Battambang. It is common to see several constructions sites in modern Cambodia. It is as the former war destruction is already over and everyone is building something to recover the lost time. Unfortunately, the building of schools, hospitals and community areas is much less than the fever for hotels, restaurants, casinos and resorts. Unemployed young people find easily jobs in construction this time, but in many occasions many of those workers are as young as 7 and 10 years old. In Battambang it can be also a norm to see children in construction sites and the brick factories. Continue reading
The official opening of a residence for young women studying at the Don Bosco Vocational Center in Kep City was the opportunity to remember that the tiniest Cambodian province was few decades ago a scenery of violence under the action of the Khmer Rouge guerrilla. ‘Our province was sadly a place of violence. We remember for example the regrettable fate of three foreign young men kidnapped and murdered by people without mercy in 1994, not far from this place, where now we see the growing of this technical school for a more peaceful and progressive future of our nation,’ said Kep Province‘s governor Ken Satha during a ceremony at the school last Wednesday 7th November. Continue reading
This week we were reflecting about volunteer work that, most of the time, means to move from your own country or region and spend time far from home in another culture. This morning of Saturday I had with my students of communication a video conference offered by a Colombian photojournalist from Medellín, Diego Andrés Sánchez-Alzate. He made a valuable introduction to photography and photojournalism for those who love it, by showing his own works on Flicker. Photography is a composition and a story told by images, colors, lights and textures, he mentioned, while photojournalism is a careful attention to events. Thanks to the Skype, 18 Khmer students of communication could enjoy the exposition of a young Colombian journalist, far from them more than 18 thousand kilometers (11 thousand miles.) Diego offered his conference, then it is also a great way to be a volunteer online. Just you need a computer, Internet connection, someone ready to translate and the will to share with other communities in any corner of the planet.
- Photojournalism Goes Social [infographic] (thetechscoop.net)
Very often we get this question: Is it prudent to teach IT in schools and other centers of education for children in Cambodia? Of course, questions like this come from benefactors of humanitarian organizations or their leaders. We can find benefactors open to donate books, computers and Internet access, but some leaders show hesitation over the idea of teaching IT to Cambodian children. Continue reading
I have this idea that in what is related with donations and aid, education is a superior tool to contribute to a developing nation like Cambodia. If you come from an industrialized country, it is easy to feel pity for impoverished families and child beggars. Then it seems a good action to give money to them, without the idea that by doing that, the only outcome is the production of more beggars. Then beggars do not have a real future. Building schools, at the other hand, is a better option. It is possible to build a school in a rural area with 40 thousand US dollars – it is the cost of a car, many of them running throughout the Cambodian roads. Then a school opens another doors for poor Cambodian families. It needs the support of many others to guarantee that children will continue their education. Continue reading
Sihanoukville. Cambodian TV Journalist Huy Bunleng, invited to the second Don Bosco social communication and journalism past pupils, is among Kin Kroch, senior leader of the Don Bosco association of past pupils and Albeiro Rodas, director of the social communication project of Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia last Friday evening. Some past pupils give a gift to Kroch. Down some beach children of Sihanoukville and the next photo is of a Don Bosco student of TV camera recording the cultural program during the thanksgiving day. ‘Be trustworthy journalists to help in the improvement of life of your own country,’ said Bunleng to the young communicators. The social communication and journalism section of Don Bosco Sihanoukville was open in 2007 by Albeiro Rodas to prepare sensitive communicators to the Cambodian reality under the ideal ‘Khmer helps Khmer.’ It has already more than 60 past pupils. In October 2011 a number of 40 new students will join the program, 20 in Sihanoukville and 20 in Kep.
Ratanakkiri. A man of 56 years old, Rocham Cha of the Jarai ethnic, in the North Easter province of Ratanakkiri, fights to demonstrate to his community that he is not a sorcerer. The event has a more serious context. In the last years, human rights organizations such as Adhoc and Licadho, denounce the dead of persons who have been accused of practicing magic, specially in this very natural province, but in other Cambodian provinces as well. Continue reading
Peter Woznica, a Polish scholar doing a volunteer in the Don Bosco school in Sihanoukville, speaks about the Khmer language and education in Cambodia.
Well, my vacations in Medellín, Colombia, has not been properly tropical at the best style of what it could be in Cambodia. First, because Medellín is on an Andean valley, more than 1,500 meters above the sea level (4,921 feet). Second, La Niña took umbrage with Colombia (it is predicted that there will be rain all the year). Third, Medellín is really huge (a population of 3 million persons with cars everywhere) and has not yet a real organized urban transport with the exception of Metro de Medellín that, for me, still one of the most beautiful and clean of the world (however, the Metro of Hong Kong is amazing.) The city is building a new system of urban transport, Metroplus, that is expected to make the most modern and organized urban transport in a South American city… we hope. Continue reading
Sihanoukville. Last Wednesday, February 9, the Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia celebrated the opening of a new primary school in the Keo Pos Village, Tom Nop Rolok District, in the area of the Sihanouk Province. The ceremony was presided by the governor of the province. Mr. Meas Vuthy, the DBFC country representative, Fr. John Visser and the president of the Sawasdee Foundation, Mr. Hector Loontjens. The chief of the village, Mr. Ban Sarom, was also in the ceremony at the side of students and teachers of the Don Bosco schools of Sihanoukville. Mr. Ban Saron said in his speech that the new primary school is made by six classrooms, 12 toilets and 2 washing rooms. The work had a cost of 16,000 donated by the Sawasdee Foundation, which headquarters are in Holland. Governor Meas Vuthy gave to Mr. Loontjens a gold medal as a thanksgiving to the Sawasdee Foundation and Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia for their commitment to the development of education in the country and especially in the Sihanouk Province.
Report and photos by Mr Chhin Sieng & Mr. Sokken
On January 6, 2011, Mr. Gerard A.M. van Hal visited the Salesian works of Don Bosco in Cambodia and shared with Don Bosco Talk Youtube program in the Audiovisual Center of Sihanoukville.
Looking now for scapegoats of the Koh Pich tragedy will not lead to peace at all. If guilty, all of us. Education, prevention and social discipline are elements that do not come out from night to morning. We should remember that Cambodia is a developing country and that we are three decades away from the nightmare of brutality and violence. The Koh Pich tragedy is a historical and sad lesson, but we all should concentrate now in avoiding the next tragedy. To do so, we must work in the formation of a safe mentality that is in general lacking if we just see for example how people drive a car or a motorbike in Cambodia. How to plan a major event? Let’s see. Continue reading
I was complaining that this year the raining season was rather dry. Isolated rains in the country and some regions suffering from lack of water that affected the agriculture. Well, it seems that the skies were waiting my 40th birthday today, at least over the Sihanoukville´s firmament. It was 11:45 when the clouds gathered to whip with fast wins and thousands of litters of water the Cambodian sea port. As a result, the Don Bosco Technical School was flooded for its first time in history. There was nothing to regret, fortunately, out of mud to wash in the coming week. You can see my own pictures of the today´s heavy raining in Sihanoukville in this album.
For months ago I find it most of the time published in any visible page of The Cambodia Daily, full color and that strain comparison: The Cambodian Anne Frank.Watching the movie of Rithy Panh or reading the book of Elizabeth Becker, Bophana, A Cambodian Tragedy, you understand that it is the making of a character. Continue reading
Phnom Penh. To close my Saturday evening I went to the Sorya Shopping Mall, that smart modern building just few meters at the south of the Central Market. The idea was to watch a movie. There was outside a music promotional concert and inside the mall plenty of fashion youth going up and down the escalators. I confess that there were not much attractive movies for me this time, but there was something out of common: the film of Mother Teresa. Continue reading
I thought that the visit was going to be to a gloomy place. A prison is not properly the place you dream to be. However, countries must work to make it not a lovely place, but rather a real educational place. This morning I went with three teachers to visit the Siem Reap prison. Lichado promotes the idea that Don Bosco creates a technical program inside it as we have in the Sihanoukville’s prison. We got an appointment with the prison director at 8 AM. Going to the prison when most people are visiting the Angkorian temples is already very original in us. But we came to this country to open the way of hope for young people without hope. Continue reading