The universities and English schools in Cambodia are still not providing face-to-face teaching, but still offer online lessons. This continues to be a major challenge for both students and teachers. Not only is the internet connection sometimes of low quality, but also the learning process sometimes takes longer. Yet, our students are still motivated and try very hard to be creative and support each other, despite the difficult framework conditions. Two examples:
Thida and Holida, our two math students, teach math to our two high school students Sreymey and Sreykeo (see photo) and Samphas, who studies physics, gives them physics extra lessons. One of the STUDAID program goals is that the students give back to society, for example by supporting and helping each other. We are happy to see that STUDAID students take this seriously.
We encourage our students and support them to become active as entrepreneurs. Master's student Phally told us at the last video call that she and a colleague have opened a web shop for second-hand clothes. The dresses are presented online on Facebook. As part of the service, Phally personally brings the purchased clothes to the customer; that costs extra and secures the next tank of fuel for the moped. In addition to her job in the marketing department of a shopping center, Phally can also try out her entrepreneurial talent and earn a few additional dollars.
Unfortunately, we also must report about the "dropout" of a student. Sreyphea stopped following her studies. At the beginning of the Corona period, when all universities were closed and she had little work and income in the hotel she worked, she went to her relatives in the province. She did not take part in the online lessons from there. Our Program Manager Kosal tried to contact her several times. Unfortunately, without a response. With this behavior Sreyphea has broken the STUDAID Charter Agreement and we unfortunately had to stop our support. We are very sorry, also for her Swiss sponsor Marc, who supported Sreyphea from the start and was in constant contact with her via email and video.
It is a great pleasure for us that we have a sponsor from Cambodia in the STUDAID program who will support Sophea. The sponsor, a successful entrepreneur in Phnom Penh, was Norbert's client during his volunteer assignment in Phnom Penh in autumn 2017. Thank you very much!
While in Switzerland we slowly return to normal and reopen schools, in Cambodia most universities are still closed. Online teaching is a particular challenge and students are not always able to participate. On the one hand, because the internet connections are sometimes very bad (especially in the countryside when students are with their families) and on the other hand, because students have to learn how to use their laptops, internet and the necessary software first. And...when it rains, the raindrops patter so loudly on the tin roofs that you hardly understand anything. Unfortunately, business in Cambodia has also come to a standstill. Therefore, many students can't work as much as usual and thus earn less money. All the more we are happy to know how big the support of our sponsors is. Some of our students needed a new laptop, which they could not finance from their own money. Therefore, we asked the respective sponsors. We are touched how generously, quickly and uncomplicatedly this financial support was provided and would like to thank them again - also in the name of the students!
It is a great pleasure for us that the Rotary Club Muttenz Wartenberg supports our program and will sponsor a student, Samphas, for 4 years. A member of the Rotary Club Muttenz Wartenberg has agreed to mentor the student. Thank you very much!
Publication of our Annual Report 2019 on what we have achieved so far, the highlights, challenges, finances and outlook for 2020.
The street children's kitchen "Les Restaurant des Enfants", which STUDAID supports, has put up a board with our logo. Sreykeo and Sreymey, our two high school students who help in the street children's kitchen, and we in Switzerland are very happy about this.
Norbert, Juliane and their son Timo travelled to Cambodia in February. On their first stop in Siem Reap, they came by a frozen yogurt stand. Talking to the young vendors, it turned out that they were students of www.cambodiaruralstudentstrust.org organization, an NGO founded by Australians. The organization works similarly to STUDAID. The frozen yogurt stand, called "Project Y", is one of their projects. While enjoying fine frozen yogurt, Norbert and his family had a very interesting exchange with these happy and highly motivated students.
The trip then went on to Phnom Penh to meet with the STUDAID students and NHEK Kosal, the program manager on site. A special dinner was held for the STUDAID alumni, the eight students who have already graduated or will graduate within the next few months. This dinner was not only a celebration of their success, but also an event to consider how these students can contribute to the STUDAID program in the long term. It was very impressive and positive to see the students discussing on who could do what and communicating their decision to Norbert and NHEK Kosal. A goal of STUDAID that the students help others, becomes a reality.
As always, a visit to the street children's kitchen "Les Restaurant Des Enfants" was not to be missed. This time STUDAID donated 240 kg of meat for the children. The first part of the delivery was handed over during the visit. Our student Sam An, who also works in the street children's kitchen herself, created a special poster for this event.
To see the home village of one of the students, the path led four hours away from Phnom Penh to the countryside. This provided an opportunity for Norbert’s family to get an impression of how the families live, to talk to them and also to attend the primary school in this village. Always in Norbert’s luggage where some treats "Basler Leckerli" which he distributed to the children.
Another highlight was the meeting with all STUDAID students. All but two students were able to participate. Our Cambodian trustee, lawyer KONG Sochet and the program manager NHEK Kosal were also present. At a Cambodian BBQ, everyone enjoyed the evening with interesting conversations and took lots of souvenir photos!
Unfortunately we have had our first dropout from the STUDAID program; Oudom, who was part of our program since February 2019. Regrettably, he did not visit university and English class regularly and thus broke the charter agreement that we sign with all students at onboarding into our program. After talking to Oudom and explaining the consequences, he promised to go back to his studies and signed a corresponding agreement. Yet still, he broke the rules again. Therefore the STUDAID program management, together with the local manager in Phnom Penh, NHEK Kosal, decided to stop supporting him and to take him out of the STUDAID program. We are very sorry for Oudom, who initially studied hard, but also for our sponsor, to whom we are very grateful for supporting Oudom financially to allow him the opportunity to go attend university. We can only learn from such cases and it also shows, how important local support and supervision is.
Publication of our fourth STUDAID newsletter.
We would like to thank the Church Care of St. Joseph, Horgen, who are covering the costs for the local STUDAID Program Manager in Phom Penh, NHEK Kosal, for one year. Kosal will supervise the currently 22 students and is responsible for the STUDAID seminars. His work is very valuable for our program.
Schule Wehntal has sold their aged computer equipment and generously donated the proceeds to STUDAID. We thank the Schule Wehntal, its leadership and its board.
We are happy that we have found a sponsor and mentor for Sovanny and Holida. Thank you very much for your support!
Five students passed the exams and successfully completed their studies. We congratulate Sreymean, Lyhorng, Rany, Sokly and Sina on their Bachelor's degree! Rany and Sina have decided to continue their studies up to the Master's degree. We are very happy that the sponsors of Rany and Sina continue to support them financially and mentally in their studies and would like to express our heartfelt thanks - also on behalf of the students, who are very happy about this and continue to give their best!
Our team gets reinforcement: With Beat Waldmeier we could not only win a sponsor & mentor for a student, he will be the contact person for our sponsors & mentors in the future and actively maintain the sponsor community. We are very happy and say "Welcome to the team"!
It is a great pleasure for us that the Rotary Club Zofingen supports our program and will sponsor a student, Ya, for 4 years. A member of the Rotary Club Zofingen has agreed to mentor the student. Thank you very much!
Publication of our third STUDAID newsletter.
Nisai is our first student to have completed his studies; he graduated in June and has already found a permanent position with a young IT company. We are very proud of our first alumni, who worked hard to reach this goal. We wish him the very best in his new career and are certain that he is a helpful support for our younger students with IT problems and that he will be an excellent ambassador for the STUDAID program.
One goal has been achieved: 20+2 students are currently being supported by you! Why 20+2? The «2» are special cases Sreymey and Sreykeo who still attend high school, but are in dire need of sponsorship in order to complete those studies. «20» are all students who can study at the university thanks to the support of their STUDAID sponsors.
Through a fundraising campaign on the occasion of her birthday, S.B. made it possible for us to finance Channa's studies in 2019 and a few months in 2020. Many thanks to S.B. and all her guests who donated! Thus not only the birthday wish of S.B. came true, but also Channa's wish to study - she is very happy!
We are happy that we have found a sponsor and mentor for Thida. Thank you very much for your support!
We are happy that we have found a sponsor and mentor for Savat. Thank you very much for your support!
Chris spent several weeks in Phnom Penh in March/April. Besides the many meetings with our Program Manager NHEK Kosal and conversations with our students, we held the second event of this year for the STUDAID and PGH students. When we asked them about a year ago, what topics they would like to see us cover in our seminars, the most common answer was "soft skills; things we don't learn at university". To follow the path, after "The Power of Self-Leadership", this seminar was about "Find a Good Job and Work with Passion". Things to consider when applying for a job, what to expect from the job market and how to best navigate the application process are soft skills which are not only important, but crucial tools to help equip our students in the best possible way for their professional future.
HRInc - the largest HR service provider in Cambodia - graciously provided us with two experts on these topics; SUY Sokha, Manager Recruiting and DOEUK Chamnan, Team Leader in Recruiting. After a brief introduction by Chris to the importance of passion for one's profession for success and a happy life alike, they engaged the students interactively to teach them how to navigate their job search and the application process. Our sincerest thanks to HRInc Cambodia!
After the event, students and speakers enjoyed great food and conversation at an excellent BBQ. We are happy to report, that we had more than a successful seminar to celebrate: Nisai is our first student who completed his studies; he graduated this month and has already found a permanent position with a young IT company. We are extremely proud of our first alumni, who has worked hard to reach these important milestones. We wish him the very best in his new career and are certain that he will be an excellent ambassador for the STUDAID program.
Thanks again to all involved and thank you, as always, to our sponsors who help us make these things possible!
We are glad to hear, that the contact between Dany and Sampada / Markus is well established so that they can video call directly in the future. This is a relief for us.
Publication of our Annual Report 2018 on what we have achieved so far, the highlights, challenges, finances and outlook for 2019.
We are happy that we have found a sponsor and mentor for Oudom. Thank you very much for your support!
We are happy that we have found a sponsor and mentor for Rany. Thank you very much for your support!
From 21.2.-1.3. Norbert travelled to Phnom Penh. A highlight of his stay was a seminar with all students regarding "The Power of Self-Leadership". All the students were very interested and attentively followed what Norbert had to say. Our Progam Manager NHEK Kosal was able to translate into the national language, because it is still difficult for most students to understand everything in English or to express themselves in English. Norbert has also started to sweat - but more so because of the high temperatures in the university's non-air-conditioned auditorium. During his stay he also conducted several interviews with students together with NHEK Kosal. Also important were various meetings with the Program Manager to discuss further cooperation, to optimize movement sequences, to give instructions so that the processes can be designed as efficiently as possible. Even though we are in very good contact with Kosal via monthly video calls and exchange information via e-mail, the on-site meetings are very enriching and necessary.
The program also included a visit to the street kitchen for children "Le Restaurant des Enfants". Here more than 200 children are fed, washed and brought to school every day before they go back to their families (often to the slums) in the evening. Thanks to a donation campaign by icommit in December 2018, we were able to donate 1,200 kg of rice to the children. The joy was enormous.
Publication of our second STUDAID newsletter with a review of the last 12 months.
It is a great pleasure for us that the Lions Club Oerlikon supports our program and pays NHEK Kosal, our Program Manager in Phnom Penh, for one year. A big thank you to the Lions Club Oerlikon - also on behalf of NHEK Kosal! In addition, the Lions Club Oerlikon will sponsor a student, Chanty, for 3 years. A member of the Lions Club Oerlikon has agreed to mentor the student. Thank you very much!
For the first time it was possible to win a sponsorship from Cambodia itself! The sponsor, a successful entrepreneur in Phnom Penh, was Norbert's client during his volunteer assignment in Phnom Penh in autumn 2017. We are happy that this closes a circle and we have a sponsor from Cambodia in the STUDAID program and Panha is supported by her.
We are happy that we have found two sponsors and mentors for Dany and Yieur. Thank you very much for your support!
Publication of our first STUDAID newsletter with the most important milestones of the last 10 months.
Also in Cambodia all universities and schools are closed because of the coronavirus. Please follow the instructions to protect yourself and others and to stop the spread of the virus.