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The faces of the future How your support is empowering the next generation of Cambodian children

Volume 15, Issue 1 October 2014 - January 2015


Geraldine Cox Greetings to one and all, I hope you all had a wonderful silly season and are now back working for a prosperous 2015. In October we enjoyed a visit from one of our most generous Singapore sponsors, Kris Energy, who give $10,000 each month, every month. Another visit from Mike and Corinne of The Helping Foundation, who are as close to family as you can get, making several trips to us each year bearing gifts for the children. I did a presentation to a group from my speaking bureau, ICMI, at the Grand Hotel in Siem Reap. Our dance and music team were chosen from many to play in an orchestra celebrating the King’s Birthday Concert. How good is that? One of our best performances ever was for H.E Dr Hun Manet, the Prime Minister’s son, at the Chaktomuk Theatre, where he was so enamoured with us, he took all 80 of us to a five-course meal after the performance. What generosity! He and his Cabinet have chosen Sunrise to be among the four children’s centres they support and we can expect much more from them over the years.

My annual visit to Singapore included presentations to organisations like Freehills and Ashurst. I flew to Adelaide for our Annual General Meeting and was also able to spend time with the Sunrise students there, Kong Kea, Srey Leak, Sopheak, Vecheka, Visal, Soknoeun and Theaneath, who are getting great marks in their exams and making us very proud. In November we added two volunteers to work for 12 months in our office, Jade Martin and Sin Sezen. Jade will help me doing most of our communications work - emails, Facebook, Twitter and so on. Just check on our Facebook to see what a treasure she is. Sin is assisting in our fundraising work and the both of them will make life a lot easier for me and management at Sunrise. In December I was lucky enough to be invited as a guest lecturer in Sihanoukville on board the World Cruise ship, one of the most exclusive ships in the world. I met a lot of very kind and wealthy people, who I hope will donate to us in a big way over coming months. Students and teachers from the Bishop Druitt College made their annual visit and the children gave them a warm welcome. I hosted a Christmas Day lunch

WELCOME, KEVIN TUTT The Australia Cambodia Foundation (ACF) has welcomed a new chairman, Kevin Tutt. Mr Tutt was elected to the role following ACF’s annual general meeting in November 2014. Mr Tutt possesses a strong interest and

wealth of knowledge in education and child welfare, having served as the headmaster at Adelaide’s Prince Alfred College for more than 11 years. Mr Tutt has been involved with Sunrise for almost two decades. Welcome, Mr Tutt.

for friends, provided by the Raffles Hotel, who are one of the most supporting hotels in Cambodia for Sunrise. During this quarter I also made several visits to Sunrise Two in Siem Reap to keep my contact up with the children there. Taking them all to an ice cream shop really paves the way for this! Then there were the many visits by sponsors and visitors to keep me more than busy. This is the first of a shorter version of our newsletter, as it was getting too long to hold your interest. We really want you to enjoy reading them, because let’s face it, you are the reason we write them, so you can see how the lives of Sunrise children are enriched by your interest and generosity. Sunrise children, staff and myself really appreciate all that you do for us.


You don’t have to wait three months to catch up on all the news and activities at Sunrise. Join us online at Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and keep up-to-date with everything that is happening in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Adelaide. We love receiving comments from our Sunrise family.

@GeraldineCox_ Sunrise Children’s Villages - Cambodia


Cambodia Sun Rising More than 1000 people were taken on a magical journey through Cambodia’s history last year when the children of Sunrise performed a special one-night-only dance and music show at Phnom Penh’s Chaktomuk National Theatre. Cambodia Sun Rising was described by audience members as ‘the best show ever’. The fusion of classical Apsara dances and music from the Royal Court of Angkor Wat, alongside contemporary dance and music allowed the children to share Cambodia’s culture, superstitions and lifestyle, as well as their hope for the future. The son of the Cambodian Prime Minister, H.E Dr Hun Manet and his family, attended the show as Sunrise’s guests of honour. We would like to thank both Hun Sen and Hun Manet for the generous donation they made to Sunrise following the production.

Macquarie Group Learning Centre nearly complete After a busy few months of construction, the walls of our new Macquarie Group Learning Centre are up. The construction team were busy last week applying the final coat of render to the outside of the building and preparing to fit the interior. The Learning Centre will contain six furnished classrooms, surround sound system and mini library.

As part of our Community Outreach Program, hundreds of residents from the nearby villages and communities will be able to attend classes at the Learning Centre, free of charge. We look forward to unveiling the Centre in coming months. Thank you to the Macquarie Bank for partnering with us and helping to provide all Cambodians with access to a quality education.

READY TO LEARN: More than 50 disadvantaged children from the local community and villages near Sunrise in Siem Reap were gifted new school bags, book packs and stationery kits ahead of the new school year as part of Sunrise’s Community Outreach Project.


Sunrise In Action Ever since Sokney taught Isabel and Siena Evans how to write their names in Khmer, the ‘sisters’ have been busy exchanging letters and sharing stories of their lives. Isabel and Siena, who live in Chicago, travelled to Sunrise with their mum AnneMarie in November to meet the two girls their family would be sponsoring. Bonding over a mutual love of art, music and the curiosity of their different cultures, the girls were thrilled to learn they were born just weeks apart. Siena, Isabel and AnneMarie are preparing to launch the ‘Two

Sisters Project’ - a unique initiative that aims to unite and empower young women from communities across the globe by encouraging

them to share their dreams and hopes for the future. We look forward to learning more about the project in the future.

SHARE THE STORY OF SUNRISE: 21 years of love As Sunrise prepares to celebrate its 21st anniversary in 2015, why not grab a copy of Geraldine’s book Home Is Where The Heart Is and take a journey back to where Sunrise all began. Rife with moments of humour, sadness, fear, happiness and love - Home Is Where The Heart Is is a testament to the power of love and the value of family. Visit to order your copy.

Each day the cooks at Sunrise boil up more than 110 kilograms of rice. With more than 200 children to feed, three times a day, plus staff and guests, the rice is devoured quickly. As the first phase of our farm project, which will hopefully see Sunrise become self-sufficient in a few years time, we’ve been busy tending to our crop. Last week the kids weeded some stray plants from the paddy at the back of Sunrise. Wish us luck when we go to harvest next month.

Thank you

More than $1200 was raised to help former Sunrise child Sopheak purchase a new cow after his pregnant heifer was stolen from its paddock in the middle of the night, killed and sold on the black market. The cow was one of Sopheak’s only assets. Sopheak would like to thank all our Facebook followers who pitched in to help him and his wife Sokrim in their time of need. The pair, who were also expecting their first child, welcomed a healthy baby girl last week. It’s been all systems go at Sunrise in Siem Reap this month after our supporters Paul Oudakker and Margriet Mastenbroek visited and donated $2,271 to buy new resources for the library and help repaint and renovate the front office. Paul and Margriet also sponsor two of our girls from Sunrise in Siem Reap. The kids have loved reading the new books and the office walls look great sporting a new shade of orange.

Sue Liu and Candles for Community raised more than $2000 through the sale of the ‘Geraldine’ and ‘For Sunrise’ gift pack collections in December. To view the range, or pick up a nice gift, visit http:// Chad, Sachi, Safara and Duke of Wudinna in South Australia took time out from their school holidays to sell goods they had made at a market stall in Apollo Bay, SA. Elisha Bull generously used her 7th birthday celebration to raise $600 so the children at Sunrise could buy some new ‘shoes, reading books and some ice cream’.

Are you hosting a fundraiser for Sunrise? Don’t forget to send us some photos. We’d love to share them with our supporters online. Email:



Sister schools unite to bring student success

With Operations Manager Soksan YI Very Happy New Year to you all and your families for 2015 from our Sunrise family! We wish you all happiness, peace and prosperity in 2015. We would like to express our profound thanks to all sponsors, supporters and friends for your very generous support of Sunrise in 2014. 2014 was our busiest year but it was also a very productive year for ACF’s Sunrise projects. The Community Outreach Program has been dramatically expanded to make a positive influence on about six hundred unfortunate children’s lives in addition to our on-going programs of Residential Care, Education, Case Management and Family Reunification for 179 orphaned, trafficked, abused and abandoned children who have been under our long-term care and support. The interventions and support of the targeted beneficiaries have been made solely based on the community and children’s needs. Before establishing any projects in a particular communities, Sunrise Children’s Villages begins by understanding what the local communities, as well as children and their families, really need and we have tried to use their existing resources as much we can before allocating our assistance. We conduct family and community assessments, which provide us with a solid understanding of the existing needs of a particular community and how our expertise may be able to help. We believe that through quality education, the cycle of exclusion, poverty, domestic violence and family breakdown can be stopped. Sunrise is committed to working with the community to make this a reality.

The students from Irohar School could barely contain their excitement when the lunch bell rang and they were able to hit the playground and check out the new slides, swings and monkey bars Sunrise had installed, thanks to funding provided by Birdwood Primary School in South Australia. Irohar School is located less than one kilometre from Sunrise One in the Toul Krosang village. As part of our Community Outreach Program, Sunrise is working with Irohar, its staff and the local community to increase the quality of education offered to its students. After a series of fundraisers last year, work has begun to repair one of its classrooms that was abandoned many years ago due to termite and weather damage (pictured above). The restored classroom will benefit hundreds of children from the Toul Krosang village. Not only will the teachers at Irohar School be able to conduct classes in a safe and welcoming environment, the new classroom will mean more children will be able to attend school on a regular basis.


Partnering with us and supporting one of our Community Outreach Programs is the perfect way to help transform the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged and at-risk Cambodian families. To learn more about the Irohar School renovation, visit our website fundraisers/irohar-school-roof/


How your support helped turn the Ly family’s life around LY KY EARNS $1.25 ployed. While Oeun and Tola’s two older brothers A DAY WASHING worked, their income CLOTHES. As the primary income earner for her family, simply ensuring there is enough food to feed her two youngest children, 9-year-old Tong Tola and 11-year-old Tong Oeun, can be difficult. The Sunrise team in Siem Reap were alerted to Ly Ky’s plight last year after learning that Oeun and Tola (pictured right) had stopped going to school when the family could no longer afford to pay for their school fees, uniform, lunch and books. When Sunrise’s case officers visited the family they learned that Ly Ky’s husband was unem-

was minimal. Though Ly Ky and her family own the six metre by 10 metre block of land that their house is located on, as you can see from the picture, the house itself is very old. The floor is weak, the columns and walls are sagging and the roof is not whole. When it rains, water seeps in to the house very quickly. On their current income, the Ly family would

never be able to afford to build a new house. But with the help of Sunrise’s Community Outreach Program, Sunrise case worker Chhoun Sreymom has put plans in motion to help fund the $950 needed to build a safe, secure and hygienic home, while

giving Tola and Oeun the opportunity to study at Sunrise, free of charge. After months of having limited food and lack of shelter, Tola and Oeun are watching on as their new house gets built. Dressed in clean clothes each day, they have also started attending extra activities at Sunrise such as computer classes.

Soccer stars rise to the challenge The Sunrise boys 12 - 14 years soccer team is celebrating after an energetic and skilful performance last weekend saw them post an 8 - 0 victory over their competitors in the local league. The win is the boy’s second triumph after they notched up a 4 - 0 win on January 18. Also keen to put their soccer skills to the test, our senior boys united with some of the local players from our Province to enter a team in the national Hun Sen Cup. Players travel from all over Cambodia to play

in the tournament. After weeks of training the boys were put through their paces on the pitch where they took on players up to five years older than them. While they lost, 3 goals to 9,

we’re very proud of the effort, team spirit and great sportsmanship they displayed both on and off the field. A great job all round. We look forward to the next game.

YES, I WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A CHILD’S LIFE STEP 1: REGULAR MONTHLY DONATION Please fill out the form below or call us on 1300 894 591 to complete the sign up process. I would like to sponsor a child for $50 a month I would like to make a monthly donation to Sunrise: $50 per month

GUESS WHO’S TURNING 70! That’s right, Geraldine turns 70 in June. For the first time ever, we want to give her a gift from the entire Sunrise community by signing up

200 child sponsors

Not all of our children at Sunrise are fully sponsored and it takes a huge yearly fundraising effort on Geraldine’s behalf to maintain the high level of love and care that Sunrise provides. By helping us reach our target of 200 sponsors you will not only enable more disadvantaged children to access our life-changing resources, but also allow our Big Mum to have more time to spend with her children. We simply couldn’t think of a better birthday present for any mother. For more information fill out the form attached or visit

AND/OR A SING LE DONATION I would like to make a single gift of $20



Other $ _____

STEP 2: MY P AYMENT Direct Debit Australia Cambodia Foundation SCV Operating Account BSB 085—005 Account Number 54 952 3845 Cheque Payable to: The Australia Cambodia Foundation Inc. Debit my credit card Mastercard


American Express

Card Number: _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ Expiry date: _ _ / _ _

Today’s date: _ _ / _ _ / _ _

Cardholder’s Name: ________________________ Signature:________________________________

STEP 3: MY DETAILS Title: ______ Name:_________________________ Postal address:________________________________ ____________________________________________ Home phone: (


Mobile: ______________________________________ Email: _______________________________________ Date of birth: ____/_____/________ Please return completed form to: Post: PO Box 1113, Unley BC, South Australia 5061 Fax: +61 (0)8 8232 2080 Email:

BEQUESTS AND MEMORIAL DONATIONS You can help Sunrise Children’s Villages continue the amazing work of Geraldine Cox and the team in the future by leaving a gift in your will or by encouraging your friends and relatives to make a gift in lieu of flowers. Being named a beneficiary in people’s wills forms an important part of our income and enables

Other: $____

us to continue to transform children’s lives in Cambodia. It may be as simple as adding a codicil to your existing will. Capital gains tax relief may be available to your estate for bequests made to certain charities including Sunrise. For more information visit www. or email

Profile for Sunrise Children's Villages

Sunrise Children's Villages Newsletter - October - December 2014  

Catch up on all the news from Sunrise in Cambodia.

Sunrise Children's Villages Newsletter - October - December 2014  

Catch up on all the news from Sunrise in Cambodia.