September 2014 HVTO Newsletter

Let us bring you up to date with the strides we have made in our HVTO community over the last three months.
 
English and Computer Classes
Studiosus Foundation has largely funded our 2014-core programs, allowing the HVTO English and Computer classes to expand this year to 615 students. We are at capacity with our existing facilities, but this will change dramatically with the classroom expansion described below. 
 
Student Sponsorship
The number of HVTO sponsored children has also increased from 49 at the end of 2013 to a new total of 85. This continued progress is encouraging to the many students that are hoping for sponsorship. It also ensures the future sustainability of the entire effort, as the older students help teach the younger – and there is no better way to learn than to teach. As these students work through the HVTO system they will form the core of an ultimately self-supporting educational system.
 
Clean Water
In the HVTO Clean Water Project we were able to announce in our last newsletter that HVTO had provided water wells to all of the neediest families in Kontreang Commune. Since this time an additional 22 wells have been drilled in Rumdeng Village in neighboring Khar Pur Commune. This village will also soon be complete, after which we will begin installing wells in adjacent Chhup Village, also in Khar Pur Commune. In total HVTO has now seen the completion of 319 wells in ten villages. For more information please see the graphs on the HVTO website http://www.hvto.org/hvto-project/clean-water.html   
 
Classroom expansion
Using funds provided by Viking Cruises Corporation ($40,000), HVTO has purchased the necessary land adjacent to the existing school building for the construction of a new facility. Building construction will commence in early November of 2014, and when complete in or around May of 2015 it will allow for the expansion of all of the educational programs centered in our community. We again offer our heartfelt gratitude to Viking for their generous donation. 
 
College Prep Program
University students from HVTO now must either live with friends, extended family, or commute 60 kilometers round-trip daily to classes in Siem Reap. Through our College Prep Program HVTO will rent a home in Siem Reap that can be utilized as a dormitory for about 15 students, and serve as the new HVTO office. (Our office today is comprised of two desks in our founder’s home next to Seaknam’s bed.) This will help take our students off of dangerous streets, give them more study time, and bring them closer to employment possibilities. We are in the process of raising funds for this project in order to receive matching funds (up to $12,500) from the PEWT Family Trust in the UK. Obtained through the efforts of Ross King, one of our most ardent supporters, he has also recently founded the S.P.A.R.C.K. non-profit organization which is described below.
 
The students that will benefit from this program are attending Southeast Asia University in Siem Reap. In addition to teaching and mentoring the younger students that will create a self-sustaining HVTO, they will ultimately become part of the middle class that Cambodia so desperately needs. Each university student is carefully monitored by HVTO, and all are required to return to the village weekly to assist in the HVTO educational programs. In this capacity they not only provide valuable role models for the younger students, but they can also give them an idea of the nature of life outside the narrow confines of their village.
 
Support
Viking and the tour groups they bring to the HVTO School in Sophy Village are a wonderful source of support. Many of our most active sponsors are former Viking guests that had the opportunity to see up close what is being accomplished. Living all over the world, and with the aid of modern technology, former Viking guests not only help financially, but also provide administrative assistance. This has been a great help to our founder Sim Piseth who, in addition to his many HVTO responsibilities, is a full-time tour guide that must be away for extended periods of time.
 
HVTO has a new U.S. affiliate that has received classification as a 501c3 charitable organization, making contributions tax-deductible in the U.S. If you would like to make a contribution to our ongoing effort, or get more details on any of the programs that HVTO administers, please visit our website at: http://www.hvto.org/about-us/hvto-contacts-in-usa.html . Donations to the College Prep Program mentioned above can be made at: http://www.gofundme.com/htvo-college-prep
 
 
S.P.A.R.C.K. Initiative
(Schooling Poor and Rural Cambodian Kids)
 
Ross King, a retired professional engineer living near Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada, recently toured the HVTO School in Sophy Village on a holiday to Cambodia. Like everyone that makes this trip, he was struck by the grass-roots, self-help, sustainable, and low-budget model used by HVTO to assist the people of the community. Determined to help, when he returned home he successfully partnered the HVTO School with his local Fernwood Elementary School. Now these Canadian children are raising funds for and exchanging correspondence with Cambodian students and in the process are acquiring both a global perspective as well as a firsthand appreciation of their own good fortune.
 
Through his connections in the U.K. Ross was able to secure a matchable grant from the PEWT Family Trust (mentioned above) for up to $12,500. With this grant, depending on what HVTO can raise internally, as much as $25,000 can be raised for the College Prep Program previously described. Determined that the full amount of the match must be met, Ross founded and has begun fundraising through the S.P.A.R.C.K. program. Although this non-profit has just begun, through his tireless efforts it has become well known in his community. In addition to many smaller contributions that S.P.A.R.C.K. has secured, Ross has also begun a labor-intensive recycling campaign in which the proceeds go towards the PEWT match. This has provided him access to potentially larger donors that may in the future be able to significantly advance this and other HVTO goals.
 
To watch the interview of Ross in which he describes his experiences in Cambodia and his continuing efforts in Canada, please refer to this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkMviEdUMnA
 
Again, thank you for reviewing our continuing story and we hope that you share the excitement that we feel over what has been accomplished with your help.
 
Thank You:
 
  Sim Piseth                                                                                      Seaknam Meng
HVTO Founder                                                                          HVTO General Manager
 
 
 
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