Newsletter Winter 2013 
Our Trip to Cambodia
In January we took a group of 20 friends and supporters to Cambodia. This trip was similar to the one last year. We spent four wonderful days in our village, Kaun Khlong, visiting our Reach for the Sky girls, doing an art exchange with 6th graders at the school and distributing water filters (see below for more about each of these).
We started in Siem Reap with visits to the Angkor temples. After a boat trip across the Tonle Sap Lake and down the Sangke River we arrived in Battambang. After Battambang we took a bus south to Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh, where we saw the Imperial Palace, the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields. We also spent a day visiting the medical center in Kompong Speu Province, which was built by CamKids and funded by Cameron Siskowic, our President of Fund Raising.

Group in Battambang

Angkor Wat

Bill and Nancy

Jungle Temple


Big Mike with College Girls

Sangke River

Cameron with Kids



Road to School
Reach for the Sky
One of the best parts of the trip was spending time with our Reach for the Sky girls. We now have 17 girls, 12 in secondary school and 5 in college. Four of the college girls are freshmen at universities in Battambang. They live together in a one-room flat. The Cambodian Village Fund pays the rent and utilities. We also pay for tuition, books and school uniforms. All four girls attended Khlong Kaun Primary school and graduated from Sanke High School in 2012. Two of the girls, Thida and Srenav, attend the University of Battambang, Souerth attends the University of Management and Economics and Pisey attends Build Bright University. All four are taking extra English lessons.
We visited the 12 middle and high school girls during a festive lunch in the village. The girls rode their bikes to the lunch and helped serve the food. Four of the high school girls are seniors this year and want to go to college. We promised that if they pass their entrance exams we will give them financial support. It will be a challenge for us to support 9 girls in college, but with the help of our generous donors, we know it will happen.
We took all the girls to dinner and the Battambang circus, a treat for us and the girls.
When we were in Phnom Penh we saw Chanthy, our first Reach for the Sky girl to attend college, who is now a sophomore at the University of Management. We’re very proud of Chanthy for successfully completing her first year in college. The Cambodian Village Fund pays for her tuition, books, uniform and extra English lessons, but Chanty has a full time job to pay for food, housing and other costs. She lives with her sister, Kunthea, who just graduated from college. You can learn more about our Reach for the Sky program on our website.

Reach for the Sky Girls

Kunthea and Chanthy

Battambang Girls
Clean Water Program
While we were in the village we distributed water filters to 430 families. Along with the 165 filters we had already distributed, every family in Kaun Khlong and the adjacent village, Prey Damrey, now has water filters. We talked to many of the villagers about how the filters have improved their lives. For a cost of only $13 per filter, the filters have reduced the incidence of dysentery and eliminated the need to boil drinking water. This saves the families considerable time collecting fire wood and reduces the incidence of accidents from fires and scalding water. Also, fewer fires means less carbon emitted into the atmosphere, helping the worldwide climate change problem.
We met with the company that manufactures the water filters, Hydrologic Social Enterprises. They agreed to help us distribute filters to other villages. They also agreed to give us a lifetime guarantee for the filters we purchase from them.

430 Water Filters

Explaining How to Use Filters

Distributing Filters

Cameron and Village Boy


Cameron with Sovechea

Taking the Filter Home

Safe Water to Drink
Art Exchange
Before we left for Cambodia we arranged for an art exchange between the 6th graders at Kaun Khlong Primary School in Cambodia and the 6th graders at The Bishop’s School in San Diego, where our granddaughter attends. The Cambodian kids did wonderful drawings which they sent in early December. Just before Christmas, the Bishop’s 6th graders prepared original lithographs and used them as covers for sketch pads which became part of a package of art supplies for each Cambodian 6th grader. When we were at the school, we handed out the art packets to each grateful 6th grader. Also, Liz Siskowic, who was traveling with us, conducted an art class for the 6th grade class at Kaun Khlong Primary School. The kids loved the project and produced some remarkable artwork.

Artist and His Work

Bishop's 6th Grade Committee

Cambodian Kids with Lithographs

Cambodian 6th Grader

Artist at Work

Finished Lithograh

Cambodian 6th Grader's New Art Partner

New Sketch Book

Art Lesson
We also distributed disposable cameras to ten 6th grade students, telling them to take the cameras home, take photos of their friends, family, pets, and environment, and to bring the cameras back the next day. We had the film processed when we returned home and were amazed at the wonderful photos of life in a rural Cambodian village through the eyes of 11 and 12 year olds.

Cameron’s Medical Center
In December 2011, Cameron Siskowic visited Cambodia and met Dom Sharpe of CamKids, a British organization similar to the Cambodian Village Fund. CamKids is working with several rural villages in Kompong Speu Province, a two-hour drive from Phnom Penh. Cameron agreed to fund a medical center for one of the villages. The medical center was completed last year. We visited the medical center and watched Cameron’s reaction when he saw it for the first time.

Cameron's Medical Center

Providing Dental Care

Cameron and Dom

Cameron with His Family
Our Commitment to Cambodia
Our trip in January reaffirmed our commitment to Cambodia. A little money goes a long way in Cambodia and can have a dramatic impact on the people there. Cambodia is slowly recovering from the devastation of the 1970s and 80s. Prospects for children are bright if they can get an education. Chanthy, our college sophomore told us that without our financial help she would have been forced to drop out of school in the 11th grade. Because of donations from our supporters, in two and a half years she will be a college graduate. There is a long list of projects for our school (another classroom building, school supplies, a photocopy machine, a fence, school uniforms). We also have seen the benefits of clean drinking water and hope to expand that project to other villages. Reach for the Sky will have 9 girls in college next year, a significant financial challenge for us. But we are confident that with the help of our supporters we will be able to continuing improving the lives of the people in Cambodia.

Please Lend Us a Hand

We will happily accept your donations, which you can make on our website or
by sending a check to:

Cambodian Village Fund
c/o Bill and Nancy Bamberger
4376 Argos Dr.
San Diego, CA 92116-2330

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