Mekong Diaries - Special Edition Schools for Happy Future

Peak Sneng

Peak Sneng is a region North of Siem Reap, Cambodia. Only 35km from the city, it is a very poor and rural district with unpaved roads and not yet fully connected to electric power supply.

It happened that Micha met a lovely couple at the Refugee Helpers Circle home in Straßlach. Siegfried and Gerlinde Zinkeisen discovered the region 10 years ago and decided to help the community with a school project, Hilfe für Kinder in Kambodscha e.V. sponsors Schools for Happy Future. Since a while we became godfathers of two kids that we support with a scholarship. Kids that have a difficult situation at home and could not attend school without foreign support. During our stay at the school we learned that our NGO also supports the poorest of the poor in the community with food and other necessities in order to allow kids to attend school instead helping at home or in the rice fields.

We had the opportunity to visit and meet some of the families and learn how life treated them. Needless to say that this was very emotional for us, especially as we met only very lovely, warm hearted and caring people. Let me introduce some.

A family that was supported with a water pump from a Canadian NGO and monthly food supply from the school.
Look at her shoes. Girls are girls, no matter where you were born into. And she is a very good student, too. When we came back on a Saturday to bring some sweets and gifts for the kids she was studying English.
We came back with some gifts for the kids.

Ohne Dach über dem Kopf - without a roof over their heads

This is Poeurt, a 60 years old grandma that is looking after the abandoned childs of her son‘s family that escaped for finding a better life in Thailand. So did their mother, too. Every morning at 6am she goes to the fields working for a nearby farmer.
Her biggest dream: getting a roof for her hut. The palm leaves do not protect from rain anymore. To build a better shelter should not cost more than €1.500, I think we should be able to do here something... See also the button at the bottom of this page ;)
The kitchen
Her youngest grandchild who needs to look after the hut and the fire while she works in the fields.
Another care package was delivered.
Happy smile...
He will need a godfather soon, too. And Sokchea told me that he is a smart guy. Anybody?


This is the family of Sreynit (in the middle). Sreynit is a 19 year old spastic and mental handicapped girl that can‘t walk nor talk. But she can feel emotions and react. In the following pictures you will see how the family seems to accept their destiny and how they fill their little hut with caring warmth. Despite of being dependend on the shool‘s food supply the kids do not lack love and have not yet lost their childhood.
Always with a smile. Even when she has to take care of Sreynit and her younger brother and cook the rice while their parents are on the field.

My Little Princess

Another grandmother having to take care of her grandchilds. The loveley princess in the middle was born without the left ear, resulting in some facial deformations which made her particulary shy.
Their home.
The kitchen.
The School
A safe and peaceful place for children.
German -Cambodian friendship. Two countries with a very sad history and an heritage that obliges to learn and do better in the future.
Der größte Lausbub aller Zeiten. Ohne Einzelheiten zu nennen ist das Schicksal seiner Familie besonders tragisch.
Please meet Sokchea, the manager of the school and it‘s projects. Sokchea was such a lovely host, dedicating an enormous time to provide us with a deep insight on all activities of the NGO. I couldn‘t imagine a better and more caring person to ensure that help and support is delivered where needed most. Thank you so much Sokchea!
Sokchea was also our driver - the Cambodian way. Ok, I lost some weight lately but 1h for 35km on partly unpaved roads is tough, for back and bike. The Honda Dream seems to be VERY sturdy and the reason why 90% of Cambodians drive a Dream.

Back to School

English conversation class with a special guest. Some of the kids have never talked to a foreigner before.
Students a very disciplined and respectful. They acknowledge the opportunity and privilege they get.
This was fun.

Art School

This is pretty unique in Cambodia. A junior high school that provides an art school for young talents. See here some talents with their work:

Junior Art Class

Inclusion for teachers and students, too.
More from this two loveliest later...

The Boarding School

Hilfe für Kinder in Kambodscha e.V. also runs a boarding school for selected kids from the region that don’t have families that can take care of them or facing violence at their home.

The school also runs a garden where the kids learn every Friday farming and how to grow plants.
Computertraining. My idea to support with outdated Outbrain laptops was killed by the simple fact that lack of computers is not the problem but that there is not enough electricity yet. The connection to public energy did not reach the school area yet, the solar battery is worn out and about to die while gasoline for the generator is too expensive.
The funny gardener

And finally, here are our lovely godchildren. Please meet Pet and Roeth.

Pet is my godchild which lives at the boarding school. She is in the 9th grade, the last at junior high and the best student at the school. Needless to say that I am proud to support her also through high school.
Roeth is the godchild of Micha. Despite the fact that his mother is too sick to manage their home he can stay at his own place.
Pet, my ever smiling darling.
Going shopping with our kids
Der Lausbub. I guess we need to find a godfather for him. Someone with deep pockets, he needs a lot of sweets and it will be hard to make him wear the school uniform one day...

Last but not least, may I ask you to join us and support this lovely people above and help Hilfe für Kinder in Kambodscha e.V. (Help for Children in Cambodia) to continue their great work. I can guarantee that it is a very lean organization and that every penny makes a difference.

Created By
Alexander Erlmeier

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