Duncan Bell

Update from my Trip

My latest trip to Cambodia to oversee the work of our charity was between January and May of this year. During this time there was much progress and God continues to put opportunities and openings in front of us. Here is an insight to what we did…

*We were so pleased to enrol our first students at university. Theara will study Business, Srey Mey will study Accountancy and Srey Pheoun will study to become an English teacher.

*We are Blessed to have a new English teacher in the form of Chhan Panha. He has recently completed his master’s degree in English (TESOL) and is keen to help support in the work of poor communities. A big thank you goes to the supporter who sponsors him.

* A friend and supporter of our charity has offered the opportunity to our students to work for him and his business, INVA Real Estate. Cheng Vuthy is founder of the business and is keen to offer his expertise and advice to any of our students who wish to work for him.

* We have now established a Sunday School at Helping Hand Cambodia. Due to generous funding, we have employed two Cambodian Christian teachers to teach our children about Jesus, The Bible and Christianity on a Sunday afternoon. Not only do they learn but they have great fun as well.

* A while ago we were donated some clothing by Decathlon sports company. Due to Covid we were not able to sort it out or distribute it. So, with much help from our children, it was good to now distribute the clothing (5,000 items) which was much appreciated by those in the poor community where we work.

* It was so good to receive two donations of $500 and $400 to provide rice for those that live in the village that we work with. This enabled us to buy 72 bags of rice containing 25Kg each. As always it was much appreciated by those who have very little

* Some months ago, our landlord cleared the rubbish from the top of our building and put tiles down. We raised some money to have fencing put round to make it safe and put grass matting down as well. This now means that we have a wonderful space that we can now use, and the children can now play basketball, badminton, volleyball and of course football there as well as using it for a relaxing and studying area.

* Everyone deserves a party now and again and those children that we work with coming from a poor community are no exception. Pizza, chicken, fruit and coke along with fun and games and plenty of “Boom Boom” music ensured that a good time was had by all.

* People sometimes have problems finding our building, so we made it easier to identify by hanging some blue and yellow ribbons from our top floor……

*CIA First International School donated some 600 books for our newly established library. The backgrounds of the children who study there are very different from those of our children, and it was good to see them mix and get on so well. We all went for a walk into the village where our children live and hopefully build relationships with one another that will last.

* Chanthy and I were invited to a workshop run by an NGO called M’lup Rusey Organisation along with representatives from another 10 organisations. The main purpose of which was to discuss and consider the situation of child protection and safety for the vulnerable in their communities.

* It was so good to have Maaret and Chris come and visit. They spent just under one month travelling around Cambodia and visited our building on a number of occasions which included giving a presentation on Spanish food and badminton as well as treating the children to a boat party on the Riverfront, in Phnom Penh. Yet again pizza, coke and “Boom Boom” music reigned.

* 5 of our older students went to visit INVA Real Estates where they were shown around and given an inspirational talk by Cheng Vuthy, the company’s founder.

* A friend of Chanthy’s runs his own business, and his wife runs a Kindergarten, Kingdom Early Learning Centre. They came and gave an inspirational talk and donated gifts to our children.

* Our older children were just learning how to use PowerPoint so I asked if they would prepare and do a presentation on what they would like to do in the future. I was quite amazed at how quickly they learned, the quality of their presentations and the honesty at which they spoke about their lives and hopes for the future.

* The mango tree in front of our building was getting a bit out of hand and needed a “trim”. So, we bought a saw and Chanthy and I cut it back slightly. The children enjoyed the fruits of our labour….

* Our English teacher, Panha, arranged a spelling competition for all our children. The standard was very high, and it was Ny Chy Ya who eventually won.

* We had fun just going into the slum where we work and visiting families and distributing gifts to some of the children.

* The second floor at our building was vacant and just waiting to be used; so, it was an ideal opportunity to turn it into a library. Books have been donated and we bought a lot ourselves along with bookshelves and it is an excellent space for the children to relax…..and read!!

* I went to The Bible Society in Phnom Penh where I was able to buy some excellent children’s Christian books with money donated.

* Chanthy and I found time to paint the outside walls within our building.

* It was nice to see the children come and see me off when I went to the airport to fly home. It was an opportunity for them to wear their smart clothes and to have a trip out of their village which they don’t often do.