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the green gecko project encouraging kids to be kids and dreams to come true

annual report 2008


the green gecko project

“

Green Gecko is a second home (and for some, the only home) to 60+ former street children.

At Green Gecko we get lots of food, care and love. The doctor comes, we play games and

The Green Gecko Project provides wholistic care to more than 60 begging children from Siem

learn computers. We all feel so happy and so

ing, Green Gecko is a second home and for some, the only home.

Reap, as well as offer support to their struggling families. A safe haven for playing and learn-

The majority of these children - as young as 5 years old (and carrying siblings even

lucky. Before, I had no idea about my future but I

younger) - were often the primary breadwinners for their families. They would be begging on the streets till dawn or rummaging through garbage to collect cans.

did not want to be like other girls and go with men for money. Kom Suan, 12 year old girl who has been with the Green Gecko Project since day one. Read her full story on page 13.

�

Their living conditions were often desperate, either living in very poor housing or no housing at all, their family situations rife with domestic violence, alcoholism, gambling, and other abuse and addiction problems. Some of the children slept unaccompanied on the pavement, defenceless to abduction, abuse and disease. Thankfully now, we can describe these situations in the past tense.

3


the green gecko project

“

Green Gecko is a second home (and for some, the only home) to 60+ former street children.

At Green Gecko we get lots of food, care and love. The doctor comes, we play games and

The Green Gecko Project provides wholistic care to more than 60 begging children from Siem

learn computers. We all feel so happy and so

ing, Green Gecko is a second home and for some, the only home.

Reap, as well as offer support to their struggling families. A safe haven for playing and learn-

The majority of these children - as young as 5 years old (and carrying siblings even

lucky. Before, I had no idea about my future but I

younger) - were often the primary breadwinners for their families. They would be begging on the streets till dawn or rummaging through garbage to collect cans.

did not want to be like other girls and go with men for money. Kom Suan, 12 year old girl who has been with the Green Gecko Project since day one. Read her full story on page 13.

�

Their living conditions were often desperate, either living in very poor housing or no housing at all, their family situations rife with domestic violence, alcoholism, gambling, and other abuse and addiction problems. Some of the children slept unaccompanied on the pavement, defenceless to abduction, abuse and disease. Thankfully now, we can describe these situations in the past tense.

3


the story behind the smiles

Cambodia is located in South East Asia, its

The Green Gecko Project supports 31 families that

neighbouring countries include Vietnam, Laos

live in chronic poverty. The Chronic Poverty Report 2008 – 09 states that “over the last 5 years, in an era of un-

and Thailand. Cambodia has a population of

precedented wealth creation the number of people living in chronic poverty has increased. Between 320 and 443 million people are now trapped in poverty that lasts for many years,

13.4 million people, 60% are under 24 years old

often for their entire lifetime. Their children frequently inherit chronic poverty”.

and 36.1% live under the poverty rate set by the World Bank. Source: SCW 2006. Atlas of Cambodia: National Poverty and Environmental Maps. Save Cambodia’s Wildlife, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

same kids… a different time and place

For the chronically poor, poverty is not just about having a very low income; its about mul-

tidimensional deprivation. The parents of the families we work with are mostly unable to engage in labour markets, most are illiterate and uneducated, they are victims of landmine accidents and they are discriminated against. Domestic violence if rife, as is alcohol and gambling addictions.

5


the story behind the smiles

Cambodia is located in South East Asia, its

The Green Gecko Project supports 31 families that

neighbouring countries include Vietnam, Laos

live in chronic poverty. The Chronic Poverty Report 2008 – 09 states that “over the last 5 years, in an era of un-

and Thailand. Cambodia has a population of

precedented wealth creation the number of people living in chronic poverty has increased. Between 320 and 443 million people are now trapped in poverty that lasts for many years,

13.4 million people, 60% are under 24 years old

often for their entire lifetime. Their children frequently inherit chronic poverty”.

and 36.1% live under the poverty rate set by the World Bank. Source: SCW 2006. Atlas of Cambodia: National Poverty and Environmental Maps. Save Cambodia’s Wildlife, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

same kids… a different time and place

For the chronically poor, poverty is not just about having a very low income; its about mul-

tidimensional deprivation. The parents of the families we work with are mostly unable to engage in labour markets, most are illiterate and uneducated, they are victims of landmine accidents and they are discriminated against. Domestic violence if rife, as is alcohol and gambling addictions.

5


gecko snapshot our mission

our staff

The Green Gecko Project aims to empower these children with skills,

All our staff are Khmer locals, chosen for their character more than their

education and care, through their formative years and into their adult

education or skill base. Unfortunately Khmer society looks down on begging

lives, providing all opportunities available in order for them to reach their

families and it is hard to find staff that respect the people we work with. At

highest potential. GGP also strives to break the begging cycle of their families through sustainable long-term training and empowerment solutions.

the kids

Gecko, we believe someone with a good heart is much more valuable than someone with good qualifications. The Green Gecko Project has increased

from 11 to 18 Khmer employees over 2008. NO foreigner is paid from general donations, foreign staff are volunteers or independently sponsored.

We have currently 66 children who are in our full time care, they receive

our programs

full time Khmer and English education, 3 meals daily, full time parental

Green Gecko has a wholistic program which includes:

and emotional support. The majority of them were begging children, oth-

:: EXTERNAL EDUCATION

:: HEALTH

ers and/or street living or garbage recycling.

Khmer education

Visits from the children’s hospital bi-weekly

English education

Medical for parents at an approved clinic

:: GREEN GECKO EDUCATION

:: FAMILY OUTREACH

Art and craft and architecture

Alcohol and addictions counselling

Numbers and Logic—thinking and problem solving

Domestic violence counselling

Boxkator—ancient Angkor martial arts

Nutrition support

port, drug and alcohol counselling and harm minimisation courses are

Sports—volleyball and football

Educational support for siblings

open for parental involvement.

Living values

Women’s health workshops

Computers

Rental assistance

outreach program An additional 155 people are supported through our Outreach Program: 155 parents and children receive weekly food allocation of rice, meat and vegetables. Each of the 31 families are provided with monthly rental sup-

outreach families 100% live under the poverty rate

our volunteers We have had a huge amount of volunteer support throughout 2008 and we couldn’t have achieved what we have

54% landmine amputees and other disabilities

without all your help! The Green Gecko Project is a Cambodian NGO, all of our employees are Khmer. It is our goal

6% literacy rate

to make our project sustainable by strengthening the skills of our Cambodian team. The volunteers that are of

54% domestic violence abuses 61% gambling issues + 57% substance abuse

greatest value to the project are people who have skills, ideas or experience that they are willing to impart to the Khmer Staff… so the ball keeps rolling long after they depart.

7


gecko snapshot our mission

our staff

The Green Gecko Project aims to empower these children with skills,

All our staff are Khmer locals, chosen for their character more than their

education and care, through their formative years and into their adult

education or skill base. Unfortunately Khmer society looks down on begging

lives, providing all opportunities available in order for them to reach their

families and it is hard to find staff that respect the people we work with. At

highest potential. GGP also strives to break the begging cycle of their families through sustainable long-term training and empowerment solutions.

the kids

Gecko, we believe someone with a good heart is much more valuable than someone with good qualifications. The Green Gecko Project has increased

from 11 to 18 Khmer employees over 2008. NO foreigner is paid from general donations, foreign staff are volunteers or independently sponsored.

We have currently 66 children who are in our full time care, they receive

our programs

full time Khmer and English education, 3 meals daily, full time parental

Green Gecko has a wholistic program which includes:

and emotional support. The majority of them were begging children, oth-

:: EXTERNAL EDUCATION

:: HEALTH

ers and/or street living or garbage recycling.

Khmer education

Visits from the children’s hospital bi-weekly

English education

Medical for parents at an approved clinic

:: GREEN GECKO EDUCATION

:: FAMILY OUTREACH

Art and craft and architecture

Alcohol and addictions counselling

Numbers and Logic—thinking and problem solving

Domestic violence counselling

Boxkator—ancient Angkor martial arts

Nutrition support

port, drug and alcohol counselling and harm minimisation courses are

Sports—volleyball and football

Educational support for siblings

open for parental involvement.

Living values

Women’s health workshops

Computers

Rental assistance

outreach program An additional 155 people are supported through our Outreach Program: 155 parents and children receive weekly food allocation of rice, meat and vegetables. Each of the 31 families are provided with monthly rental sup-

outreach families 100% live under the poverty rate

our volunteers We have had a huge amount of volunteer support throughout 2008 and we couldn’t have achieved what we have

54% landmine amputees and other disabilities

without all your help! The Green Gecko Project is a Cambodian NGO, all of our employees are Khmer. It is our goal

6% literacy rate

to make our project sustainable by strengthening the skills of our Cambodian team. The volunteers that are of

54% domestic violence abuses 61% gambling issues + 57% substance abuse

greatest value to the project are people who have skills, ideas or experience that they are willing to impart to the Khmer Staff… so the ball keeps rolling long after they depart.

7


our milestones for 2008 Green Gecko Gift Shop launched like a rocket.

100% : no longer begging!

Gift Shop. With the help of some fantastic volunteers we were able to launch our online Green Gecko gift shop in August 2008. We have 4 different products online, a Green Gecko Khmer cookbook, greeting cards, caps and aprons. This has been extremely successful and has raised $30,000AUD in only 10 months.

100% of Green Gecko children now off the street, no longer begging or collecting rubbish for money

women's health education program

100% : now at school!

The Cambodian Women’s Resource Centre answered some of our dreams by developing women's health workshops covering reproductive health, pregnancy, breastfeeding, nutrition, recognising when to take children to the hospital and dengue fever. Eight of our mums attended the 8 week course. The opportunity to learn was really important for them, not only for the information they received but also for their sense of self esteem, most of them being illiterate and some with no more than primary level education.

All children have been attending accredited Khmer school for the past 18 months. Khmer literacy is an essential part of our education program, despite most kids starting school extremely late, literacy is a strong focus, it is essential they are able to read and write Khmer.

Kom Suan : top of her class! 95% of children attend external English classes taught by Western qualified teachers. Attending an external English school has significantly increased their confidence and academic levels. Awards are won in each level, from best in class, star reader or most improved. We, and they couldn't be prouder.

Art exhibition In December the artistic endeavours of the Green Gecko kids was the talk of Siem Reap town. Twenty six of the eldest Geckos exhibited their first artwork in Siem Reap's most prestigious art gallery. To think that only 25 months ago, the same kids, on the same street use to deter tourists with their incessant begging - are now attracting them with their colourful creations. The week long show was called 'animal art thru Gecko eyes'. All paintings were up for sale thru a silent auction, the children raised $1850.00 to spend on any creative projects they chose‌they chose more art classes and musical instruments.

school and shelter is up! A brand new school and accommodation building was constructed, which now sleeps 40 children, has 2 classrooms, a computer room and an assembly area. Built with basic construction and local environmentally friendly materials like grass roof, leaf walls and bamboo. The kids were part of the design process from beginning to end.

turning art into a ball court

Gecko children attending accredited Khmer school

Art classes delivered more than lovely art, 8 of the Geckos combined their talents to make a collaborative art piece which auctioned for $2000. The children decided to use the money to pay for their very own multi-purpose ball court.

YES

YES YES

powered by the sun As a part of our self sustainability program and through the generosity of our sponsors our classrooms and sleeping quarters are powered by the sun!

YES

NO

2005

NO

2006

NO

2007

2008 9


our milestones for 2008 Green Gecko Gift Shop launched like a rocket.

100% : no longer begging!

Gift Shop. With the help of some fantastic volunteers we were able to launch our online Green Gecko gift shop in August 2008. We have 4 different products online, a Green Gecko Khmer cookbook, greeting cards, caps and aprons. This has been extremely successful and has raised $30,000AUD in only 10 months.

100% of Green Gecko children now off the street, no longer begging or collecting rubbish for money

women's health education program

100% : now at school!

The Cambodian Women’s Resource Centre answered some of our dreams by developing women's health workshops covering reproductive health, pregnancy, breastfeeding, nutrition, recognising when to take children to the hospital and dengue fever. Eight of our mums attended the 8 week course. The opportunity to learn was really important for them, not only for the information they received but also for their sense of self esteem, most of them being illiterate and some with no more than primary level education.

All children have been attending accredited Khmer school for the past 18 months. Khmer literacy is an essential part of our education program, despite most kids starting school extremely late, literacy is a strong focus, it is essential they are able to read and write Khmer.

Kom Suan : top of her class! 95% of children attend external English classes taught by Western qualified teachers. Attending an external English school has significantly increased their confidence and academic levels. Awards are won in each level, from best in class, star reader or most improved. We, and they couldn't be prouder.

Art exhibition In December the artistic endeavours of the Green Gecko kids was the talk of Siem Reap town. Twenty six of the eldest Geckos exhibited their first artwork in Siem Reap's most prestigious art gallery. To think that only 25 months ago, the same kids, on the same street use to deter tourists with their incessant begging - are now attracting them with their colourful creations. The week long show was called 'animal art thru Gecko eyes'. All paintings were up for sale thru a silent auction, the children raised $1850.00 to spend on any creative projects they chose‌they chose more art classes and musical instruments.

school and shelter is up! A brand new school and accommodation building was constructed, which now sleeps 40 children, has 2 classrooms, a computer room and an assembly area. Built with basic construction and local environmentally friendly materials like grass roof, leaf walls and bamboo. The kids were part of the design process from beginning to end.

turning art into a ball court

Gecko children attending accredited Khmer school

Art classes delivered more than lovely art, 8 of the Geckos combined their talents to make a collaborative art piece which auctioned for $2000. The children decided to use the money to pay for their very own multi-purpose ball court.

YES

YES YES

powered by the sun As a part of our self sustainability program and through the generosity of our sponsors our classrooms and sleeping quarters are powered by the sun!

YES

NO

2005

NO

2006

NO

2007

2008 9


gecko financials our operating costs

building sponsorships

sales from our online gift shop

general one- off donations

child sponsorships

corporate sponsorships

centre gift shop revenue

our incoming dollars

our income

our operating expenses Our four main costs for 2008 were food and water external education, Khmer staff salaries and family outreach support. These major costs all directly link to our aims to empower these children with skills, education, and care, providing all opportunities available in order for them to reach their highest potential, while also working with their families to break the begging cycle. TOTAL EXPENSES FOR 2008 - Operation Costs USD$172,687.92 and One off Building and set up costs USD$92,775.34

yearly growth

Our main income for 2008 was from the generosity of �ANGEL DONORS�, one off general donations that kept the doors open. 100% of our building expenses were covered by building sponsorships from more generous individuals. The Green Gecko Gift Shop was our first step towards self sustainability and although sales weren't so high at the centre (primarily due to the lack of retail space and sales techniques), revenue from sales of our online store were much better . Corporate sponsorships were a lifesaver. Our main fundraising goal in 2009 is to develop the gift shop and child sponsorship programs. TOTAL INCOME FOR 2008 - $285,990.57

transparency and accountability At Green Gecko we are proud of our transparent accounting practices and take our accountability seriously. We are accountable, not only to our donors also to the children and families we seek to help, to ensure our work has the greatest impact and creates the most sustainable solutions. Our financial dilemma for the coming years is how to find ongoing funding now that the building works have completed. We found that sponsorship for tangible items is a lot easier to sell than the ongoing costs fundamental to the projects success.

11


gecko financials our operating costs

building sponsorships

sales from our online gift shop

general one- off donations

child sponsorships

corporate sponsorships

centre gift shop revenue

our incoming dollars

our income

our operating expenses Our four main costs for 2008 were food and water external education, Khmer staff salaries and family outreach support. These major costs all directly link to our aims to empower these children with skills, education, and care, providing all opportunities available in order for them to reach their highest potential, while also working with their families to break the begging cycle. TOTAL EXPENSES FOR 2008 - Operation Costs USD$172,687.92 and One off Building and set up costs USD$92,775.34

yearly growth

Our main income for 2008 was from the generosity of �ANGEL DONORS�, one off general donations that kept the doors open. 100% of our building expenses were covered by building sponsorships from more generous individuals. The Green Gecko Gift Shop was our first step towards self sustainability and although sales weren't so high at the centre (primarily due to the lack of retail space and sales techniques), revenue from sales of our online store were much better . Corporate sponsorships were a lifesaver. Our main fundraising goal in 2009 is to develop the gift shop and child sponsorship programs. TOTAL INCOME FOR 2008 - $285,990.57

transparency and accountability At Green Gecko we are proud of our transparent accounting practices and take our accountability seriously. We are accountable, not only to our donors also to the children and families we seek to help, to ensure our work has the greatest impact and creates the most sustainable solutions. Our financial dilemma for the coming years is how to find ongoing funding now that the building works have completed. We found that sponsorship for tangible items is a lot easier to sell than the ongoing costs fundamental to the projects success.

11


dozens of great reasons...

“to be a doctor to help sick children” - Saron

to get involved

Hello,

My name is Kom Suan, I am a Green Gecko kid and I am 12 years old. Before, I was a begging child on the streets. I carried my baby sister and begged for money. I felt sad and many times I wanted to cry. I felt

“to be able to get a good job so I can help my family” - Srey Neang

like I had finished my energy. I love my Mum and Dad but I did not like them drinking beer and playing cards, they would hit me and my sisters to beg more. When I was 9 years old, I met Tania. She gave us food every night and was very kind, we thought she would go back to her country soon. But, she did not go back. Tania met Rem and they got

married. “I want to be a tourist guide, have a wife, house and 3 children, but for now, I would like jeans, a DJ hat and money for school”- Bon Ton

They took us to English School and soon started Green Gecko. I felt so happy and wanted to learn so much.

They also helped my family to stop begging and gave them a business. I felt so proud about that. I live at Green Gecko now and see my parents every week. We get lots of food, care and love. The doctor comes, we play games and learn computers. We all feel so happy and so lucky. Before, I had no idea about my future but I did not want to be like other girls and go with men for money. This is a very bad life and sometimes girls don’t come back. For me I want to be a good student and become a teacher who will help others to stop begging so they can change their lives… just like me. For the first time, I feel excited about my life“ Thank you for reading my story. Printed with permission of Kom Suan

13


dozens of great reasons...

“to be a doctor to help sick children” - Saron

to get involved

Hello,

My name is Kom Suan, I am a Green Gecko kid and I am 12 years old. Before, I was a begging child on the streets. I carried my baby sister and begged for money. I felt sad and many times I wanted to cry. I felt

“to be able to get a good job so I can help my family” - Srey Neang

like I had finished my energy. I love my Mum and Dad but I did not like them drinking beer and playing cards, they would hit me and my sisters to beg more. When I was 9 years old, I met Tania. She gave us food every night and was very kind, we thought she would go back to her country soon. But, she did not go back. Tania met Rem and they got

married. “I want to be a tourist guide, have a wife, house and 3 children, but for now, I would like jeans, a DJ hat and money for school”- Bon Ton

They took us to English School and soon started Green Gecko. I felt so happy and wanted to learn so much.

They also helped my family to stop begging and gave them a business. I felt so proud about that. I live at Green Gecko now and see my parents every week. We get lots of food, care and love. The doctor comes, we play games and learn computers. We all feel so happy and so lucky. Before, I had no idea about my future but I did not want to be like other girls and go with men for money. This is a very bad life and sometimes girls don’t come back. For me I want to be a good student and become a teacher who will help others to stop begging so they can change their lives… just like me. For the first time, I feel excited about my life“ Thank you for reading my story. Printed with permission of Kom Suan

13


here’s how? become a corporate sponsor

sponsor a green gecko child

Get your office involved in some corporate sponsorship, giving up one coffee per person per week, soon adds up.

donate We appreciate all one off donations and can accept them by credit card and paypal donations online at greengeckoproject.org. We also have direct deposit and cheque payable information by request. Tax deductibility is available for our Australian donors and Gift Aid for our friends from the UK.

subscribe Every few months we send out a newsletter with the latest Green Gecko goss. Stories of what the kids have been up to and pics that paint a thousand words. We have found that the fastest

For $1 a day, a Gecko sponsorship helps to

provide Green Gecko kids with a rounded education, wholistic care and the opportunity to realise their dreams… as well as a childhood.

way our news spreads is by a simple click of the ‘forward’ button. You never know who of

Your commitment enables us to de-

your family or friends may be interested in supporting the Geckos somehow.

liver long-term projects that will see

fundraise

each child through their formative,

Our biggest fundraisers have been put on by novices, from fun runs to a Cambodian themed

vulnerable years and prepare them

feast, every effort is appreciated and needed.

for adulthood as valuable members

purchase a gecko gift

of their community.

Order one of our fabulous cookbooks or Green Gecko gifts from our ONLINE GIFT SHOP or get a Gecko gift supporters pack and share them around, try your entrepreneurial skills and sell them onwards. They are quality functional products with a funky Gecko twist.

Sponsorship directly funds our programmes for health care, nutrition, vocational training, arts, recreation, meeting the costs of attending Khmer schools, and family support.

shop online at GreenGeckoproject.org

15


here’s how? become a corporate sponsor

sponsor a green gecko child

Get your office involved in some corporate sponsorship, giving up one coffee per person per week, soon adds up.

donate We appreciate all one off donations and can accept them by credit card and paypal donations online at greengeckoproject.org. We also have direct deposit and cheque payable information by request. Tax deductibility is available for our Australian donors and Gift Aid for our friends from the UK.

subscribe Every few months we send out a newsletter with the latest Green Gecko goss. Stories of what the kids have been up to and pics that paint a thousand words. We have found that the fastest

For $1 a day, a Gecko sponsorship helps to

provide Green Gecko kids with a rounded education, wholistic care and the opportunity to realise their dreams… as well as a childhood.

way our news spreads is by a simple click of the ‘forward’ button. You never know who of

Your commitment enables us to de-

your family or friends may be interested in supporting the Geckos somehow.

liver long-term projects that will see

fundraise

each child through their formative,

Our biggest fundraisers have been put on by novices, from fun runs to a Cambodian themed

vulnerable years and prepare them

feast, every effort is appreciated and needed.

for adulthood as valuable members

purchase a gecko gift

of their community.

Order one of our fabulous cookbooks or Green Gecko gifts from our ONLINE GIFT SHOP or get a Gecko gift supporters pack and share them around, try your entrepreneurial skills and sell them onwards. They are quality functional products with a funky Gecko twist.

Sponsorship directly funds our programmes for health care, nutrition, vocational training, arts, recreation, meeting the costs of attending Khmer schools, and family support.

shop online at GreenGeckoproject.org

15


The Green Gecko Project would like to take this opportunity to send out gigantic Gecko gratitude to everybody that has donated, volunteered, fundraised or spread the Gecko word! Without people like you it would be impossible to do what we do and impossible for the kids and families to make the positive change we can all clearly see.

With much gratitude, Gecko’s founding directors; Rem Poum and Tania Palmer and all the kids, families and staff.

Profile for Green Gecko Project

Green Gecko Project - Annual Report 2008  

Green Gecko Project - Annual Report 2008  

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