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Saturday, September 01, 2007

TravelAid - Final Days

It’s our last day working for JWOC, and the month seems to have gone by in no time. We’ve been massively busy this last week, trying to wrap up everything before we go.

So for the micro credit project, we went over all the different documents we’d created, making sure the scholars felt comfortable with using them all. This was especially necessary for the Excel Spreadsheet Seb had created, which can now be used to do most of the budgetary calculations for the loans, and is a complete and comprehensive database of the information needed for the project.

We also did quite a lot for the new language school we’ve been sponsoring in Wat Chork. The classrooms were finally built on Monday, so the new desks we had ordered were delivered. They all were painted with a JWOC – Travelaid stencil on the front which looked really nice. The next mission was to buy the computer equipment for the second classroom. A big central desk was ordered for this, and we went out to find some decent computers. These should all be delivered by Monday. We’ve also bought some decorations (maps, posters…) and a few books and dictionaries. It was so exciting having our first class in there yesterday.

We’re also very proud to have found our first Travelaid scholar: Monnoreth Beav! After we had all met him, and spoken to him about why he wanted to go to university, we decided to sponsor him for four years to study tourism and hospitality at Build Bright. It was really awesome being able to make such a difference in the life of our new friend, who was working as a moto-taxi, but whom we all found extremely motivated. We are convinced he will be a great student and help to JWOC and the community.

The last main thing we’ve been doing is organizing some fundraising here in Siem Reap, with the help of our new friends Trixie and Mac who run the Funky Munky Pub, where we’ve been going for the pub quiz. They agreed to hold three fundraising nights for JWOC: one race night, one pool tournament and a pub quiz yesterday. This has been a great success and allowed us to raise about $270 for JWOC! We also managed to win the pub quiz a third time in a row, which means Trixie’s pasta for everyone tonight.

In any case, our time in Siem Reap with JWOC has been an awesome four weeks. We’ve really been able to see loads of what they have been doing for the community, how far they’ve gotten in two years. We feel like we’ve had a great chance to give in as much as we possibly could in a month, and we’ve hopefully solved a few problems which we’ve seen. All in all a great experience, thanks to John, Narla, Seila, Somit, all the other scholars, staff and people we’ve met on the way. It’s going to be hard to leave!

Robin

 

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