Wednesday, 16 April 2014


Cambodia’s National Borey for Infants and Children, or NBIC, is a government-run centre that is home to abandoned or orphaned HIV/AIDS-positive and special-needs children and young adults. Centers like this are very rare in Cambodia and are very necessary; it can be challenging to contemplate the scale of the human unhappiness at NBIC, but the centre is an incredibly loving and happy place where the best interests of the children are at the forefront of everything that is done there. Currently, there are 99 children and young adults living at NBIC.
CamKids has provided all medicine and hygiene products at the home since 2011. It is essential that hygiene and cleanliness standards are strictly implemented, as this has a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of the children, many of whom are incontinent and prone to infections; diseases have reduced considerably since this funding started. 
CamKids also sponsors two part-time physiotherapists for stimulation activities with the more severe special-needs teenagers. These therapists help stretch and move the muscles of the children, which reduces atrophy and spasms. They also use various exercise equipment in order to make it more fun for the children, such as pulling rings. At the same time the children are being held and embraced, so they feel safe and secure. 
The therapists work with the children in activity rooms that allow children to sing, dance, learn the alphabet in both English and Khmer and play games with each other – as well as one-on-one time with the carers, to allow for more intensive therapy. This is vital for the children’s health and to make them feel happy and supported.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

SEAL Cambodia Dental Programme

The SEAL Cambodia project is funded by CamKids and the Global Child Dental Fund, with materials and supplies provided by GC Asia and Colgate, to provide sealants on the first permanent molars of up to 60,000 Grade 2 children over a three year period. 
At present, the average Cambodian 6 year old has 9 decayed primary teeth and the average 12 year old has 3.6 decayed permanent teeth, mostly affecting the first permanent molars. Most children have no access to dental treatment and by the time they are in their teens, need to have one or more of their permanent teeth extracted when the decay becomes too deep. The Seal Cambodia project aims to prevent decay from developing in molar teeth through early intervention by providing fissure sealants on the teeth of Grade 2 Cambodian school children. 
To date our delivery partners have provided treatment to children in more than 36 primary schools located in Phnom Penh and this is being extended to include children in Kampong Cham, Kampot and Kampong Speu. Our team of dentists, dental nurses, assistants and dental students provide not only sealant protection for the children, but also oral health education and tooth brushing instruction. Every child receives a free toothbrush so that they can continue to clean their teeth at home. Parents are informed if there are dental problems identified requiring ongoing treatments at a local dental clinic.
During the five months to February 2014, 9,810 children were treated with 20,618 children in total to date and we have therefore achieved the goal of treating over 20,000 children before 20 March 2014, which is International Oral Health Day. As the cost of the fissure sealant, toothbrushes and toothpaste are donated by our partners and much of the work is undertaken by volunteer Cambodian trainee dentists, the cost of treating each child is only $1. A regular donation of only £5 per month will allow us to treat an additional 100 children per year. If you would like to support this valuable work, please contact us.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

New School Building at CCC School

A great day on Sunday out at the Chbar Chros Community School in Kampong Speu, for the blessing for the new school building. A huge crowd had gathered to watch the blessing and the speeches; the atmosphere was happy and enthusiastic, despite the searing heat.
We started with some of the pupils demonstrating traditional Khmer classical dance and despite some slight hiccups with the sound system, the girls were wonderfully elegant. Then we had the monks’ blessing, and speeches from Mr. Leang Chanthy, Deputy Director of Provincial  Education, Youth and SportsMr. Cheng Thoeung, Commune Leader of Krang Chek and Dom SharpeCamKids Trustee.
The outstanding students were then presented with certificates by Benita Sharpe, (CamKids Trustee), Stan Fryman, (Donor) and Mr Leang Chanthy and gifts of school books or backpacks, to encourage them to continue their hard work. The delight on their faces was obvious.
Finally we heard from Stan Frymann, without whom none of this would be possible. As well as funding the construction of the two classrooms and library, Stan has also been teaching at the school for the past few weeks, even staying at the CamKids staff accomodation overnight on many occasions. It’s tough out there for a Westerner and Stan’s fortitude and hard work have been hugely appreciated by everyone. Stan’s donation was part of a legacy from his late mother and some of her artworks have been incorporated into the building. Sunday was the anniversary of her birthday - she would have been thrilled and proud to see what Stan, the local community and CamKids have done together to improve life for the people of Chbar Chros. Thanks, Stan, from all of us.  
The speeches were followed by a delicious lunch, and then dancing. While the Western guests were preparing to leave the community to it, Dom was persuaded to have one dance. He brought the house down. 
Thanks to everyone involved for all their hard work on Sunday, and we look forward to continuing to work with everyone in the future to continue to educate, nourish and improve the health of everyone at Chbar Chros and across Cambodia.  


Monday, 17 March 2014

Agriculture Project at Chbar Chros School

In 2013, CamKids started developing a project to educate children at our Community School at Chbar Chros in basic agricultural techniques. The children established a small vegetable garden at the school and planted cabbage, morning glory, Chinese green, kale, pumpkins, gourds, salad leaves, lemon grass and mint. 
The garden project aims to promote the awareness of basic agricultural techniques amongst the students by providing knowledge on growing vegetables, water conservation, organic farming, fertilizers, and soil preparation. The students work in the garden at the school and some of them have now planted their own vegetables in small spaces in their parents’ rice fields. All students who are involved in the garden activities can now harvest fresh vegetables to take home to their families. 
All the vegetables were planted using organic practices and our program manager, Sophak, has come up with some ingenious ideas, including re-using old plastic bottles suspended on wires, as planters. 
After the successful completion of this pilot program, the students have asked to increase the size of the vegetable garden at the school and more students are keen to practice by themselves at home. Not only does this allow them to help plan their family meals, but provides them with good exercise and is fun. We are now planning to expand the vegetable garden to cover an area of 34m x 12m, which will enable the children to produce more fresh vegetables for cooking and give the children the chance to learn more about growing vegetables.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

CCC School visit

An extremely generous donor from the US who has funded the construction of the extension to our Chbar Chros Community school in Kampong Speu district, recently visited the school.  Stan, a retired schoolteacher, gave some English lessons during his visit and inspected the new building as well as the medical clinic and other CamKids initiatives for the local community. 

Monday, 10 March 2014

IU Dental Update

The dental clinic at the International University (IU) provides a range of dental treatment to poor and vulnerable children living in Phnom Penh. Through the funding provided by CamKids, children from orphanages and poor communities have been able to access a range of basic dental treatments at the IU clinic. Types of treatment provided include:
  • Relief from pain and infection (by doing extractions and in some cases basic pulp treatments);
  • Prevention (sealing the molar teeth and applying fluoride to prevent decay);
  • Restorations (in permanent teeth, and also some primary teeth in order to maintain the space for the adult teeth to come through);
  • Silver fluoride applications to arrest decay in the primary teeth. 
In addition to the dental treatment provided, the dental team also provides oral health education, using visual aids to teach the children how to brush their teeth correctly. Furthermore, each child is provided with a toothbrush and toothpaste so they can maintain their oral health and hygiene.
The IU dental students also greatly benefit from having the opportunity to work at IU clinic. Through working at the clinic, the students have had the chance to further develop their knowledge and skills by working with specialized dentists and by providing treatment to the children. Therefore, thanks to CamKids’ funding, IU students and staff have been able to provide much needed dental treatment to thousands of Cambodia’s most vulnerable and underserved children.

During the last three months of 2013, the number of beneficiaries of the IU clinic increased to 20-25 children per half day – more than in the previous last nine-month reporting period. During October, November and December 2013, a total of 491 patients were treated.