Year-end 2012 Newsletter

Overview

HVTO develops and manages several different projects to help the poorest Cambodian communities to improve their quality of living and to enable them to sustain themselves independently. Reducing poverty and increasing knowledge is the ultimate goal and education is the answer. HVTO’s development projects create both jobs and opportunities for local people.

Where is HVTO located? It is located in Kontreang commune which is 30km ( 19 miles ) away from Siem Reap city. There are eight villages with nearly 2,000 families and more than 9,500 people living in this commune. In addition to the efforts of the Cambodian government, a number of organizations and local volunteers are united in helping the people in this commune including Homestay Volunteer Teachers Teachers ( HVTO ), a registered non-profit NGO founded by an English Teacher and a local tour guide Sim Piseth with his other foreign sponsors.

HVTO Ongoing projects

  1. 1. Free English Classes: Providing free English classes to hundreds of children in the community who have never had access to English Classes. We are so happy to see those children start to speak English with all those tourists who come to visit the community.
  2. 2. Free Computer Class: Providing free computer training to hundred of children to have computer skill on typing, both in English and Khmer, Microsoft Words, Excel, Photoshop and Power Point.
  3. 3. Library: Providing a library filled with books for those children to read to gain more knowledge. We have a plan to build a library in 2013
  4. Addional Programs to support the people in the community
  5. 1. Education Sponsorship Program: Looking for sponsors to support one of our smart and hard-working students so that he/she can obtain higher education. More than for their personal success but also to have human resources for the future development of HVTO for the community. We want to have self sustainable educational programs with those sponsored students by applying the philosophy HELPING PEOPLE WHO ARE DEDICATED TO HELP OTHERS.
  6. 2. Clean Water Project: Looking for donors to help install water pumps or wells for poor families. Having clean water for their daily lives is the big relief for the people in the community. We installed 245 pumps.
  7. 3. Khmer Traditional Music Program ( newly launched)
  8. Postal address: Sim Piseth, HVTO founder, Tel: +(855)12710027, Email: sim@hvto.org,
    P.O. BOX 93224, #132, Group 14, Sophy village, Kontreang commune,
    Brasat Bakong district, Siem Reap province, Angkor – Cambodia.

 

Message from HVTO founder to his sponsors, donors, old and new friends around the world.

 

Dear friends and supporters of HVTO,

I am Sim Piseth, your friend or tour guide in Cambodia and I am a founder of HVTO. I am writing this message is to keep you up to date about me and HVTO. It has been a long while that I have not told you anything from my side. Hopefully you are fine with your work, love and health. I also heard that some of you have difficulties with the financial recession, so I wish you to get away from this bad situation soon. As tour guide in Siem Reap, life is slow in the rainy season but seems to be better in high season. Having a contract with Tour Operator (ICS) and working for the big tour groups helps my families and HVTO. Getting to this stage, my life has been very struggling but always with little luck and having met many kind people to help me. Born in the remote area in the poor blended families, no having a bike, stopped studying at grade 6; However my first luck was given to me to have parents who always cared about education for me when they were alive. I was sent to the monasteries. Being a monk for 8 years for secondary and high school education. It should not be enough to be me today if I did not receive different SPONSORSHIPS from my generous Sponsors to help for my moderner education in English, German, Computer and Spanish to obtain various jobs as a waiter, bartender, receptionist, local guide for professional center, long dreamed neck-tie and jacket hotel manager until to the current professional tour guide, much better when I was young in the village. You might not to hear me saying so proud of myself as you see that I am just only a guide, not successful rich man. Let me tell you that I have to be proud and happy with what I have now and I counted it as my life success.

I have nothing to compare with other successful people. In our community, for our ages of school time, we were not equipped with school and materials, you were lucky if you were not recruited to be soldier and sent to the battle fields and later on you were killed by firing to each others, stepping on the landmines or other diseases. I am so proud because I am alive, being helped to get educaion and becoming self-help.

 

 

Why I created HVTO? With the existing experience from my sponsors to see that responsible tourists always help poor people. After having been working as a tour guide for thousand of tourists, from whom many of them requested me to help to do many humanitarian jobs from providing school materials and supplies to those poor children and orphanages, providing foods to poor people, building school in the remote area, enrolling many children around the temples to go to school, bring water filters and water pumps to other villagers; I started to understand that my community also needs such helps. I am trying to help make an ease for those children and people to have a better ways for their lives and educations. Besides my personal brothers and sisters both siblings and in-law, in the activities of HVTO we are providing school materials, bicycles, English & computer classes, uniforms and clean water pump to those poor families because when I was young, I did not have those things , so I can feel that how important and useful they are.

In short, sponsorship helped change my life, to have little education with which I can have a job to earn enough food, clothes, place to  live, education for my 6 brothers and sisters but I have some sponsors to help with this issue also. Education is really a key to break down the circle of the poverty for my life. I do believe that Education can change one’s life and I believe that the greatest help we can give to people in community is education and I believe that education will empower people and create conditions for sustainable development. I would like to take this opportunity to express my thousands of thanks to all donors, sponsors, local and international volunteers, local authorities and community committee who have helped to make HVTO acting such an important role to help Cambodian people such as in my own home town for the last 4 years. It has also been a successful 2012 and we are looking forward to do many things in 2013. We are committed highly to do this work effectively but a big part for our success, is your contribution and participation. May you find this Happy Merry Christmas time a big joyful celebration for your lives and families! With warmest and best wishes,

Sim Piseth, HVTO founder

 

Center

Since the programs began in 2008, HVTO and community committee are always working cooperatively: We started with the use of Dharma Sala ( Center for public ceremony) provided by the community and HVTO started to equip with furnishings and helped building other parts of the existing building to covert it into a school.

Added to the existing center, a piece of land and four-room building was built by the joint between HVTO and Seal of Love Charitable Foundation. With donation from Viking River Cruise, we could furnish the classrooms with tables, chairs, fans and electricity and the soil filling in the school yard. These two centers are now open to hundreds of children in the community to receive our non-formal additional education programs like English, Computer and library. The Program manager, two teachers and other 5 sponsored students are working intensively to help those children.
 
As the result, we can see our students communicate with those tourists when they go to visit the centers. It is unbelievable that in the remote rural area like in our community, those children can speak English and use a computer. The HVTO team and community committee are still highly committed to continue this work as long as we have all of you to encourage and support us.
 

Viking River Cruises is supporting HVTO projects and community

When it comes to river cruising, Viking River Cruises is the world leader. From Europe to Russia and Ukraine, from Asia to Egypt, we offer cruises that allow you to fully experience the wonders each region has to offer.

Sim Piseth is a local tour guide working for the ground tour operator for Viking River Cruises in Siem Reap since 2011. It was the first trip that Sim met important people from Viking office and he could manage to show our community and school and proposed HVTO projects to Viking and they were very interested in our HVTO projects. In 2012 other Viking representatives traveled to Cambodia for their inspection and they happened to travel to the community to see the projects. After they were greeted by our people and seeing the school,those representatives were committed to support our community.

When they returned home, they started to fundraising among Viking offices imployees in many countries and finally they have collected 5000$ which was donated in full to HVTO account with the indication that HVTO uses this money to furnish our new school, having elecricity and supplies, filling the school yard and with the rest of money HVTO invested in installation of ten water pumps for poor people in the villages. This 5000$ was just a sign of the beginning of Viking River Cruises to help support some HVTO projects in the future. In order to get more financial help, Viking has included our community/center as part of their regular itinerary for their guests to see the villages and visit the centers. The tour to the  community/center it has become a big entertainment for both sides, people and children and the tourists themselves.

When they got there, they were greeting warmly by our people and children. After the introduction from our program manager, people will have 30 minutes to have a conversation with our students going around to visit the centers following by going deeper into the village. After the visit, Program Directors always fundraise to collect funds to support the center in the future.

Let me explain one thing! Since some people asked me about the children protection policy and try to tell me that children are not the animals in the zoo for visitors to go and visit. We thank you for their concern, but we know our people clearly and we also know what we are doing the right things. The two HVTO centers are not orphanages and nobody stays over night in the centers. HVTO is the Education Center providing the non-formal additional education programs in English & computer and library. The children who study in our centers, are living with their parents in the surrounding villages and they just come for one or two hours each day to get lessons in the centers.

Viking groups in the community are very meaningful to them. We give the them a much deeper understanding about the world and such an encouragement for their studies.

 

Therefore, the children and their parents are so happy to welcome Viking groups to the centers and the local authorities are very cooperative to take care of people while they are visiting. After their visit, they always notified us that their visit to the villages and ceters is the highlight of their visit to Cambodia. From their satisfaction, we can get direct donation to secure our core ongoing projects and to receive future support from those people.

In result, HVTO has welcomed 5 donors to provide 10 sponsorships for our 10 smart and hard working students for their higher education; 15 more clean water pumps for the people; having one sponsor to help one of our students who has problem with teeth to send and be cured at the most expensive dental clinic. We are looking forward to welcome them to be part in the future.

The funds collected from those tourists, HVTO and Viking have discussed carefully to put it into the very useful projects for the children and people. Besides securing the ongoing projects, Viking is trying to propose a Sponsorship program to people so that HVTO can build the self-sustainable educatioinal programs by having those sponsored students coming back to help. Viking also help the newly launched Khmer traditional music program.

In the name of people from our community, HVTO team would like to express our great gratitude to people in Viking offices and passengers of Viking River Cruises for their great generosity in supporting the HVTO projects for the Cambodian community.  ( story by Meng Seaknam/ deputy director )

Studiosus Foundation e.V is supporting the Free Computer Class

We always want to say thank you to Studiosus Foundation e.V from Germany for their second-year finanicial support for HVTO free computer classes and some supplies for our library. We are planning to train over 100 of children to have basic computer skills in 2013.

This is to inform you that some Studiosus Tour Groups also go to visit the centers and HVTO receives some funds from each group to run the computer class. We would like to  thank you to many German Tourists from these groups, who were trying to help HVTO projects, like sending books, funds to buy books, sponsorship and clean water projects. Having had this opportunity, we are always very grateful to all donors and supporters from Germany and from Studiosus Foundation namely, Mrs. Hopfer Kubsch and her colleagues, Dr. Renate Soeder as the primary sponsor to HVTO founder and family and then served as bridge for HVTO and Studiosus Foundation to meet. We thank all tour leaders from Studiosus who helped and all people from Germany who have been supporting HVTO so far.

Budget Proposals

HVTO is fundraising to fund its following projects for 2013:

I. Funding the core education programs ( running two centers for 500 children to study English and computer with library)

Project Cost    :  $9,875

Raised so far   :  $5258

Requiring         :  $4617


 

II. Funding Khmer Traditional Music Program

Project Cost : $6,360

Raised so far : $3,000

Requiring : $3,360


 

III. Funding the library construction in HVTO center

Project Cost : $10,500

Raised so far : $50

Requiring : $10,450


 

IV. Sponsoring a student

We are looking for donors to sponsor one of our smart and hard working students for higher education, and this student will come back to support our community in the future.


 

V. Funding to install a hand water pump.

We are appealing to charitable people to help to install one or more water pump(s) for our poor families in the community.

 

 If you want to get the details about the finanicial details, please let us know so that we can send you the whole financial excel that you can see the whole fund flow.

Conclusion

HVTO has been growing with its various projects. It has started from personal life experiences of hardship,a little luck and small success with his professional tour guiding and friendly communication with foreign sponsors and friends, HVTO was given birth and keeps going on for the last four years. From personal devotion, integrity and true actions from the small team, it is leading to have such a big participation and support from the local authorities and local and international people from local and international community regarding to all actions of HVTO. 

We wish to continue, continue to make a difference even though it is small but it tells us that it really effects. Thank you for your trusting and confidence and we really need YOU all to go on together for the next following years.

May you enjoy and have a wonderful time during this Christmas Holiday!

Meng Seaknam /Deputy Director

mseaknam@yahoo.com/ +855977742969

Sim Piseth / HVTO founder

sim@hvto.org / +85512710027

Written on 24th December 2012

  • @2014 Copyright, HVTO, All reserved
  • T:+(855)12 710 027
  • E: sim@hvto.org
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