We continue our work to benefit our communities, especially the poor and vulnerable; adults, children, with a strong focus on young women at risk. We help them to step into a new and improved way of life by means of compassionate love, care and an opportunity for education. Many people continue to be positively impacted by our programmes and their lives have been changed for the better. We are strongly committed to continuing our work and concentrate more and more on helping communities in need in the future. Sustainable Community Projects (SCP) – Mr. Lorm Lon, Project Coordinator
The Sustainable Communities Project started in 2008 with the aim to help the most disadvantaged in the community help themselves to improve their lives. We do this though a series of community based,social programmes.
Many social problems plague our society. Families already stressed by poverty, can feel a sense of hopelessness and frequently fall victim to alcohol abuse, drug addiction, domestic violence and gambling. Helping people to overcome these problems and offer a helping hand to financial independence has been the pillar of our Sustainable Communities Project.
We have learnt over the year that continually providing people with charity does not help them to help themselves. Rather people become dependent on hand outs and have no motivation to become self-sufficient. Our strategy is to work with families to help them earn an income by encouraging them to start a small business and providing them a low interest, micro loans. In extreme cases we give food support and safe housing to families in desperate need. In turn, the families commit to try to become more self-sufficient, address their social issues (with our support) and send their children to school regularly.
There are now 13 families in our micro loan programme who have started businesses such as raising pigs, rice farming and processing and a barber shop. Our Programmes Director,, Mr Van Ratha and Mr Lorm Lon meet with the families regularly to monitor the business activities, school attendance of the children and to offer advice.
Channy’s Story. Channy lives in Sondan village. The family fell into debt as a result of high medical costs. Channy applied for a loan of $500 to raise pigs. As a result, the family is better off; they have enough food, a house and Channey works for himself. His three children now go to school regularly.
Channey plans to borrow another $500 to extend his business and wants to buy land to grow cassava.
Children’s Development Village (CDV) – Mr. Path Soben, Project Coordinator
We have 22 children in the Children Development Village which is located in Peak Sneng, about twenty-five km north of Angkor Wat.
All the children are thriving, are in good health, are very active and try hard at school. Like all children some did well with several children achieving the highest marks in their class, while some did not perform so well. We have meet and discussed with the director of the school to see how we can best assist the children lagging behind.
7 students will go on to high school and 3 will progress to secondary school this year.
There is a lot of land at CDV so we have started an agricultural project. 5 months ago we planted around 15 lemon trees with the plan to sell the fruit in the future. We also grow our own vegetables and have many fruit trees on site.
As we have just celebrated the Khmer New Year all the children received new clothes and had their annual party after which they went home to share the holidays with their families.
CDV is grateful for the long and ongoing support from Chance Fuer Kinder of Kambosha and North Universalist Chapel SOCI.
Penh’s story. Penh Nha, is 12 years old and comes a poor family from Srey Snom district. In 2012 she was In 6th grade and came to CDV so she could continue her schooling which her family could not afford. Penh Nha is an outstanding student, usually coming 1st or 2nd in her class. “I like reading and writing very much, and I use to win the second round in a Reading Competition in my district”. In the future, Penh Nha wants to be an English teacher working with kids in rural areas and also wants to be a politician as a way to help people.
Saran’s story. Saran Reaka, is a bright and active 16 years old, from Sreysnom district. Both her parents died when she was only five and she then went to live with her 65 year old grandmother, her uncle and his 2 children. This family suffers extreme financial hardship and her uncle had to go to Thailand to find work. Saran Reaka is an outstanding student and was elected as a member of the Student Council and Children’s Resources committee. She also participates in community work, selling books and many other social work projects at her school. She was selected to enrol in PAGE and studies at Angkor High School. She continues to perform well and is always 1st or 3rd in her class. In the future she wants to be a manager, to be a leader and to make change. Program Advancing Girl’s Education (Page) – Mrs. Srey Sereiratha, Project Coordinator
The primary goal of PAGE is to provide young girls access to education and an opportunity to improve their lives, the lives of their family and have hope for their future.
PAGE provides a sanctuary for girls who wish to continue their education through high school and beyond but do not have an opportunity to do so due to their families’ social and economic situation.
We currently have 36 students. The PAGE Residential Campus is located at Chreav Village, around 3.5 kilometres from Siem reap town center. They all attend Angkor High School in Siem Reap as well as a variety of after school classes with 10 girls joining the Women’s Affairs training at the Women’s Resources Centre this month.
The girls have worked very hard this year with 9 girls achieving 1st to 5th place in their class. We have had a dedicated English teacher, Mr Chhen Sonet providing after school classes 5 evenings a week for students at elementary and beginner’s level while those in the higher levels attend English classes at Panyusatra University.
We had 2 international volunteers over the past 6 months, Katrina from Germany and Robert from USA who contributed enormously to the after school education programme for the girls. Katrina help to organize different methods of study especially study groups and Robert gave much support in mathematics and English. The girls are also doing some physical activity, sport and learning meditation.
This month Carol, our very long term supporter and health professional, performed a general health check for all the girls and helped Miss Jenar, who is responsible for preparing all the meals, some education on nutrition, hygiene and kitchen management.
In early 2017, we completed the upgrade and expansion of the facilities at the PAGE site. We now have new accommodation, shower and toilet facilities as well as a kitchen and dining area and bicycle parking area.
Out of our last group of school leavers 5 went on to study at university and 9 went Hospitality Training School’s; 3 to Haven, 4 to EGBOK and 2 to Sala Bai.
Park Hyatt Siem Reap & LHA Sewing School (STS) – Mrs. Vanloek Luy, Project Coordinator
The LHA Sewing School started in 2006 and is sponsored by the Park Hyatt Hotel in Siem Reap. STS continues to provide vocational training to young, disadvantaged Cambodian women from rural communities..
Our last class of 25 students graduated in December 2016. Out of which 4 students’ returned home to help their family’s and the rest are working in Siem Reap. STS has just selected its’ new group of students for the next course which commenced in early May 2017.
Thanks to a donation from Mr Bill — we were able to purchase new sewing machines for the school this year. The course will see an updated curriculum and will be run over 8 months instead of 10. We also will have a second teacher this term, Mrs Sarro.
Our sewing students will undertake an internship at the Park Hyatt Hotel during the course and there are often other internship opportunities available. At the end of the course each student will be donated a sewing machine and kit of materials to assist them in the future. We also assist our graduates to find employment in Siem Reap.
As with the PAGE programme, we will provide accommodation and full board for our sewing students. We previously rented a house but we have now built a new accommodation wing at PAGE to accommodate our sewing girls. This will enable both groups of girls an opportunity to engage more closely, get to know one another, share experiences, learn from each other and have fun together. The new accommodation building is in the final stages of preparation.
Apart from learning to sew the students also attend a short training in health, child care and law at the Women’s Resource Centre and we provide English lessons and spiritual guidance classes by our monks.
Meet Mov Kouey. Mov Kouey is 26 years old and graduated for the 11th class of the sewing school. From Pouk district, Kouey is the second daughter of 7 siblings. Her family is very poor, so she gave up her studies in grade 10 to help to support them. Having heard the announcement for new students at sewing school on the radio, she rushed to make an application. She was selected and trained for 10 months. After the course, Kouey got a job as a tailor in NOYX a local company, in 2016 and initially she received a monthly salary of $95 which has increased to $115 per month. Even though it is not much, she said, “It’s playing a big part helping me and my family. I thank deeply LHA for providing this needed skill which is not only helping her, but also her family. In the future, she wants a small shop or just to be a tailor in her home. Buddhism in Society Program (BSP) – Venerable Chorm Mao, Project Coordinator
The BSP program is at the heart of Wat Damnak and LHA’s core philosophy of delivering lasting and meaningful change to individuals and communities.
The objective of BSP is to strengthen the role of Buddhist leadership, revitalize the role of Buddhism in community engagement and promotion of civil society in Cambodia.
BSP offers several activities to reinvigorate monastic leadership and community involvement in social and spiritual issues. We also offer Tertiary educational scholarship to Monks and provide social support mainly through our Peace House project where we identify families at risk and raise money to build a house for them utilize volunteers from the local community. Our scholarship monks try to take an active part in the building process.
Our key projects and achievements are:
Monks Scholarships: we have 13 monks studying a variety of courses
Peace House: So far we have built 117 Peace Houses and another 2 are scheduled for this month.
Communication with Communities: BSP continues to broadcast a daily radio programme where they discuss Buddhism and other topics centered around community and social affairs.
Spiritual Teaching: The monks also conduct monthly spiritual education to more than 300 students of the Siem Reap Teacher Training College and twice a month at the provincial prison with about 50 to 150 prisoners. Our monks in the scholarship programme also provide Spiritual education to the primary school, English and basic computer classes at Wat Damnak Learning Center and spiritual teaching and English classes to the Sewing Training School students.
“I want all Khmer people to have consciousness about our culture of sharing which provides happiness and harmony to one another, and reduce our greed to be always rich while million others are struggling with poverty.” “I happily volunteer in LHA as I could help the society as well as the association.” Ven. Chorm Mao, MA in Buddhism, India.
On behalf of everyone at LHA, I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to all our friends,volunteers, partners, donors and sponsors who have always given us such amazing and generous support to ensure our work can continue to help those most in need, to improve their lives, gain some stability, peace, and happiness .I wish you all success.
With peace and love,
Venerable Lorm Loeurm
Executive Director | Life and Hope Association | Wat Damnak | Siem Reap | Cambodia
Address: Wat Damnak (Damnak monastery), Salakomreuk commune, Siem Reap, Cambodia,
Office phone: (855-0) 63 761 810 | Cell: +855 92/16 206 877
Email: Executive Director: email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org
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A Dhamma Talk on Vipassana and mindfulness meditation by Vipassana Gossalaya Jotannano Hong Keo, Vipassana Buddhist Master during a 10-Day Meditation & Vipassana Retreats at the Buddhist Meditation Center, Wat Kiryvongsa Bopharam on the 11th Waxing Moon – 7th Waning Moon of Jeṭṭha B.E.2560 equivalent to June 15 – 26, A.D.2016 in Leverett, Massachusetts, U.S.A. in 2016.
ក្រុងសាវត្ថី Sāvatthī or Śrāvastī
Vipassana chanting by Meditation Master Ketodhammo Som Bunthoeun. Footages from 2016 Vipassana classes at the Buddhist Meditation Center – Wat Kiryvongsa Bopharam in Leverett, Massachusetts, USA.
SAMDECH CHUON NATH
Khmer literature and Dhamma talk by His Holiness Jotannano Chuon Nath, the Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia Buddhism. His Holiness was born on March 11, 1883; passed away on September 25, 1969
MAHA GHOSANANDA SERVICES
Extraordinary Funeral and Memorial Services for His Holiness Samdech Dr. Maha Ghosananda