Sunday, September 11, 2011

‘Muskoka Wells’ to Benefit Two New Schools in Cambodia

Thousands of donated items from Muskoka and beyond, in the hands of a team of hard-working volunteers, resulted in over $5,500 raised at the A Mine Free World Foundation Giant Garage Sale held at the Gravenhurst Curling Club this July.

It was all for the cause to provide rural Cambodian children with two vital essentials that we here in Canada enjoy ample access to: Clean Water and Sanitation.

On two school-building sites in two small villages in Cambodia there now stand two, brand new two-stall latrines and two wells which are proudly sponsored by all those in Muskoka who contributed to the Giant Garage Sale endeavor.

A Big Thank You to Director Om Chamnap and Phearom Noun from

Banyan Learning Tree for a Successful Well and Latrine Project

New Schools

In addition, two new one-room schools will be erected this December in Prokeab and Bakot villages in Takeo Province, Cambodia when Gravenhurst resident Lisa McCoy and Pauline Johns (Australia) and teams of students and adults from the international organization Roundsquare ( spend three weeks in Cambodia on a school construction trip.

These are just two of four building projects that local Rotarian, and A Mine Free World Foundation Executive Director Lisa McCoy and Board Member Pauline Johns will be coordinating during their upcoming six months in Cambodia and Laos.

Another two-storey school on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, funded by Patti Lee, Barbara Seagram and the Toronto Bridge Group is slated for construction in October. The school site in Prokeab village will also see construction of a library/computer facility. All of these schools are under the Banyan Learning Tree umbrella organization in Cambodia.

17 year-old Thoun, a disabled student in a small village outside of Siem Reap, is now getting practical experience in his future profession. An excellent student, he now is providing an English Class at his village home. All supplies and desks were also provided from Giant Garage Sale funds. His own education is supported by the Rotary Club of Etobicoke. Now, he is sharing his knowledge with others. Thanks to Socheat Chea for overseeing this project in Cambodia.

Landmine Survivors

Much of A Mine Free World Foundation’s projects are conducted through the Canadian Landmine Foundation (CLMF) Officially introduced in 1999, the CLMF is Canada’s foremost awareness building and fundraising organization for landmine eradication. Its President and CEO, the Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, was the Foreign Affairs Minister responsible for ratifying the Ottawa Treaty, the international treaty to ban land mines.

All our current school-building projects all provide outreach programs for landmine-affected families.

Last winter, we implemented 34 micro-businesses for rural landmine survivors as well as provided educational support for their children. We’ll be providing this help for many more landmine survivors this winter. You can watch a video of one of her successful bicycle repair business recipients on the home page of the CLMF website.

You can sponsor a landmine survivor today with your donation to A Mine Free World Foundation. We have many families waiting for a small village business or a new home. You can donate online. For more information visit or email:

We look forward to showing visiting Rotarians from our district as well as the November Rotary and Friends Sweat Equity groups from district 7070 all these projects when they visit Battambang and the surrounding villages.

Rotary Wheels for Learning

Volunteering as Field Coordinator for the Rotary Club of Gravenhurst’s Rotary Wheels for Learning (RWFL) bicycle distribution program, Lisa, and Pauline, coordinated the distribution of over 300 bicycles for rural Cambodian children last year. Many of these bicycles went to children from landmine-affected families.

In January, 19 Bracebridge and Gravenhurst Rotarians and friends will join McCoy in Cambodia to distribute bicycles in five rural areas of the country. Their goal is to be able to provide 1,000 bicycles for needy children to attend school.

Fund Raiser at Boston Pizza September 22

You can help this cause by attending a special fundraising dinner at Boston Pizza in Gravenhurst on Sept. 22nd, 6-9pm. The Cambodia Trip Team will be on hand to serve your dinner! Special presentations, a silent auction and a night of fun are sure to be had by all. Reservations only – 684-8024.

If you can't attend, consider making a tax-receiptable donation to Rotary Wheels for Learning at the site below.

We head for Cambodia September 27th. Follow us at: and

We’ll also be spending some time in Laos this February as we join Steve Rutledge from Adopt a Village in Laos to help distribute 50 RWFL bicycles.

More, from Cambodia soon ;-)

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