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FAREWELL PARTY FOR SOKNA On the platform. Schools Manager Piet Po. Senior Teacher Sokna, Director Leng Touch and ODA Liason Manager Sophan.

Leng's goal has always been to open up education opportunities to allow our needy but intelligent young village people to improve their future opportunities. The challenges of running and funding education NGOs in third world countries can be quite daunting, so it’s especially heart-warming to receive such genuine thanks from one of our senior teachers who is leaving ODA to further his teaching to positively impact even more young Khmer students. Your support helping to fund our programs, and our wonderful volunteers who fall in love with these village youngsters, all make results like this possible. We hope this warms your heart as much as it has ours! Please read on below.

Sokna's personal education journey

2018 Australian Education Englighenment trip. Sokna, Siyoeurn, Principal Frankston High, Sinat and Po

Soknas class - winning Debate team

2019 Students enthusiastically participated in this innovative initiative, despite never having heard of debating before.

Dear Mr Leng Touch, I am writing to express my last farewell to you, who is always a source of my guidance, help, and an inspiration to my life and career. You are truly a great person with a BIG HEART for us, and I really appreciate to have worked under your leadership. It's 115 months or 3,450 days which I have been working with ODA. From the beginning, I didn't expect to achieve so many things in my life. Because you worked so hard for me and brought a wonderful opportunity to enable me to have a chance to study at university, I am able to realise my real potential like what I do today. My parents are still proud of ODA which was able to convert me from a normal country boy to a person who can help to create more positive changes to society. Comparing to the past ten years, I am completely a new person with better perspectives to the world, and ideas to support young people in society. I really thank you for the significant effort you have given me and to guide me through challenges. That I am here today is the result of your ongoing commitment day-in and day-out for ODA and all ODA teachers. You have initiated massive changes to ODA, which is not only ODA Central, but also at seven other villages where there are so many unfortunate youngsters waiting to be guided to a brighter future. Over years, there are students who are now able to speak and use English to seek jobs. I am really proud to be a partner with you to make our society a better place with opportunities. I am really delighted to use my knowledge and skills to inspire and push those young people to move forward continuously. Again, I would like to thank you very much for everything you have done for me over the years. I will collect some special ways of teaching English to share with all teachers when I am available some time in the future.

TOGETHER, WE CAN DO BETTER. Yours sincerely Sokna Sun

Leng and ODA teachers enjoying the farewell party for Sokna.

Hello, Shirley. Yesterday, all ODA teachers were attending my farewell party in a spectacular tourist area near ODA School 6. It was a wonderful day for me as staff which ODA took a significant effort to prepare such a meaningful good-bye party. I hadn't expected to have such an arrangement. It was really really awesome, and I will never forget ODA as my foundation of knowledge and skills for my life. My tears almost ran out as Mr Leng and Sophan spoke about my contribution from the beginning until now. I remember my past as a country boy with no idea of university, and how the world interacted with each other. My world was only in my family, farms and village. Very fortunately, I was supported by ODA, which you also played a great role, to find funds to pay for my university fees while my family was into financial trouble. What a great fortune for me! Most importantly, my world was extended beyond my expected boundaries as you made an Education Enlightenment trip to Australia POSSIBLE. You know! Old Khmer saying states that " You are just a barking dog when you see a plane flying"; I am no longer a barking dog, as I have the experience of traveling via massive airplanes and observing 4 wonderful schools there. It is extremely unforgettable. I learned so much from the trip. I must thank you and ODA for this travel and education experience. You are our sunshine. You have brought opportunities to ODA fellows. Words are limited to describe how great you are to my nation. I hope to see you again one day in my lifetime. I promise I will one day have another chance to go to your country. Thank you for everything. Best wishes Sokna

Personal and educative vision expands from the opportunity of travel and benefits flowed on back to our other teachers and village students. Everyone benefited from this trip late 2018. Valued long term supporters and a Rotary Club made this trip possible.

How lovely to receive these letters, and Leng has helped hundreds of students over the years. Many who come to tell him of their success, and humbly thank him and everyone who has made it possible for them.

Leng’s kind determination and vision, teachers and volunteers unstinting efforts, and your wonderful support flow through to inspire these village kids to reach out for education opportunities to make the most of their future lives.

It’s such a successful combination for these village youngsters, with every link critically important!

Leng and ODA school communities participate in many very colourful village cultural celebrations.

GOVERNMENT SCHOOL UNIFORM UPDATE Distribution starts Sunday 7th Feb with ODA school communities and continues through several other nearby government schools over the next week or so. The hit to employment in the Tourism Industry and fringe employment due to Covid, is impacting most subsistence farming families. Thanks to your wonderful support we will be able to assist a total of over 2000 students to continue attending school for another important year. Absolutely incredible result! We will have a full report and grateful kids pics for you in our next update.

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