Wednesday, April 8, 2009

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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About the slide show

Many of the pictures you see in the slide show are photographs taken by children formerly from Steung Meanchey garbage dump. Many of the photos of the children are the children who used to live and work in the dump but are now in the healthy, loving, and educational environment of CCH (Center for Children's Happiness). These pictures can show you an idea of the horrible conditions of the garbage dump, and the save haven of CCH. To view more pictures taken by the children of CCH just click on the slideshow.

About CCH

1.1 Introduction

The Centre for Children's Happiness (CCH) was started in October 2002. It provides a home and education to over 140 children. The children are either orphans or belong to parents who cannot take care of them due to illness or disability. Most all of the children previously worked as garbage pickers at the Steung Mean Chey garbage dump in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Each day several hundred people at the Stung Mean Chey garbage dump hunt through Phnom Penh's refuse. Most of the rubbish pickers are looking for recyclable materials which they sell to a local recycler earning themselves an average daily income of about 50 cents (US) and at best $2. Danger is everywhere at the dump: from discarded needles and other medical equipment, hidden sink holes that claims the lives of many children, toxic fumes rising from the rotting rubbish and the danger of being run over by a garbage truck to the dangers that arise from living and working in an environment with no security.

1.2 Official status

CCH is a non-governmental organization officially recognized by the Cambodian Ministry of Interior. CCH is a member of the Cambodian NGO Committee on Rights of the Child and receives support from the Phnom Penh Department of Education, Youth and Sport.

1.3 The beginning

CCH’s founders are Ms Osanai Mieko (President of Japan Team of Young Human Power (JHP)) and Mr Mech Sokha. Mr Mech is also the director and sits on the Board of Directors. Mr Oum Hoeung, Director of Phnom Penh Department of Education, Youth and Sport, sits on CCH’s Board.

JHP provided initial construction and operating costs for the original CCH building. The construction and expansion of a second facility, known as CDCC, was undertaken in May 2005. In August, 2006, a third facility was constructed called "CCH 2" which houses 24 boys. The original CCH facility now houses about the same number of girls.

1.4 The children’s new lives

The CCH centres are a haven to the previous lives the children knew.

Previously uneducated, the children now attend the local public primary school. They go to school in three shifts. One third of the children go in the morning from 6:30am to 10am, another group goes from 10:30am to 2pm, and a third group attends school from 2pm to 5:30pm.

When the children are not at public school, they get lessons at CCH in Khmer, English, Japanese, Mathematics, and sometimes the Arts and other subjects (depending on the available volunteers). English is not taught until grade 7 at Khmer public schools and so CCH provides the children’s first exposure to English when they first arrive at the center. Mathematics and English are taught daily, a Japanese volunteer comes to teach Japanese once a week and volunteers tutor in Khmer and English.

In addition to developing their education, the children at CCH give back to their community. The centre operates innovative programs such as the CCH Road Show, in which children at the orphanage dramatize social problems such as trafficking and domestic violence and the CCH Youth Angels, where CCH youth provide support for elderly impoverished people living near to CCH.

The CCH centres employ in total over 20 staff members. These include live-in personnel, teachers, cooks, a driver, and a sewing teacher. But these staff members provide far more than these services, as they are also the children’s main source of adult attention and provide important role models. Children at CCH are expected to develop themselves as people both in terms of education and moral values to become good citizens of the world.

The children’s career ambitions run from tailors and farmers to engineers and doctors. Some want to be auto mechanics, others want to work with computers. Others want to be accountants, nurses, journalists, child carers, hairdressers, dancers, electricians, cooks and drivers.

New Site, Thanks for your patience

I am still in the process of putting the site together.

Thanks

Brian