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We’ve survived so far and it’s all thanks to you

Share our successes over the last incredibly challenging couple of years


200 bags of rice for unemployed families, classes in and out of school buildings to comply with restrictions at the time and safety measures, plus a massive Government School Uniform response to keep 1924 kids in the school system. Much more to be thankful for so read on, and everyone here knows it's all due to your wonderful support.

Classes are restricted to 15 students so Super human effort to raise funds and

they are rostered on specific days distribute 1924 uniform sets

We are so grateful to every single person who helped us make it through the toughest two years for ODA. Operationally working around Covid safety restrictions to ensure we keep our 1450+ students safe, and somehow manage financially with our all important gallery income closed off due to the lack of tourism.

The challenges can plant negative thoughts in everyone, but in compiling this newsletter it has made us feel very proud and thankful of our combined shared working together achievements. With you we have achieved much to be thankful and proud of so read on and enjoy our shared successes.

Class sizes pre Covid Lesson when schools closed Restricted class seizes now

Thank you for the priceless gift of free education and the hope, that your support gives to our subsistence farming kids.

Life was always harsh, but with no tourist related employment, life is even more so for these villagers. Your kind donations from $10 a month up has provided us the funds to keep operating the 8 schools. Every month we panic but somehow manage to scrape through.

Leng and Shirley had documented a SWOT analysis a few years ago (Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats) and identified Bird flu, MERS and Sars etc as threats to the tourism industry that is critical to ODA’s income. We put planning in place but never dreamt that it would be ongoing for now, approaching the 3rd year.

We simply wouldn’t still be here to help all these kids if not for your ongoing commitment, kindness and generosity.

Schools Manager Piet Po with his successful English Elementary Class


Leng feels the heavy load of responsibility to the safety of all ODA 1450+ students, but particularly to the residential students. Living under the same roof would act like a super spreader if one student became infected. They have been in lockdown for the best part of 2 years and it’s a credit to Leng, his wife Sry On and the older students who have shown wonderful leadership and kept everyone busy and happy over that time.

Once their training is complete our teachers attend University under the ODA Support Program that is funded by wonderful USA Shine Bright Scholarships. GRADUATES AND SEMI GRADUATES TAKING LEADING ROLES WITHIN THE COMMUNITY AND ODA NOW Wonderful to see the development of past and present students, using their education to support Leng and strengthen the ODA operations. We are so proud of them and their wish to put back for other students coming on through. FISH AND HYDROPONIC FARM Perfect timing from Leng and his crew as they developed a more sophisticated set up here which has provided increased organic food at very low cost for the ODA residential school throughout this critical Covid time. With wide spread farming chemicals and the increased run off into rivers all the way down the Mekong, fish and vegetable growing is now affected. This had concerned Leng greatly and led to his developing this fish farm set up with the nutrient rich run off from the fish water flowing on to feed the hydroponic vegetables. Original water is pure and pumped up from underground, as is all water for the residential school. This is also tested regularly to ensure no unsafe seepage creeps through.

The new fish tanks producting protein food for residential students Peav with new hydroponic section

Development of Soldier fly and the ‘Love Shack’ to breed soldier fly larvae to organically feed our fish and chickens, cut costs substantially across the board. Some issues still to be overcome but with great enthusiastic volunteers we are following through on these fronts. Peav, who studied plumbing, helped with the construction and now manages the Fish and Hydroponic farm with all his fellow residential students assistance in planting and tending. It provides them all with high value food. It also teaches them all aspects of successful faming in these methods.

Nurse Malis on Covid duty Tola attending a marketing conference Lai Hun working on the ODA Accounts


Nurse Malis, one of ODA’s first teachers, studied Nursing on an ODA scholarship from a lovely UK family. Now a member of the vital Siem Reap Covid team inoculating and nursing infected patients. Tola who initiated ODA’s first Introduction to Word and Excel curriculum as ODA’s first IT University student. Working in Phnom Penh in a government TV Station now, he continues to assist Leng in procurement and research in his own time. Trai Vet having completed his Civil Engineering and now working in a construction team in Siem Reap. His employer has allowed him to take time to drive the mini van and ODA students to and from their school. Trai Van now employed by a local bank to head up a security team to service their ATM’s, still fills in developing the ODA IT curriculum offering and teaching around his bank role. Vey has completed his Civil Engineering and now studying for his masters, he heads up maintenance and construction roles to assist Leng. He has recently drawn up, costed and almost completed a new ward for the Medical Center just close to ODA Central. Lai Hun is in her final year of Accountancy and heads up ODA local Administration and Accounts, having also recently learnt the Xero System which allows Leng to keep tight management across all segments of ODA Operations. Lai Hun also takes an English class at Primary level at ODA Central. Sok Vun is studying Bachelor of English Literature and as well as teaching the Pre Intermediate English level at ODA Central and managing the ODA Students Gallery. She has also been asked to teach English at the Sras Srang Government school nearby for the last two years. Sothear has completed his 1st year of IT at university and is teaching students at the ODA No 3 school at Run Village and also at ODA Central, where he has studied and lived for many years. He is a quiet shy fellow, but teaching is giving him confidence and he is very keen to pass on everything he learns to encourage others to grow as he has. Me Sung is studying Bachelor of English Literature in year one and teaches the Pre School units of English at ODA Central, and loves working with her little ’brothers and sisters’ there. Phanny had not attended any school prior to joining the ODA family. He was a good student but many years behind his classmates and at year 10 (and him 19) he came to Leng asking if he could do training with a leading Wedding Photographer in Siem Reap. One of our long term volunteer couples footed the training fee, and he was off and running. He is loving all he is learning and has a permanent placement with the team there now. With his increased skills he still assists Leng in any way he can

Ting Noy one of our first teachers Sothear studying and teaching IT Chamroeun another long term teacher


Piet Po has completed his Bachelor of English Literature and his four years of Masters. He has to write his dissertation over this year to complete his Masters. Po was one of the 4 ODA Teachers who we were able to send to Australia for a month long Education Enlightenment in 2018, and on his return he just blossomed. He is now our Schools Manager and working enthusiastically and virtually, with our two volunteer Education Managers to train teachers and drive our schools on a continuous improvement pathway.

Ting Noy has completed her Bachelor of English Literature and is the original teacher at ODA School No 1 at Salakrovann Village. She began teaching squashed in a tiny roofed and one sided rusted structure. She and her students all took part in assisting the builders in the construction of their lovely school which all you, our wonderful supporters, financed. Leng was given a 4 week window of opportunity to build and you all swung in behind us to get it financed and built. ‘Mission impossible’ but together we did it! Ting Noy also handles English translation and documentation work for her local government when required.

Sophourn taught for ODA in the earlier times for many years in Tbag Kart Village and is now working with the government in a Tourism role.

Chamroeun was an avid student attending all the levels of ODA classes daily, and on graduation, went on to win a teaching role with ODA. She successfully gained her Bachelor of English Literature Degree and continues to teach at No 7 school. She lives nearby with her husband and small child.

San was one of our Mountain girl students who lived at the ODA No 5 School in Wat Village to complete her education. She has since graduated from University, married and continues to teach at ODA's No 6 School in Tbang Lech Village.

Solar Battery replacement Wonderful Uniform response

5 schools solar batteries now giving secure 1924 students kitted out with the mandatory uniform

power for 3+ years at all these schools set, able to continue attending government school


SOLAR BATTERIES Thanks a mil to those who helped us raise funds to replace solar batteries at three of our schools. They will supply all power needs for the next 3 to 3.5 years. Fans, lights, computer studies, teachers projection of lessons and all other needs.

GOVERNMENT SCHOOL UNIFORMS 1924 uniforms distributed. A superhuman effort by you all here. 2021 and government school Principals were approaching Leng asking if ODA could help as most students families had no employment or income, and students would be unable to attend school without the mandatory uniform. To take you there on the day and share with you what you achieved, the Uniform Video Report link is above. This was put together at the personal instigation of Trai Van and Phanny, both mentioned above.

SO MANY MORE STORIES Hundreds more ODA students have won their coveted employment over the years and come to thank Leng for changing their lives.

Leng handing the symbolic Ambulance key to Nurse Malis Lai Hun documenting all the families details for rice gifts


It is difficult enough to fund ODA’s Education Programs but occasionally we are approached or made aware of desperate need situations.

AMBULANCE Our graduate nurse Malis made Leng aware of the lives being lost when patients needed to be transported from the Village Medical Centers to Siem Reap Hospital for doctor or more specialised care. This takes in anything between severe accident cases and childbirth requiring more advanced care, often occuring mid way through the birth process. Either taken on a motor bike, or a trailer on the back of one, over the potholed roads which are also flooded in parts in the wet season. Horrifying to us westerners to hear of these daily occurrences and the resulting deaths that all too often followed. One of our school donors heard and became personally involved and assisted his Rotary Club of San Marino USA to provide a very generous starting point and we were away. Rotary Club of Frankston Australia who also greatly assisted our Teacher Education Enrichment program in 2018 also heard, and came aboard,and so with a few other generous kind Aussie donors we were there.

$23,000USD for a wonderful 2nd hand ambulance with stretcher and some extra equipment. This vehicle is shared by 5 outlying village Medical Centers and buzzes past ODA Central on it’s way to and from the hospital, often several times a day and night and certainly saving lives.


One of our wonderful supporters realised that many families who live around the Angkor Wat Temples had no income without tourists, and so asked Leng to help her to distribute bags of life saving rice. Leng approached the Village Chiefs who put forward the most needy families. Leng always goes himself to make sure that it is the needy families who actually receive the help, and he took Lai Hun our accountancy student to document the hand overs, and Vey to help lifting the bags. Over the time they have distributed 200 26kg bags of rice to starving families. The pics certainly highlighted the village peoples need.

Opportunities of Development thru Art

p: (855) 16 951 988 m: (855) 973 605 128ODA is Reg. No 3275 with the Cambodian Government.Provincial Reg. No 171 Department of Education Youth and Sport of Siem an Education NGO (Non Governmental Organisation) Non Profit designation. Accounting for International Development UK (AfID) partnered with ODA in 2014 and facilitated two placements to strengthen ODA’s accounting & financial management. An independent UK accountant now monitors ODA monthly accounts.ODA is a proud partner No J1068, of Australian NGO, Global Development Group (GDG) who provide a governance role and assist in the areas of planning, monitoring and evaluation of projects to ensure they are carried out to OAGDS requirements.

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