mind on how these lunches would be prepared and served. I took for granted that the schools would have canteens. Our jaws dropped when we saw two humongous cooking pots set up on the charcoal stoves in an open field.

As lunch was being prepared, the children sat with eager anticipation on the long wooden benches, each given a bowl of rice and a spoon. Finally, bowls of hot sizzling Jroak (a popular Cambodian pickled vegetable dish) with slices of meat were served to each table. These dishes were so simple yet the way the children savoured them and made me feel hungry too.

From the minute we arrived till “this moment”, the 12 of us underwent a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Seeing how the village embraced every little donation from baguettes, stationery and shoes to lunches for the schoolchildren, we felt so energised and purposeful. We even felt blessed to have been able to come on this trip to experience first-hand what our donation efforts had achieved. At the same time, watching the state of poverty which brought along a whole chain of social issues, from the exploitation of children, domestic violence and hunger to illiteracy, we felt helpless and melancholic at times.

+ THE HOPE

The bowls were licked clean in just minutes and the children began their long walk home, some by themselves while others were accompanied by their mothers. I wandered through the run-down and dim classrooms trying to visualise how the students whom I had met spend their school days, if they would ever complete their education. I thought about the two young boys who had gone missing, after their grandmother hit them up hard for losing the cow they were asked to tend; the orphaned teenager who had to scavenge through garbage for food for the family, yet was physically abused by the alcoholic father;  and the young child who had been raped by her drunken stepfather. Each of these stories broke our hearts. The most vulnerable beings on earth are the young and the old and no child should be subjected to such suffering and abuse.

The journey back to our hotel was still bumpy but was muted by the silence that permeated in the van. Before the trip, we were thinking of “How we can help?” Thereafter, the question that rang loud and clear was “How can we help MORE of them?” Overwhelmed, some of us might have been, we were more determined than ever to make the next round in 2018 a bigger one. We have the next 11 months to do all we can to make a little difference for these innocent children whom we have met on this trip.

Lunch For Kids would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of you, donors, who had made this possible. Because of your trust and big heart, today, there are at least 152 children in Pursat who are given the hope to go to school and change their future. We seek your continuous support in keeping this program going. The next round of donation will commence in December; we hope you’ll continue to give generously for these bright, young children of the future.

There are more than 1 million disadvantaged kids out of Cambodia’s population of 16 million. We can never finish our work in this lifetime, but as a popular saying goes, it alright to be a skeptic but it is sin to be a cynic. Let us keep feeding one kid at a time.

+ ABOUT KREY KAN TOUT PRIMARY SCHOOL

The school was founded in 2000 as a small village class for the community and only in 2004, this primary school was finally recognized as a government school under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

There was no proper classes or classrooms in the beginning until the generous donation of H.E Suy Sem, minister of Ministry of Mines and Energy of Cambodia, the school started to have a few simple classroom facilities (tables, chairs, chalkboard) for the students. Today, the school conducts 3 subjects,  Khmer Language, Mathematics and Social studies by 4 barely qualified teachers, attended by around 246 students from Kindergarten to Grade 6. The school is still hoping for the ability to teach English subject one day.

Almost all of the students give up school after completion of Grade 6 as the Secondary school was 11km away from the nearest home. The long journey presented hesitant for both teachers and parents who had to walk their child for that distance. The challenge is even tougher for families who lived in the deep forest. Beside the distance, the most practical reason was poverty. Most parents are struggling to find food for survival, education for their children seemed a long distant dream.

+ About PURSAT ALUMNI ASOCIATION

LUNCH FOR KIDS is working closely with Chandara Rem, the founder of the Pursat Alumni Association to co-ordinate our charity effort in Pursat. Pursat Alumni Association aims to promote higher education for underprivileged youths. Students in Pursat, many of whom are poor, have the opportunity to study in the University of Phnom Penh through the Association’s scholarships and fully covered costs on accommodation. Currently, the Pursat Alumni Association is fundraising school necessities like bags and books for the children of Kraeng Tasen Elementary School as well.

+ Central Dilemma for Youths in Pursat

Many in the province of Pursat do not receive proper education because of sheer poverty. Contrary to other parts of the world, primary education in Pursat is a luxury.

Many students in Pursat would rather choose to work after receiving primary education, in order to start earning a living, than pursuing higher education. Unlike youths in the capital city of Phnom Penh, opportunities for higher education are rare.

Yet, a dire issue that demands tending to is of primary school children facing hunger. Hunger deters children from attending school because they would rather spend the time and effort scouring for food.

There are many reasons why food is not readily available to these children. One of them is the lack of familial care.

There are children in this school as young as eight or nine years old whom are often left to fend for themselves. Many of their parents work in Thailand, and leave them in the care of grandparents. In other cases, parents working as hard labor at construction sites do not have time to tend to their children.

Hence children have to settle their own meals before and after school. Often, this would mean going into the forest to dig for crops like potatoes, or fishing at nearby reservoirs.

Many of these children live in insecurity. For girls, it is especially dangerous. Cases of rape that happen in the forest are not uncommon. Securing food on a day to day basis is extremely difficult for the children of Pursat.

14037875_10207146546358752_693006348_o

+ HOW CAN YOU HELP ?

The LUNCH FOR KIDS program will play an important role in these young lives. We aim to provide school lunches for a year to the children of Kraeng Tasen Elementary School, in the hopes that the students will be motivated to pursue basic education for a better future.

Please support our cause to make a difference in a children’s life today !

SOME BENEFICARies’ PROFILE

Name: Phin Phy
Age: 11 years old
Sex: Female

Name: Ken Ponlork
Age: 12 years old
Sex: Male

Name: Ken Chantha
Age: 11 years old
Sex: Female

Name: Pheoun Mesa
Age: 14 years old
Sex: Male

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How does it work ?

Working in close collaboration with the Department of Education in Pursat province , we will identify 100 children from Kraing Tasen Elementary School to provide free lunch for them every day in school.

Where will the money go to?

The money will be given to Kraing Tasen Elementary School who will administer of the food aid programme in the school compound. A receipt will be provided by the school and a statement of account will be emailed to all donors at the end of the campaign.

Do I know who we are donating to ?

A bio-data of your donation recipient as well as an info pack of the school and food programme will be email to you at the end of the campaign.

Can I visit the school and children that I am donating to?

The organizing team will be making a trip up, at their own expense, to visit the school and the children we are donating to. You are most welcome to join us (cost to be borne by individual donors). Just send us an email at admin@xuice.org for more information.

HELP US FEED A CHILD FOR A YEAR

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

Simple & Convenient

Easy to use. One click Donation. No Fuss, No Hassle.

No Commission

What’s better than free? Every cent you donate, less card charges, will be given to the beneficiary.

Safe & Secure

All payment will be processed separately via the secured payment gateway. We will not keep any card details at our site.

U

Accountability

All donors will be given a full statement of accounts at the end of the campaign to ensure transparency of fund.

Give XUICE

XUICE is a crowding funding platform that connects worthy social causes to backers. Join us in helping someone in need today.

Need XUICE

The site is designed and managed by XTREME Media as part of its CSR programme. Join us if you have a cause in search of support.

Close
Be a XUICE Champion !

Be a XUICE Champion !

XUICE is a free crowdfunding site that connects worthy causes to like-minded supporters. Join the free XUICE membership and receive the latest news and updates.

You are successfully subscribed - you are now a XUICE Champion !

Be a XUICE Champion !

Be a XUICE Champion !

XUICE is a free crowdfunding site that connects worthy causes to like-minded supporters. Join the free XUICE membership and receive the latest news and updates.

You are successfully subscribed - you are now a XUICE Champion !