Stella’s Blog – 12th February 2016

Our sewing workshop has a beautiful roof and a sun canopy over the front of the building – this serves several purposes, it keeps the sun off and it also means it keeps the rain off during the wet season. Its customary in Cambodia to take your shoes off before entering a house or building (unless its a shop on the side of the road) which means there will always be a cluster of flipflops outside every classroom. For this reason we have built a slightly raised terrace outside the building so shoes will not float away in the wet season and feet entering the classroom will be relatively clean. Without this it would get very muddy very quickly.

Unfortunately this addition wasn’t included in the initial building estimate but I’ve reassigned funds because its something I felt should be in place now and would also work out cheaper to do it now while the builders were already on site. As you can see from the pic, its a very handsome building which will be even more so by the time it has the flooring down and its been painted!

Other great news is the school has been growing… Director of the school, Kimsan, has resigned from one of his other jobs so he can now teach at the school and we have just enrolled a further 80 students! We are now running a rotating timetable and two part time teachers are teaching 160 children 6 days a week. As soon as the sewing workshop and e-learning lab is complete we will also open to older students and parents in the community and start making the school financially sustainable 🙂

DSC03432      DSC03435      DSC03434

DSC03436      DSC03437      DSC03438

DSC03439      DSC03440      DSC03441

DSC03442      DSC03443

Every day the students bring one completed bottle brick to go towards the bottle brick toilet we’re building and we now have well over 1,000! The toilets will be composting toilets and will combine rice husk with the waste, after 12 months the compost will completely free of any ‘germs’ and will be used as fertiliser for the vegetable garden and fruit trees.

I have set up an info page for the bottle brick building here

The next stage with the sewing workshop is to install power and then we can look at all the equipment we need. Its great to see this all coming together now and I’m looking forward to getting started on some creative sewing lessons, but not as much as the students – they are beyond the description of excitement as it means they can stay at home and lean skills while completing their education and not have to leave their family to work in a sweatshop in Thailand. Happy days!