Savong Orphan Centre

Cambodia's flag
Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap
October 16th 2010
Published: October 16th 2010
Edit Blog Post

The plan was to teach English for a few days in a school providing free education to underprivaledged children in Thnol Trong Village, near Siem Reap. Unfortunately, the night before we were due to start the heavens opened and flooded half of Cambodia, including the school. Savong, the owner, asked us if we'd like to go to the orphanage that he also set up instead to play with the kids. We jumped at the opportunity.

So we've spent the last few days traveling to Thnol Trong Village and visiting the children in Savong Orphan Centre. The days started with us being picked up by tuk tuk and taken to the centre, a half an hour journey allowing us to see the extent of the flooding of people's houses and land. We then joined in with the English lessons and even gave our own lesson which was completely new to us, but we think we pulled it off ok. PE and free time came next where we'd play games with the kids and taught a bit more English to Kimsan, a 16 year old girl who wants to be a teacher when she grows up. When we were leaving she said
Mekong River in Siem ReapMekong River in Siem ReapMekong River in Siem Reap

busting it's banks.
that she'd never forget me and that she loved me.

Savong met up with us on the first night to explain a little bit more about the children. Some of the kids have at least one parent but their families are so poor that they cannot afford to keep them. He asked us to write a bit about our time there on his website whilst we grabbed some food at a western style fast food joint. Savong is a nice man who has obviously done a lot of work for the children. His school has over 600 pupils who fit in study around working in the fields to provide food for their family. It's quite amazing how keen the children are to study.

Working with the kids has been a real highlight of our trip, they were so welcoming from the start. A girl wrapped her arms around me and didn't let go for at least ten minutes and Steve was used as a climbing frame and generally had at least two children on him at any one time.

These last few days have been a real eye opener, one which has been quite difficult to see. The children have so very little, but are still so full of spirit and fun. We'll not forget them in a hurry, that's for sure.

Lots of love


PS If you'd like to read a bit more about SOC here is their website:

Additional photos below
Photos: 46, Displayed: 23


In front of SOCIn front of SOC
In front of SOC

This was flooded up to your ankles a few days before.
Our Body Parts lessonOur Body Parts lesson
Our Body Parts lesson

Teaching was a bit daunting to begin with, but with a bit of help from Savong we did OK. On the last day we spent a good couple of hours with Kimsan. Her English is amazing, for a 16 year old she is so mature.
In the classroomIn the classroom
In the classroom

Savong to the left.
Having fun..Having fun..
Having fun..

The girl in the white t-shirt, Galina, was also volunteering. She had previously come with a project from school, she fell in love with the kids and has made plans to visit every summer.

PE lessons consist of badminton and free play. SOC also has a volleyball court and basketball net, but the court was flooded while we were there.
Playing cardsPlaying cards
Playing cards

Haven't a clue what it was called but it involved paper, scissors, stone and throwing cards on the floor. I'm not sure how you win or loose, but it was fun.
Bedrooms and clinicBedrooms and clinic
Bedrooms and clinic

The centre also has a clinic with a nurse and a doctor that visits twice a month. This is a free clinic open to the surrounding village - the only health care available to some people. During our last day children and adults came to see the doctor, some of the children joined in with the games in the classroom.
Copying from the boardCopying from the board
Copying from the board

The age gap was huge, trying to find a lesson that would suit all levels was tricky.
Some Khmer dancingSome Khmer dancing
Some Khmer dancing

Savong exlplained to us that this girl was at another orphanage before where the owners made them work late in to the night giving performances to tourists. The donations given to them was then pocketed by the people who run it and not spent on food to feed the children. A lot of the kids there are too thin, as this girl was. This girl's mother removed her daughter from that orphanage and was placed in Savong's care.
Typical morning hello from the kidsTypical morning hello from the kids
Typical morning hello from the kids

As soon as we arrived we were given massive hugs and used as climbing frames.

16th October 2010

Such a wonderful blog, dear little children. Savong is clearly a gem. We are so proud of you both. lots of love xxxxxxx
16th October 2010

Savong is certainly a gem. We need more people like him in the world. Lots of love xxx
19th October 2010

Aww man, you guys! What absolute sweethearts, i'm not suprised the kids won't forget you looks like you were having so much fun together x
20th October 2010

Hi Nici
All the kiddies were sooooo much fun and really friendly. Good to hear from you. I hope all's well back home. xx
20th October 2010

Hi J&L
Steve was a magnet, the kids loved him. Maybe it's because he's a big kid still at heart. xx
9th November 2010

Wow - thanks for posting this!
Guys, I was just looking up Savong and found your blog - and have spent 20 minutes going through the pictures - happy memories and looking at all the little details. Fantastic. I'll do a link to your blog on the website What I love ehre is the level of play with these kids. In rural Cambodia there is very little of the culture of play that we generally grow up with. The toys, the sandpit etc - yet the SOC children clearly have a high level of interactivity (with each other and with visitors) which is a joy to see in your photos. Everyone falls in love with Kemsan! That girl is really bright, and when she finishes Grade 12 (still a few years away) I hope we'll be able to sponsor her through University. Savong School started a university scholarship this year, and the plan is to add more scholarship students, at least 4 per annum, to support them through university with fees, transport, laptop and living allowance. Can you imagine Kemsan, a few years from now, holding a degree and able to follow any opportunity she chooses. That's the dream. Thanks for your posting, and especial thanks for visiting.
21st November 2010

Hi Duncan
Thank you for reading and for your lovely comment. It's so good to hear that Kemsan has a bright future. SOC is doing such fabulous work, it was amazing to have visited. We will stay in touch. Best of luck with the future. Sheryl
21st November 2010

21st November 2010

31st December 2010

Hi Sheryl and Steve! :) I was wondering if any of you wanted some of my photos, i think i've got some of you guys, and if you want i have some pretty cute photos of the children too. If you want, you could either find me on facebook (if you have facebook) as 'Galina Kuan' or would email be better? :) I love this blog by the way! Are you planning to make another trip to cambodia soon? xxxx
31st December 2010
Having fun..

aww i love this! :)
31st December 2010
Awww he was a bit shy.

haha aww he's so cute.
21st June 2011

Added a link to the website
By the way guys, I added a link to your wonderful blog on the website. It gives us a kick to see how visitors see us!
16th July 2011

Such brilliant memories.
27th October 2011

pray for my Vlige
dear sir . i am from Pakistan sindh my vlige is a many children orphans the have a no eduction no food no clothe and no fuotar so please pray for may vlige Calderon ' a. razaq

Tot: 2.579s; Tpl: 0.024s; cc: 6; qc: 47; dbt: 0.0248s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb