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Drama Outreach Project Newsletter 1

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    DO CAMBODIAwho are we and what were about

    The DOP team is made up of ( l to r)Alan Montanaro, Gaby Montanaro, Anika Gatt Seretny, Matthew Gatt, Katherine Brown, Paula Fleri-Soler and Chiara Hyzler.



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    The Drama Outreach (DO) Project was created to offer groups of underprivileged children in developing countries the opportunity to learn drama and English through drama.

    Last August our group of seven teachers and carers set off for Phnom Penh, where, together with our Cambodian partners, we hoped to make a real difference in the lives of some of the most precious children we have ever met in our lives.

    Our work load was divided between two main groups of children: SFODA, an orphanage for children who, for a myriad of reasons, have no family to support them, and Le Restaurant des Enfants (LRDE), a kitchen project providing meals and basic hygiene facilities to approximately 250 street children daily.

    Both groups presented our team with their fair share of challenges but we just rolled up our sleeves and got down to the

    business of teaching through fun. Although the children had never quite experienced anything like our classes, their enthusiasm was instant and word of our classes quickly spread - it is no coincidence that wed started off with about 12 students at LRDE and ended up with 70 by the start of the second week.

    Although their knowledge of English ranged from non-existent to basic, it wasnt long before the children had mastered basic phrases in English that they would undoubtedly find helpful at school - and in the streets where, unfortunately, many of them must work. Sadly, the importance of education as a way out of abject poverty is not fully understood by parents and relatives , who

    are also not educated and remain ignorant to the benefits of schooling. Their priorities and confused at best, and the cycle continues.

    We returned with a list of 65 high-priority children who needed support to go to school. The money less than 1 per day - for sponsorship will go towards school materials, uniforms and, crucially, food for their family, freeing the children from the burden of having to work.

    We are happy to report that we have found sponsors for almost all of them, and hope to secure sponsors for the rest through a series of fundraisers we will be organising as an NGO.

    The ties we formed, the friendships we made and the overall experience affected us all profoundly and we have decided to return this summer to continue to offer some magic and some fun with drama activities to these incredible children.


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    VCDO, LRDE & SFODAour partners committed to making lives a little betterOur partner in Cambodia is Ms. Pel Sophorn, Programme Manager of the Volunteers for Children Development Organisation (VCDO). VCDO works in close collaboration with national and international volunteers to provide developmental support to children in orphanages, children from poor communities, street children, and children infected/affected by HIV/AIDS and drugs. This ensures that all of them receive adequate care, formal and non-formal education and vocational training thus improving their future.

    VCDO works in close collaboration with both LRDE and SFODA.

    Established in 2010, Le Restaurant des Enfants (LRDE) provides street children with a daily meal, the use of sanitary facilities, haircuts and basic medical treatment where necessary. These children, many of whom are orphans, work hard every day to provide for their families. Many of them are street vendors, begging or shifting through garbage in hope of finding something that could be sold or eaten. Others separate cans and bottles from rubbish in the hope of selling them for $0.50c a bag.The restaurant feeds close to 250 children every day. Moreover, LRDE offers the street children a few of hours of refuge from the outside world and their otherwise chaotic life. It also offers them, through a well-administered sponsorship scheme, a possible alternative to working the streets.

    LRDE was co-founded and run by the saintly Mr. Chiv with a group of dedicated workers and

    carers, aided by the numerous volunteers who are lucky enough to walk through the restaurants doors, and the generosity of hundreds of donors from around the world.

    The Sacrifice Families and Orphans Development Association (SFODA) is a childrens home. The organisation was founded in 1997 by Mr. Pen Sophan, the Executive Director of SFODA, as a reaction to the poor state of post-war Cambodia. Under the firm but caring eye of co-founder Mrs. Ouk Moninarom, children residing at SFODA are freed of the burden of having to work for their food. The children there have the luxury of shelter, regular meals, and a basic structure within which they are more likely to grow and develop into successful adults. Although the orphanage does get some state funding, this only amounts to $10 per month per child, covering the childrens very basic

    needs. Through sponsorships, godparents contribute considerably to the childs upkeep including food, school materials and uniforms, clothes and some pocket money.




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    we started with one idea and, like all good ideas, its morphed into something we are only beginning to understand

    Street children at LRDE give thanks for the meal that is provided for them and over 250 children on a daily basis.

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    WANT TO REACH OUT TOO?how you can help

    After being told of Sreykeo's situation at home and the fact that she would like to go to school but is having trouble getting there, 3 Maltese people pooled in to get her a spanking new bicycle. Thank you Sabine, Gerlind and David for your donation. Sreykeo is happily getting to school on time every day - and in style.

    sponsoring a childChoosing to sponsor a child means giving that child the chance to succeed and improve their future. You can either opt to sponsor children abending LRDE or to sponsor a child residing at SFODA. To learn more about sponsorships click here.

    donaCons Drama Outreach Project collects donacons that contribute to our ongoing projects and projects of our partner organisacons - SFODA and LRDE. Whether it is a CD with music for dance classes, T-shirt for a child or contribucon towards a classroom - we will appreciate every donacon that can help us help the kids.

    Should you wish to learn more click us... Best way to get in touch is through our Facebook page or simply sending us an email at: [email protected]

    The child victims of the Khmer Rouge have been immortalised in these trophy photographs - victims of senseless murder.Todays victims are still children who survive in abject poverty. Their only chance is through education.

    The Children of Cambodia are todays viccms of the countrys past. The rule of the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979 condemned Cambodia to years of policcal and civil strife following which the number of people suffering poverty in the country shot through the sky. The genocide of the 1970s saw over two million of the populacon killed in just four years. The pain Cambodia suffered has leh deep scars evident cll today. These kids need our help. With Drama Outreach Project there are several ways that you can help:

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    The Drama Outreach Project will be returning to Phnom Penh in August to carry on the work weve started in 2013. To this end we will again be hosting a fundraising event at Radisson Blu Resort, St Julians.

    Last year we had a special appearance by Defsa Garuana Malizia who conducted a charity auccon of some marvelous artworks. This year Drama Outreach is again reaching out to arcsts to donate to our cause and so far we have acquired some stunning pieces from Micko, Marisa Abard, Catherine Cavallo and even Esprit Barthet. So please do bring your cheque books along with you because chances are youll be returning home with a bargain.

    Alas, Defsa wont be there this year, but we have just signed on the inimitable Freddie Portelli who will almost certainly have us jiving and swinging on the dance floor. DJ Malcolm will be back with his varied mix and well probably have a few more surprises in store to ensure that the evening is a memorable one.

    The fundraiser will take place on April 30th, eve of a public holiday, and cckets will be against a donacon of 25 which will include a delicious choice of finger-foods. Do tell your friends about the event. Its going to be good.

    fundraiser 2014party like were young(er)

    Our next fundraiser will take place on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30 (eve of a public holiday) and, with the likes of Freddie Portelli, DJ Malcolm and a fabulous auction of fine arts, were pushing the envelope to ensure its even bigger and better than last time. DO

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