Agriculture Program Launch
Jay Jurick, Board Member and eFoster Parent
Photo: Organic Greens
Agriculture Program Work Begins
Thanks to generous eGlobal Family donors, Partner Future Light Orphanage has begun its agriculture program with multiple objectives. Those objectives include: to explore the best practices, processes and procedures for growing vegetables, to develop a model for sustainable and consistent output to support nutritious meals for the kids, and to teach the kids about healthy, organic, and sustainable agriculture.
A project plan is set in place, initial personnel have been selected, initial trial crops have been chosen, a list of supplies and materials needed has been formulated, and ground-breaking is expected in March. Stay tuned for future updates on our progress!
IT Professional Workshop at FLO
By: Sokrithy Morm, FLO AE Program Coordinator
Photo: IT Workshop at FLO
FLO Seniors and AE Students IT Workshop
On Friday February 14, at Future Light Orphanage, there was a two-hour workshop on the information technology industry. The program was presented by a working IT professional who comes from a background similar to that of our kids. He spoke on a number of topics relating to his experience from his years in school to the successful career he now enjoys. He also spoke about current trends, and the current state of IT in Cambodia and the world.
This is the first in a planned series of workshops helping our kids to understand the opportunities in IT and other fields.
Financial Literacy Workshop at FLO
By: Sokrithy Morm, FLO AE Program Coordinator
Photo: Our FLO kids after the workshop
Our Kids Learn About Money
On Sunday December 15, at Future Light Orphanage, a workshop was conducted by a specialist from a well-known NGO. The workshop focused on financial literacy. The guest speaker and some of our high school and Advanced Education students gathered at the dining hall to listen to the speaker and engage in group activities.
The Financial Literacy course that was offered is a practical course designed to create awareness of managing expenses properly, avoiding debt, and saving money from each paycheck. There will be other sessions conducted which will get into deeper detail and more topics about managing finances.
It was a fun and enjoyable atmosphere which created a lot of interaction between the guest speaker and participants. The students also worked in groups and discussed case studies, and they shared the new learning experiences that they had throughout all the activities with the whole group.
Participation at UNA Conference
By: Jan Taketa, President
Photo: Jan Taketa at United Nations Day
U.N. Day On Women's Issues
On October 24, 2013 I was privileged to be invited to be one of the four guest speakers at a conference sponsored by the Hawaii branch of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. The event was held at the Hawaii State Capitol to celebrate United Nations Day.
Hawaii's focus for this U.N. Day was on the struggles of women around the world: Slavery through prostitution, domestic work, and child marriages, obstacles to education and abuse through dysfunctional family lives.
I was invited to speak as a representative of eGlobal Family to discuss the work we have done at Future Light Orphanage (FLO) giving orphaned and vulnerable children educational opportunities and a safe environment to grow and blossom into adulthood. We showed ten minutes of the Pamela Young documentary "Children of the Future Light." After we aired the movie I talked specifically about Sophea (Elizabeth) and how FLO, with Rob Hail's help, rescued her from her abusive father and a probable life of slavery through prostitution. The audience was very moved and many people said they would go on our website to learn more about our work.
The second speaker was Katy Xian from PASS (Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery). She gave us chilling statistics about woman from all countries, including the US, who are forced into prostitution. She described their lives and how they are used and abandoned. Katy discussed proposed laws and other actions that hopefully will be adopted to save some of these women.
The third speaker was Andrea Aiona. She spoke about her personal experience living with drug-addicted parents and siblings and about her determination to break out of this cycle and get her education. She is now getting her doctorate in Math education and is helping public school girls and Pacific Islanders understand math in a new more practical manner. She teaches them not to be afraid of math and to appreciate the various forms used by the Pacific Island countries.
The fourth speaker was Joshua Cooper from the UNA board and the University of Hawaii. He spoke of the UN Millenium Development Goals to uplift the lives of woman and children with initiatives to protect human rights and prevent poverty and violence. Dr. Cooper is a United Nations Global Educator who has visited FLO and is very supportive of our mission there.
The program will be aired on Olelo Public Television at a later date. You can learn more about UNA Hawaii on their website www.unausahawaii.org.
Green Rows eGlobal Family 2013 Fundraiser
By: Jay Jurick, Board Member and eFoster Parent
Photo: Chris Dovermann at Green Rows Farm
A Huge Success!
A huge thank you goes out to the many volunteers, participants, vendors and attendees of our fabulously successful Green Rows eGlobal Family 2013 fundraiser! The food (provided by nationally celebrated chefs David Brown, Alan Tsuchiyama, and students from the KCC Culinary Arts School) was spectacular, the music (The Saloon Pilots and the Kapakahi Jug Band) was rocking, and the love of all who participated was overwhelming. A great time was had by all. And best of all, a tidy sum (thank you Joe Teipel and all who helped with that!) was raised to help our kids, and in particular, for our Advanced Education Program. Pictured is Chris Dovermann, who was one of those who went above and beyond to make it all happen, and you can just make out our tremendously talented and entertaining MC, Linda Coble on the right in the background. Our heartfelt gratitude to all who helped make this event the huge success that it was.
An Orphan No More Book To Benefit eGlobal Family
Jerry and Jordan Windle's new book, An Orphan No More, is now available online. The story is a beautiful one, about love, family, and overcoming all odds to acheive something miraculous. It is based on the real-life story of Jordan Pisey Windle and features a forward by Olympic Gold Medalist Greg Louganis. And if all that wasn't enough, Jerry has generously offered to make a donation to eGlobal Family for each book purchased using our reference code:
Just go to www.anorphannomore.com to read more about the book. When you make your purchase, just enter eglobal in the reference code field.
Khmer New Year
Photo: Khmer dancers from the Cambodian Hawaii Friendship Association
On April 17th, 2011 eGlobal Family and the Cambodian Hawaii Friendship Association (CHFA) hosted a joint fundraiser event to celebrate the Cambodian New Year. The event was held at the Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu and featured traditional Khmer dance performances by CHFA members. After the presentations everyone enjoyed a Cambodian dinner and live Cambodian music. This is a fun time of year for the Cambodian community as they celebrate this special holiday:
"The Cambodian New Year is based on the lunar calendar, and is celebrated every April at the end of the harvest season. About 85 percent of residents in Cambodia are rural farmers and this is a time for them to enjoy the fruits of their harvest and relax before the rainy season begins."
"The celebration lasts three days from April 14 to 16. During this time, the Khmer people clean their homes thoroughly to rid of any unclean spirits. They buy new clothes to represent new beginnings, and take time off work to visit family and friends, as well as Buddhist pagodas."
"Day one, Maha Sangkrahn, is the entry into the new year signaled by the drum or bell of the Buddhist temple. With the sounding, it is believed that the new Angel arrives. Day two is called Vana Bat, and is a time to show respect to elders. It is also a time to serve the community. Cambodians offer charity to the less fortunate, participate in service activities and forgive others for their misdeeds. The final day is called "Loeung Sak" and is a day for the cleansing of Buddha statues. People wash the statues with perfumed water to bring good luck, long life and happiness to their families."
"This year, the angel is believed to come down on April 14 at 1:12 p.m. as calculated by Khmer astronomers. The angel's name is Keriny Tevy. She is adorned with the Mondea flower tucked behind her ear and an emerald around her neck. In her right hand she carries a harpoon and a gun in her left. She rides an elephant as she processes down to earth to bless the New Year."
Happy Cambodian New Year!
New Arrivals at FLO
By: Rob Hail, eGF Founder and Chairman
Photo: Rob and Phaly with New FLO Children
Last month I went out to a rural village with Phaly and FLO staff to help them receive an intake of new children. Interviewing the kids and hearing their sad stories is so interesting, but at times you just have to fight to hold back the tears. So many have had such a struggle - very little food, most appear to be about half of their actual age, so little love or attention in their lives, and most have lost at least one parent. The parent or relative who remains begs us to take them off their hands and give them a chance for a better life. Most have had either no education or very little. Some have been abused and suffer from headaches and nervousness. All are eager for a chance at a new life.
We load up all 18 "new" kids in our little van, along with five staff and head back to FLO along the long bumpy and dusty dirt road. The 23 of us are crammed into the van's 12 seats. All but one of the kids have never been in a car before and all are so excited as they crane their little necks out the window seeing sights they have never seen before...their new lives have begun. All are excited but also a bit scared and confused. Soon the excitement turns into car sickness for about half of them. Their heads go down into the little plastic bags we have given each of the. We have done this before.
Three hours later we arrive at FLO and our big gate opens. Our 180 or so FLO kids are waiting in parallel lines inside clapping and saying in both Khmer and English, "Welcome to FLO!!!... Welcome to FLO!!!" Our new arrivals look both terrified and excited. (What are they thinking?!) Some of their stunned faces turn to smiles as they recognize a few of the kids at FLO who left their village a year or two ago and also landed in FLO. The FLO children now surround the new children with puzzled and curious faces.
Samnang (which means "lucky" in Khmer) is the newest child to come to FLO. His story is tragic but inspirational and you can decide if his name is fitting after reading his story:
Samnang was born about five years ago in northeastern Cambodia in the mountainous area near the Vietnamese border. This is an extremely poor area where villagers employ slash and burn methods of farming, are still struggling from the aftermath of the American war with Vietnam and the ravages of the Pol Pot regime. Samnang's father abandoned his mother soon after he was born to look for work in Malaysia. His mother struggled to feed him but was overcome by illness about two years ago and died.
His aunt took over the care of Samnang for about a year but abandoned him about a year ago. Being so poor, like her fellow villagers, she simply left Samnang in a little hooch or hut under a big tree in the countryside and would come by and leave him a bit of food when she could. After many months (no one is exactly sure how many) of living in this condition Samnang became skin and bones, was covered with sores and festering mosquito bites. He could no longer walk or talk, was alone and close to death.
Someone from the small town near the village happened to pass the hut and could hear his faint crying and was horrified by what they saw. The immediately informed the local authorities who came and got the boy and rushed him to the hospital. The small hospital there could not do much for him at this point as he was so ill. They contacted Phally at FLO to ask if there was anything that could be done. Just by chance she was planning to come to this mountain area, which is ten hours by car from FLO, in two more days to attend to some other orphaned children. Upon seeing Samnang her heart broke and she vowed to do what she could to save his life.
She took him back to Phnom Penh and got him into a proper hospital for treatment. It has been touch and go with him for the past five months but the FLO kids have been staying with him 24 hours a day, attending him at the hospital with hospital staff and he has just recently become healthy enough to move from the hospital to FLO. He is now the center of attention of all the children and receives constant love and affection and all the food he can eat! He is now part of our FLO and eGlobal Family and the plan is to have Samnang stay at FLO for a long time to come! He is very bright and curious, starting to talk again and seems very happy!
New Books at FLO
The Future Light Orphanage (FLO) just received new English language textbooks. At FLO, all the children attend daily English and computer classes at the Aloha Learning Center - a building on the orphanage grounds that consists of four classrooms. Each classroom is full every evening as the students attend classes taught by professional English and computer teachers. FLO employs two Cambodian English teachers that teach the classes almost entirely in English. Sometimes volunteers or visitors will participate in the English classes so the children can have a chance to practice their skills with native English speakers.
These new English books are from a series called "Interchange." FLO was able to purchase these books by using funds donated for their education programs. School supplies, such as up-to-date textbooks, are essential for providing the FLO children with a chance to learn.