Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Construction Begins in 5 Days on Kempenfelt Rotary School in Cambodia

It's been 10 months of planning and fundraising and now, in five short days, construction will begin on a Free Education School funded and built the the Rotary Club of Barrie-Kempenfelt, District 7010.

The school will be built in the small village of Daunleb in Svay Chrum District, Svay Rieng province. This small village and the surrounding villages have no electricity. Thanks to Alternative Power from Barrie, Ontario, the school will have solar power, ans so will 10 other village families. CEO, Steve Culbert, will be coming over with the team to do the installation himself.

The team of 28 Rotarians and Friends, under Mike and MaryAnne Kinsey, are flying over right now from various parts of Ontario and will begin arriving here at Phnom Penh airport in 3 hours!

There will be local labor helping us out over the next three weeks as the school is built. They have been onsite since the beginning of December - first, the landfill team, then the fence-post team of two, and now, the construction manager Noun Amey and his three laborers that will help our team along.

A big thanks goes to Sophea Keo, who has been organizing many facets of this project! Sophea will be the school's first teacher.

Sophea Keo

January 6th, 2014:

The Water Tower is up and inside toilet pits dug at the KEMPENFELT ROTARY SCHOOL BUILDING SITE IN CAMBODIA. In 3 hours, the first 6 of a team of 28 arrive here in Cambodia to begin building a school in a small village in Svay Rieng province. Construction begins Sunday. Mike Kinsey and MaryAnne Cameron-Kinsey and most of their team of Rotarians and Friends arrive here tomorrow. Many thanks to Noun Amey and Sophea Keo for organizing the local labour.

January 4th, 2015:

CONSTRUCTION SET-UP Began here today in Daunleb village, Svay Rieng district, Cambodia, where a team of 31 Rotarians & Friends from the BARRIE-KEMPENFELT ROTARY CLUB, District 7010, under Mike Kinsey and MaryAnne Cameron-Kinsey , will begin to build a school later this week! The team starts arriving in 3 days to begin construction of a School that will provide free English classes and basic sanitation classes to children in three surrounding villages. The school will also provide outreach programs for landmine survivors and the impoverished. The local labor arrived onsite today to prepare the school-building site.

In December 2014, the two-stall latrine was completed and well dug:

Bookmark this blogsite and over the next three weeks, you'll see a school built!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Round Square 2012 Student Team - Phnom Penh Highlights and Beginning Construction

The team's first few days in Cambodia as they visit many of Phnom Penh's cultural highlights including Choeung Ek Killing Fields, the Genocide Museum, People Improvement Centre's school and orphanage near the garbage dump, Banyan Learning Tree School, Wat Phnom and a special lunch enjoyed at Friends restaurant which trains Phnom Penh Street youth in the service industry. From here we go to Takeo to start building a Family Care Centre in rural Takeo province. The student team is achieving amazing progress with all columns up by the end of day two of the construction project. 
Day Two - foundation laid and many columns up!


RSIS Students visit Wat Phnom in Phnom Penh
Dancing with Khmer Children at PIO School
At Friends Restaurant - which train Phnom Penh Street Youth
Guided Tour of Camp S-21 Genocide Museum
Posing with Genocide Survivor at Camp S-21 in Phnom Penh

 Many Thanks to Free the Bears ( for our fantastic VIP tour of their Asian Bear rescue centre located at Tamao Wildlife Sanctuary and Rescue Centre

This  A Mine Free World Foundation ( project is funded and built by Round Square

At the end of week one - Construction of the Banyan Learning Tree Family Care Centre is way ahead of schedule, with walls up and rendering in progress.

Building the columns

Thursday, December 6, 2012

21 International Students From Round Square Arriving in Cambodia to Build!

The excitement has begun as 21 students from around the world arrive in Cambodia on a Round Square International Service trip.

Phnom Penh airport is seeing the arrival of students from the following countries: United Kingdom, Australia, Peru, Canada, South Africa, India Kenya and Germany!         

The students will undertake the construction of a Family Care/Women's Centre in the rural village of Prokeab in Takeo province. This centre will be a valuable resource for the community providing health care education for the rural women, a weaving course, and eventually a sewing program that will result in local women being able to operate their own village-level seamstress shop. A secondary project of the construction of a school playground will also be undertaken by the students.

The students are led under the guidance of leaders Sonia Christian from South Africa and Andrew O'Connell of Australia.   

The student's 22-day service trip will also include several trips to visit the cultural highlights of the country, including the Royal Palace, Toul Sleng and Choeung Ek Killing Fields in Phnom Penh, the famed temples of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap and a special Christmas break on the beaches of Sihanoukville.

Round Square Leader Sonia Christian with 3 arriving Students at Phnom Penh Airport

Last December, a group of Round Square students constructed a small free-education school at the Prokeab Takeo site which they named 'Brighter Beginnings' School. The school now sees over 100 children attending daily. A library building is also on the site. Outreach programs for landmine-affected families are also conducted through the school at Prokeab.

A Mine Free World Foundation would like to extend it's thanks to the students, leaders and all at Round Square for their support towards funding and building these valuable resources for the rural people and children in Takeo.

Keep posted to this blogsite in the ensuing days to watch the progress of construction and the meaningful cultural experiences the students encounter here in Cambodia.
Round Square Student Team 2011 and their 'Brighter Beginnings' School

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tuk Tuk for the Battambang Rotary Women's Centre in Cambodia

I must say that I usually am dealing with bicycle wheels, but it has been quite rewarding for Pauline and I to have been involved in a couple of bigger sets of wheels for quite worthy causes!

A couple of weeks ago, (last posting), a large tuk tuk was purchased for transporting village children to our Banyan Learning Tree School located on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

The current tuk tuk purchase has me equally excited as it provides valuable transportation for women housed at the Battambang Rotary Club Women's Centre!
Past President Nouv Saroeun of the Battambang Rotary Club and Lisa McCoy of the Rotary Club of Gravenhurst

Be sure to watch video at:

From a life of poverty with no chance for future support for her family...
... to a future with education on skill-building capacity..Thyda will be able to provide a sustanabe income for her landmine-survivor father and family.

It was in November, 2011, that the Toronto Rotary Club's 'Sweat Equity' team visited the nearly constructed Battambang Rotary Club's Women's Centre in Cambodia. The Centre officially opened in January 2012 and provides housing, meals and vocational training to impoverished women and women from landmine-affected families. Thanks to the Rotary Clubs of Cobourg and Whitby-Sunrise, District 7070, Ontario, Canada, the centre now can provide transportation for the women - mainly for the purpose of attending their vocational training at their placements in Battambang city center. This new $2,000 tuk tuk was purchased two days ago and can transport up to ten women at a time. The Battambang Women's Centre can accommodate up to 50 women and is seeking sponsorship so more women can benefit from the vocational training and job placement it provides for women. Tuk Tuk project conducted by
You can sponsor a woman from a landmine-affected family at the Battambang Rotary Women's Centre for $1,300.00. Your recipient is provided with a clean room and bathrooms, meals, health care, job placement, transportation and even child care. The woman is provided with one-on-one apprenticeship training at a beauty or Seamstress business in a professional shop for 9 months.As well as sewing skills, the women are taught business skills - marketing and customer service - very important to conduct your own business in the future!
 Once she is completed her course, she can be placed in a shop in Battambang or be provided with all the supplies needed to  start her own business in her village.

The Women's Centre holds up to 50 women - give a rural woman an opportunity at learning a skill that will benefit her whole family.

To donate, please see; Donors are provided with information and a photo of their sponsored woman and regular updates on their progress.

A Mine Free World Foundation Thida works inside her Placement  Seamstress Shop
Thida's room inside the Women's Centre
Thida (left) works inside the shop