Welcome to the Anjali House Blog!
Here you will read regular updates from inside Anjali. Hear from our students, participants in our Young Adult Program, volunteers, staff, and more! Stay up to date with all the latest happenings by following us on Facebook @AnjaliHouse and on Twitter and Instagram @Anjali_House. Sign up for our quarterly Newsletter for an in-depth look at our activities, fundraising goals, and for more ways to get involved.
Karona’s access to education had been compromised when her father abandoned her, her mother and sister. Life became dark and her mom struggled to find enough money to feed the two girls. They struggled a lot before the mom was able to find Anjali House so that Karona and her sister could get educated, have access to nutritious food, stay clean and safe. Read Karona’s illustrated story below (Click on the first...read more
On October 5th we celebrate World Teachers’ Day. Theavy, Sitha, Samrith, Bunthorng are our super star teachers. Their commitment to Anjali House is commendable. We want to thank them for the life changing work they have accomplished with their students. Here are some stories they want to share with us which make them proud to do what they are doing. Theavy is teaching our 6 to 8 year old students. She started working at Anjali House in 2016 and loves teaching and helping the children. “I love teaching because I can spread knowledge. I especially like to work with the children because they bring me happiness. In my class, I insist on hygiene, school rules and discipline. Before I start a lesson, I always remind my students to take a shower and after the class break I tell them to brush their teeth because I want them to be healthy. Moreover, there are healthcare posters on the walls of the class. Even if it is sometimes hard to get their attention and make them change, I try to build it up day after day. I also encourage students to be good people in the society. I want to see all Anjali House’s students become good citizens of Cambodia.” Sitha teaches our 11 to 13 year old students. He arrived in April 2017. Here he talks about one of his students, Karona: “Karona is a very industrious and a smart girl in my class. She helps cleaning the classroom and I don’t even have to ask her. Karona is also very caring and committed in the class. I see her quite often explaining the lessons to her friends and her sister when they need help. She always tries her best in every class and is always happy to do so. Her test results are improving every month. In July she got a score of 62 and in August, she scored 67. I am sure she will pass all her exams…she has what it takes to succeed. ” Samrith is the young adults’ coordinator. He started in October 2016 and wants to help students set up clear goals for their future and encourage them to reach their full potential. Today he wants to share the story of Pheakdey: “He is one of my top students. Pheakdey is very active and hardworking. He is going to graduate from high school this year. He has been working so hard on his graduation preparation. In addition to his busy schedule with his high school work, he contributes to Anjali House and does community services. He assists teachers to run creative workshops. Pheakdey is also very good at graphic design. He spends a lot of time working on “Photoshop” and teaches his friends how to use it. Because he is very talented with technology, he wants to pursue his higher education in Information Technology. I am convinced that with his hard work and the support from his family and Anjali House, he will be able to reach his goal towards a bright future.” Learn more about our Education...read more
Our young adults are encouraged to become involved in community services. Using their holiday time, some of them have decided to volunteer at Anjali House to help the youngest children develop new skills. Panha, Sokil and Sokuam are amongst the young adults who are organizing daily workshops about their favorite topics: IT, Arts and English. Panha is teaching English and computer skills. He explains, “Most of the young students at Anjali House have never touched a computer. I had the idea to use a video game – “Mario Kart” – so they can start learning how to use a keyboard and have fun at the same time. For example, they have to use the arrows to move the Mario character on the screen. This makes them practice”. Sokhea is teaching art and is loving it. She tutors the children how to draw simple shapes and their shadows. “Since the children are very young, their drawings are sometimes very funny” adds Sokhea. Sokuam volunteers as an English tutor and organizes games in English. He has been doing this for 6 months and at times can find it challenging: “Sometimes, the students don’t listen or make too much noise. At first, I did not know how to react. Now, if the students are not behaving properly, I stop the class and ask them to settle down. I have discovered that teaching is a difficult job but I like it when I see the children learn thanks to my efforts. That encourages me.” Ingenious, caring, resilient…these three have shown great leadership skills. All of them want to continue teaching after they graduate from high school. Sokuam and Panha would like to become English teachers and Sokhea, a kindergarten teacher. Click on the link to learn more about our Young Adult program:...read more
During a ceremony in September, Anjali House provided bicycles and helmets to all the students who did not have one before. Fun but also educational, the event included a road safety workshop to raise awareness about the traffic rules, road signs and the importance of wearing a helmet. The safety of our students is an important matter. This is why Anjali House provides bicycles for the students to ensure their safety on their way home as well as to help them be on time for classes. During the ceremony, the students were educated about road safety, traffic, traffic lights and road signs. A large part of the training was about the importance of wearing a helmet. “Here in Cambodia, most of the children do not wear helmets when they ride a bicycle. In Siem Reap, it is particularly dangerous considering the traffic in the city and the lack of public lights at night. ” says Pheakdey, one of the tutor of the workshop. After the presentation, the students’ knowledge was tested about the topics that were discussed. They were asked questions about road signs, traffic and proper use of a helmet. To encourage everyone to participate, children were rewarded for giving the right answers. The bicycles were sponsored by 99Bikes, our partner in Australia. Many thanks for helping us keep our students safe. Click here to learn more about our Education program:...read more
As a part of our family support program, social workers are responsible for the family assessments. The purpose of this activity is to understand our students’ families’ social situation and evaluate the support they need. Mom, our social worker explains the process and the challenges she faces. The family assessments are at full swing at the moment at Anjali House. Mom, Anjali House’s social worker is meeting each family at their home. The topics discussed are usually about their financial problems, health, hygiene and any issues that their children might face. Children’s problems related to school and their behavior are also discussed with the families. “It is important we keep a close link with the families of our students. Problems can arise at any time and meeting them on a regular basis enables us to assess their situations and explore what Anjali House can do to help them solve their issues.” explains Mom, social worker. She adds, “Families are usually very cooperative as they know we come here to help and that we have their children’s best interest in mind. However, occasionally, we are confronted with resistance from the parents or the guardians. Most of the time, they are afraid to talk about their problems and be stigmatized. In that case, we continue explaining why we want to meet them and why it is important for their children’s well-being and education. It is about building trust and it takes time“. Click on the link to learn more about our Family support program:...read more
All our 6 to 8 year old students have participated in a workshop about personal hygiene. They learned why it is important to shower with soap and brush their teeth every day. As part of the basic care program, these workshops help us ensure that our youngest students stay healthy and learn good habits for life. Our social worker held a workshop with the youngest students about personal hygiene. Together with their two teachers, the children were educated how to brush their teeth properly and wash their hands with soap. At Anjali House, personal hygiene is crucial. “We want our students to be healthy” says Anjali House director Simon Ke “It is important they understand how basic hygiene impacts their health and school life.” As a part of the workshop, the students were shown videos in both Khmer and English about proper dental care and hand washing. In addition to hygiene, topics about nutrition were also discussed. In practice, teachers every day follow a schedule when they take their students to brush teeth and take a shower. It is also a way to ensure that students at Anjali House follow the basic hygiene guidelines and keep diseases away. Click on the link to learn more about the Basic Care...read more
Anjali House recently partnered with the Music Art School Siem Reap to have some of the students receive choir classes twice a week. Musical education develops creativity, self-discipline and self-confidence. A long term essential initiative at the heart of our educational program. In June, Anjali House started a partnership with the Music Art School of Siem Reap to teach students choir classes. Anjali House understands the importance of providing children with the opportunity to access various forms of expression in order to help them develop into healthy and successful adults. According to Simon Ke, director of Anjali House, “Choir classes allow students to express themselves creatively, practice English, learn self-discipline, build self-confidence, and encourage students to work together.” This month, students have been learning how to warm up through scales and are practicing two songs: “Stand By Me” written by Ben E. King, Mike Stoller, Jerry Leiber and “Let it Be” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. According to Alexandre Scarpati, director of the Music Art School of Siem Reap “This year our goal is to organize a few events where the children from the Music Art School and children from other organization(s) such as Anjali House can perform together with professional musicians in front of the public.” As the children progress and improve in their singing they will have an opportunity to record a few songs at a professional studio. They will also start learning musical instruments. Many students at Anjali House would not have the opportunity to take music classes such as choir if it weren’t for the Music Art School of Siem Reap. The new partnership offers students a new space to be creative and express themselves. For more information about the programs Anjali House offers to its students please visit our education...read more
In July, Anjali House staff received their first Child protection workshop led by the organization Friends International. The purpose of the Child protection workshop was to have Anjali staff learn how to identify if a child or youth suffers from neglect, physical, sexual or mental abuse. The staff learned the resources available to them to help the child, youth, and family from engaging in dangerous behaviors. At Anjali House, we understand the importance of making sure our students are safe and are accessing the care they need to be successful adults. Anjali House is committed to providing our students with a safe and happy environment both at home and at school. Children and youth are at a higher risk of suffering from many forms of abuse. The workshop led by Suzy Baudrez introduced the Child Safe Movement, an initiative which strives to protect children and youth from all forms of abuse. Anjali House staff defined the following terms; neglect, physical, sexual, and mental abuse. Staff identified the dangers and challenges that Anjali House children and youth face. According to Mom, Anjali House’s social worker, “… the changes that Anjali House students face is that parents are focused on working and don’t think about (their) child’s safety. As a result, the children are unsupervised a lot of the time.” Mom, together with Anjali House staff and the child’s or youth’s family work to solve the issue. Following the completion of the workshop, four members of our staff took an exam to become a Child Safe Agent. Once the results of the exam are known, four members of our staff may become Child Safe Agents and would work closely with Friends International to protect not only the students at Anjali House but also children and youth throughout Siem Reap. Anjali House is committed to protecting children and youth by engaging with their families and community. Anjali House will continue to work with organizations such as Friends International, and will continue to do staff training to provide services for children, youth, and their families. Learn more about our Family support...read more
Anjali House ran its second “positive discipline” workshop in June. The purpose of this workshop is to support and encourage parents to create a positive and safe environment at home. Led by our social worker, the families were able to discuss their experiences and personal issues about discipline. At Anjali House we understand that to support the children we also must try to address some of the systemic problems that affect their parents and families and provide them with advice. Many of Cambodian underprivileged families do not know how to react when they have an issue with their children. Considering a child’s feelings, creating dialogue and encouraging mistakes are not a common response to them. Our social worker, Mom, created the positive discipline workshop to support Anjali House’s families to build a positive relationship between them and their children. Through the workshop, the parents understand why it is important to consider their children’s feelings, build a dialogue with them and create rules agreed by both. Our social worker also explained to the families how to react when the children do not follow the rules and encourage an open communication in order to create a safe environment for them. Mom, Anjali House’s social worker explains: “Most of Anjali House’s parents do not know how to read or write so the workshop is based on a slideshow, activities and above all sharing personal experiences. For this second edition, some families from the first workshop came back to share their experiences and that was really appreciated by the new ones. It is important to continue this kind of workshops to support them and create a long term effect for the children.” Anjali House also provides an individual support to the families. Once a year, our social worker runs a “family assessment” to identify their problems and tailor the support we provide to them in order to respond to their specific needs. Some families will be invited to group workshops like this one. Others will also be offered individual meetings. Learn more about our Family support program...read more
Anjali House received 15 new computers and the new IT room is now operational. Our NGO wants to equip its students with strong computer skills and through new computer classes, has upgraded its educational program for all. Nowadays, computer skills are essentials in any professional careers. The Anjali House’ students come from underprivileged families and generally do not have access to a computer at home or at their public school. Their computer skills are limited. Thanks to the new IT educational program, every week, the students will have computer classes and will build sustainable computers skills. Since their youngest age, Anjali House students will be introduced to computer terminology and how to use a keyboard and a mouse. The young adults will learn all the basic software such as Excel, Word or PowerPoint. Our students will also be able to access the computers when, for example they want to write their homework or create job or vocational training applications. “As part of our educational program, creating these IT classes with a regular schedule and pedagogical program will equip our students with all the computer skills they need to be successful in their future professional life” explains Bun Thorng, Anjali House Head Teacher. Learn more about our educational...read more