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Children helping children – outreach by Sangkheum FC

During Sangkheum FC’s 2006 Norway Tour, the boys eagerly collected 12 big bags of clothes, toys, school material and other necessities to bring back to Cambodia. Upon return to Siem Reap, the boys selected an orphanage and a poor village about 40 kilometres outside Siem Reap to visit and donate their collection, as well as donation given by previous visitors, to other unprivileged children.

Read the story from a volunteers perspective… our trustee Jo was volunteering at Sangkheum in 2006!

Another hot sticky day in the Cambodian Sunshine where the Barang (the Westerner) drip with sweat and the locals get on with their daily work – oblivious to the heat! Today is the day 14 kids from Sangkheum Football Club have the opportunity to reap the rewards of their success at the Norway Cup and with their celebrity status go out into the countryside to hand out the much needed clothes and school equipment gathered on the trip from the generous Norwegians.

The kids, loaded in the back of the Sangkheum Toyota truck and we, the volunteers, in an old 4 x 4 hit the red dusty road out of town. The road full of pot holes made from the recent rain adds to the fun and exhilaration of the drive. The countryside is laden with lush green paddy fields, wallowing water buffalo cooling off in the water and herded cattle demonstrating the beautiful simplistic lifestyle of the Cambodian countryside.

Once at the village the boys set to the task of distributing the books and clothing to the children who queued patiently in an orderly fashion according to age and height. The Sangkheum boys proudly and enthusiastically handed out the items to eager, bemused but very thankful students.

The event was enjoyed by the whole village who turned up to watch. Farmers complete with ox and cart, monks and the elders smiled and chatted away excitably as the schools books, pencils, erasers, rulers and clothes were distributed evenly to every family.

One glittery green and black jumper not out of place in an 80’s pop video was very well received and proudly worn by one of the village elders. The Santa hats were an added surprise too!

After the village Elder thanked the children of Sangkheum and the kind donators profusely we got back on the road again! Handing out books and stationary along the country roads ensuring no child was left out!

Our next stop was the village orphanage where more clothes and school books were given out. The children full of toothless smiles and sparkling eyes beamed with appreciation. Not shy at all, they went crazy when they saw the cameras and especially when they saw themselves on the mini screen. They climbed all over us and were content with being swung high in the air and the odd cuddle was very much appreciated!

The day was a great success summed up not only by the grateful smiles of the children, the sense of achievement for the Sangkheum boys by giving something back to their country and the warm feeling left in our hearts fuelled by the teamwork of the footballers, the donators and the sponsors with special thanks to Nina at Schiringsal school, Norway for loads of children clothing and to Zach for the school material.

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