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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Immersion en bidon ville




Paul Cheminant, jeune homme âgé de 17 ans, termine son année de seconde au Lycée Français René Descartes à Phnom Penh.



Dans le cadre de son année scolaire, il lui a été demandé de faire un stage auprès d’une ONG.  Ne désirant effectuer ce stage au sein d’une grosse ONG, et connaissant déjà l’Association de la princesse Ermine Norodom : Shanty Town Spirit, de par l’intermédiaire de son père, il a choisi de faire un reportage sur le travail que Ermine effectue dans le bidon ville de Boeung Trabek.
Le 19 juin, nous nous sommes donc rendus dans ce bidon ville, première expérience de la sorte pour ce jeune homme. 
Il reporte : « cela m’a un peu choqué car je ne pensais pas que leur environnement était aussi précaire, je ne m’attendais pas à voir des personnes vivent à côté des poubelles. »


Il a pris le temps de filmer les deux dames qui parlaient lorsqu’elles recevaient les médicaments que Ermine leur distribuait, rien sur son visage ne laissait transparaitre une quelconque émotion négative.  On ressentait plus de l’étonnement.
En effet, il me confiera par la suite
« Je me disais que les gens qui vivaient en bidon ville, ne travaillaient pas, et c’est faux, en fait, ils font beaucoup pour s’en sortir » ;
Il a été touché par une maman qui s’est mise à pleurer lorsqu’elle a reçu le lait maternisé pour son tout jeune nourrisson d’un mois.


Ce qu’il pense du travail qu’effectue Ermine.
« Ermine est très impliquée dans son travail, elle essaye de comprendre les gens, de les connaitre, et de les aider le mieux qu’elle le peut.  Elle cherche à trouver des solutions les plus adaptées. »


A ma dernière question, qui était Qu’est-ce que cette visite t’a apportée ?
« Cela m’a montré que des gens vivent durement, avec vraiment pas grand-chose pour vivre.  Cela me remet les pieds sur terre, car nous avons tout et nous ne sommes pas toujours satisfaits de ce que nous avons.  Parfois on se plaint, mais on devrait se dire que d’autres personnes aimeraient avoir notre vie.


Ce jeune homme va repartir en France, début juillet, et n’est pas forcément heureux à cette idée.  Il quitte ses amis, son pays, et sa culture.
Je peux le comprendre, la vie en France n’est pas la même.
Souhaitons-lui la réussite dans ses études. 
A bientôt Paul




   ___________________________________________________________________


AN AFTERNOON IN A SLUM

Paul Cheminant, 17 years old, students at Lycée Français René Descartes, had to undertake an internship for his studies.
He choose to run this internship in the slum, with the Association of the princess Ermine Norodom, Shanty Town Spirit.
Why this association ?  because his father knew Ermine, and Paul preferred to do his internship in a small NGO, not on a big project.

On 19th June, it had been decided that we will run this reportage in the slum ; first time for him, first experience with the real poverty.
He confessed to me
«  I was very impressed because I didn’t know that people could leave in such a place, near by garbage. In those places.


He took the time to listen to their stories, very respectful, no bad feeling, no wrong emotion on his face.  He was touched when Ermine gave formula milk to a young woman who burnst into tears.
He told me that he thought that people living in the slums were not working, and realises that they were trying their best to have a proper life.
 

What does he think about Ermine’s work ?
« She is very good in what she is doing, trying her best to understand people, finding the good solution for them, listen to them seriously.  She is very active in her job and want to help as much as she can.



What does this visit brought to you ?
«  Well I mut admit that I realize that I am very lucky with my life.  People don’t realise that they have eveything and that some other people would love to have their life.  Sometimes we complain about what we have or don’t have, but now I will pay attention to that.  Be happy with my life, because I have nothing to complain about.

Paul is going back to France early July,  wishing him good luck and happy stay in France.


                                  One Spirit, One Heart, One Community.                                        
  You can help us by sponsoring the Shanty Town Spirit program:

                                                         OR contact                                                              Ermine Norodom: +855 (0) 17 49 27 19 (French and English)
Norodomermine@gmail.com

 Phirun Prak (Arun): +855 (0) 96 663 6666 (English and Khmer)
                                              Arun.aenorodom@gmail.com
  
words by Nathalie Bonpain














Friday, 29 June 2018

Making later life a little easier

Shanty Town Spirit supports families- this means all generations that make up a family unit. Elderly grandparents are often part of a family and have special needs. We have been supporting eight community elders until two of the grandmothers passed away this year.


We cover the costs of medical and dental check ups , treatment, medicine, surgery if required, hygiene products, along with household needs like blankets , mosquito nets, clothes and rice. We also provide small monthly allowances to make life a bit easier in replacement of a pension and to help them see out the rest of their lives with dignity.


For those in ill health, there are no hospices in Cambodia. 

Recently we lost Mrs Ret, 72 year old the grandmother of three children who was taking care of them because their parents were away working to earn money for the family.  We were assisting with her medical care and paying a modest allowance for general day-to-day living. She died in hospital after surgery for an intestinal infection.

Mr. Ret and Ermine share a moment
88 year old blind and handicapped Mrs Thorn also died recently. We tried to make her last few months more comfortable with help from her neighbours who took care of her like she was their own family member.

Mrs Thorn
We paid for both these ladies' funerals. If you would like to contribute to an elders life, please see the details below:


                                   One Spirit, One Heart, One Community.                                        
You can help us by sponsoring the Shanty Town Spirit program:

OR contact
Ermine Norodom: +855 (0) 17 49 27 19 (French and English)

Phirun Prak (Arun): +855 (0) 96 663 6666 (English and Khmer)



words by Jessica Sander




Thursday, 14 June 2018

In-kind donations are invaluable

Our program relies heavily on donations to continue to operate. Although funds are important, there are other ways to contribute to Shanty Town Spirit. As such, we have received a steady supply of in-kind donations of goods over the past year.

Tuk Tuk full of donated supplies on route to our community
We welcome all sorts of in-kind donations from individuals and corporations. Although not an exhaustive list, heres some examples of the types of support we have received:

From corporate entities

Credit Bureau Cambodge organised a event where they sponsored a lunch and gave school kits for 65 Kids. Kits included two uniforms, school bag and trainers.  This is an ongoing need because our children outgrow their clothes after one year of wearing their uniforms. 

Supreme Burger restaurant organised distribution of food event and offered a percentage of their takings from every Wednesday over the course of one year to support one family. 

Infinity Insurance deployed their staff into the slum in a large scale distribution of goods last year. They also provided a three month internship opportunity to one member of our program. We have also received some corporate gifts from companies such as caps and t shirts.

NGOs from Cambodia and the wider region have shouted our children out for lunch or dinner, along with donating clothes, rice, pens and books.  Rotary club of Angkor provided 150 blankets last year and further 150 more this year and over 100 sarongs. Eco bank Soap donated 250 soaps. 

A colourful collection of blankets donated by the Rotary Club of Angkor
From individuals

Some people come to visit us to distribute food, newborn baby kits, toys, basic medicine, clothing, baby carriers, bedding, towels, furniture, bicycles and hygiene products. 

People who are leaving Cambodia to move to another country often contact us to donate unwanted second-hand clothing, homeware and towels.


We are so grateful for all the in-kind donations we receive. All of it is valuable and useful. However, the needs of the communities we support are ongoing so its never enough. We always need these types of goods.


Drop us a line if you wish to contribute. 
Not sure if we will need what you have to offer? Contact us and ask! It's more than likely we will happily accept your donation.


                                   One Spirit, One Heart, One Community.                                        
You can help us by sponsoring the Shanty Town Spirit program:

OR contact
Ermine Norodom: +855 (0) 17 49 27 19 (French and English)

Phirun Prak (Arun): +855 (0) 96 663 6666 (English and Khmer)



words by Jessica Sander

Thursday, 31 May 2018

New Brochure


We are happy to introduce our shiny new brochure!


Front Cover


Updated look and new corporate colours.
The association brochure highlights our vision, mission, objectives and details about the fundamentals of our program, along with spectacular imagery that truly encapsulate the spirits of the families and children we work with.


To think we started out almost 8 years ago by helping 3 Kids and now we have grown to assisting over 50 families. But there is still so much for us do. The needs of the poor still remain. 


Thank you to all the contributors for their sensational photos.



                                         One Spirit, One Heart, One Community.                                        
You can help us by sponsoring the Shanty Town Spirit program:

OR contact
Ermine Norodom: +855 (0) 17 49 27 19 (French and English)

Phirun Prak (Arun): +855 (0) 96 663 6666 (English and Khmer)


words by Jessica Sander

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Work Spotlight: What we do in a weekly visit

The community Boeung Trabek welcomed H.E Mrs Eva Nguyen Binh, Ambassador of France in Cambodia on a recent visit. Her Excellency witnessed the usual work we engage in on a regular visit. 

 H.E Mrs Eva Nguyen Binh meeting a new community member
This involves visiting each family and checking in on how they are doing and if they have any pressing needs. Needs can include dental and general health issues and we determine if theres any special care required and if so, we will arrange for this to happen. 
We follow up on general progress of the families we support. We like to see if parents are still maintaining employment. If the children are around, we discuss their studies and check their school results. We try to keep them motivated.
We visit nursing mothers to see how they are coping and how their babies are and check on the elderly. We distribute essential medicine and hygiene products. 


 Her Excellency expressed her appreciation for the work Shanty Town Spirit does, which she formalised in an official support letter of encouragement.  Receiving such a letter is so meaningful to our program; its so great to know that our work is being recognised and supported. 


                       If you are traveling to Cambodia and would like to make a donation, please contact us.


                                        One Spirit, One Heart, One Community.                                        
You can help us by sponsoring the Shanty Town Spirit program:

OR contact
Ermine Norodom: +855 (0) 17 49 27 19 (French and English)

Phirun Prak (Arun): +855 (0) 96 663 6666 (English and Khmer)



words by Jessica Sander

Monday, 30 April 2018

Arts afternoon with Young Missionaries

The Boeung Trabek community were surprised with an afternoon of artistic activities facilitated by a group of young missionaries visiting from across the globe.  


The youthful pastors performed live music, and engaged the excited crowd in dancing and acting. Young and old thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon as Khmer people love music, games and dance as it is a mainstay in their culture.


Art is a brilliant way to transcend language and cultural barriers, poverty, age and gender. It is an inclusive medium that allows for personal expression and a powerful way to communicate. 


We thank all the young people who spent the afternoon with our community, bringing so much joy with them which will linger. We wish you well as your continue on your missions.



                                      One Spirit, One Heart, One Community.                                        
You can help us by sponsoring the Shanty Town Spirit program:

OR contact
Ermine Norodom: +855 (0) 17 49 27 19 (French and English)

Phirun Prak (Arun): +855 (0) 96 663 6666 (English and Khmer)



words by Jessica Sander




Saturday, 14 April 2018

Launch of the Cambodian Royal Book

H.H Ermine Norodom was both honoured and delighted by the inclusion of Shanty Town Spirit into the new edition of the essential reference book on the Cambodian Royal family. 



Launched on 19th December 2017 at the Royal Palace, the publication was written by Chilean-born His Excellency Julio. A. Jeldres who served as the late King Norodom Sihanouk's personal secretary for two decades. It details the royal family's history through to the present. 

Princess Ermine's family appears on page 272 and her association Shanty Town Spirit is featured across two pages (281-282), explaining the organisation's vision which is to support self-empowerment and sufficiency of families living in impoverished communities so as to improve their quality of life; and mission: identifying the essential needs of these families so as to maximise their potential and reduce barriers to their engagement in education and employment.

Exerts from the Royal Book


 

"I was very touched and moved to learn that the association I founded was represented in the royal book. His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Bâromneath NORODOM Sihamoni, King of Cambodia, and Her Majesty Queen Mother NORODOM Monineath-Sihanouk of Cambodia have been following the progress of the Shanty Town Spirit since the beginning almost 8 years ago. I am so proud and honoured to be considered as part of the family."

Books can be purchased through Monument Book stores and at the Phnom Penh International Airport. 
                                        
                                           One Spirit, One Heart, One Community.                                        
You can help us by sponsoring the Shanty Town Spirit program:

OR contact
Ermine Norodom: +855 (0) 17 49 27 19 (French and English)

Phirun Prak (Arun): +855 (0) 96 663 6666 (English and Khmer)


words by Jessica Sander


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