Posts Tagged ‘Cambodia’

Reflections from our Chair

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Dan Rogers, Board Chair

As we near the end of 2014 we once again asked Dan Rogers to reflect on some of his recent experiences as the Compassionate Eye Foundation board chair:

One of my roles with Compassionate Eye Foundation is to prepare the deposits as we receive cheques in the mail. The deposit book for Canadian dollars is almost finished, so I took a quick look back to August of 2006 when the first deposit was recorded. As I started to flip forward, I was astonished by the people who are recorded in this ledger. Each name reflects someone who has been inspired to give to CEF over the years. It is one (and only one) record of our history of giving and compassion over the past 10 years, but it speaks volumes.

I emphasize “only one” because CEF doesn’t ask for donations in line with the traditional fundraising paradigm. We are different in our fundraising model because we almost exclusively generate “new” revenue. We get donations because people are inspired to give them and we are always grateful. But I’m certain that there are just as many people who have contributed to CEF through time and energy as those that have donated money.

I experienced a great example of that on September 13 when the wonderful photographic artists from Hero Images in Calgary descended on the fabulous office space donated for the day by our own Board member Ryan Bragg. Six board members visited during the day to watch the wizardry spun by these talented and fun loving folks. Hero Images had set aside a full day from their busy schedule to help out CEF and this was all made possible with the expert assistance of Amy Jones, our local producer who just makes magic happen. We on the board talked to the models, the makeup artists, and the assistants about CEF. They wanted to talk about where the money goes and what projects we support; everyone appeared to have a great time.

Later that weekend, several board members firmed up plans to visit one of our great partners, Kids International, in Cambodia in January of 2015. Board members pay their own way to go on these trips, but the reward is incredible. It reinforces why we do what we do and allows us to talk to others about the work that CEF funds, and to tell the story of the connection between the deposit book and the fabulously intricate shoots that are produced across the world.

CEF is both complicated and simple. There are a lot of moving pieces that I (and others) try to keep track of. But really CEF is just about compassion and giving and helping to make lives better in parts of the world where “better” is so modest for some but so huge for others. I love that so many people believe in that simple vision.

Clean Water & Hepatitis Prevention in Cambodia

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Submitted by KIDS, posted by Jennifer Laidlaw, Blog Coordinator

KIDS Cambodian Water project

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day – dedicated to raising global awareness of Hepatitis B and C and encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment. While the awareness day is focused on viral Hepatitis, we thought we would use it as an opportunity to look at one of our projects dedicated to providing clean drinking water and reducing contractions of a third type of Hepatitis – Hepatitis A – and other water-borne illnesses.

Cambodia water project

In 2013, Compassionate Eye Foundation (CEF) partnered with Kids International Development Society (K.I.D.S.) to bring clean drinking water to hundreds of children and their families in rural Cambodia.

Fifty per cent of rural Cambodia relies on unprotected ponds, rivers and hand-dug wells for their drinking water and there is no access to clean drinking water. Water becomes much more difficult to find during the dry season, and it also becomes more dangerous to drink.

The mortality rate is 83 per 1000, with 56 per cent of post-neonatal deaths due to unhealthy water. Seventy-five per cent of rural Cambodians do not have toilets and there is a high prevalence of Hepatitis A and other water born diseases in Cambodia.

Kids Water Filter

Clean water systems

Clean water is desperately needed in most of rural Cambodia and thanks to Compassionate Eye Foundation, Vancouver K.I.D.S. was able to build a solar-powered water filtration system for a very poor rural elementary school. In this area, the children walk or ride their bikes miles to get to school along very dry, dusty roads. Being able to arrive at school and have a drink of clean water is not only greatly appreciated but vital.

The water system cleans the water through cartridge and sand filters and then an ultra violet light system run by solar panels. As well as providing clean water, the solar panels also bring light to the schools in the evening so the schools can run literacy classes for adults and extra classes for the children. Now children can freely drink clean water during their school day, take some bottles home, and families are also permitted to access the well during the school day for drinking water.

Kids water project 2

Water – the greatest gift

For so many of us in the western world, clean water is taken for granted;  however, for the people living in Cambodia it is one of the greatest gifts they can receive. To celebrate the water tower, the villagers came out in the hundreds to give thanks to Compassionate Eye Foundation and KIDS for improving their lives and the lives of their children.

Photo of the Week

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

By Leah Yee, Social Media Coordinator

It’s been just over a year since we finished working with Kids International Development Society (K.I.D.S) on the Cambodian Floating Health Clinic, yet still, every time I look at this photo it brings a smile to my face!

This mobile clinic was built to travel along the Stung Sen River and bring much-needed medical care to the many isolated communities along its shores. This photo was taken by Rick and Adrienne Dartnell, our partners in this project and the founders of K.I.D.S International, soon after its completion.

The Lake Clinic

Solar Powered Water System at the Kauk Chrey School in Cambodia.

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

CEF recently funded the building of a solar powered water system to serve Kauk Chrey School in rural Cambodia. The school had struggled with very poor water quality and quantity as theirs was inadequate and contained arsenic and iron. The new system by CEF will serve the approximately 330 children as well as many of their families by providing clean drinking water to the community – affecting about 1000 people in this very poor rice farming area.

We recently received a letter from our partners at KIDS International who were there for the community celebration as the project was completed:



“Dear Compassionate Eye Friends,

The solar powered water project is now finished and the community celebrated this great asset for their school and village on February 24th and 25th. The water project went very well, the builders were very committed to doing a good job and the project was done in a timely manner and on budget. The one problem we had was that it took three attempts at drilling the well until the drillers were satisfied with the volume of water but in the end they were successful.


The celebration was amazing. The community came out in full force (hundreds of people). There were speeches and many thanks given to everyone who contributed to the water towers that were built for two communities. The commune chiefs, village chiefs and the head of the district education committee especially thanked Compassionate Eye Foundation for funding the water tower for Kauk Chrey school and community. They asked us to pass on their wishes to you all for a long life, good health and many blessings…. 


The next morning we went to the blessing (a smaller group of officials and community members). They had a white thread tying together the Compassionate Eye water tower to the platform where the monks were. We sat with the dignitaries and elders in front of the monks while they blessed the water tower and all those that helped bring this water to their community. After the initial blessing the community members lined up to put a spoonful of cooked rice into each monks bowl as well as one other bowl, made of banana leaf, that represented the ancestors and mother nature; this would be buried and go back to the earth. Once this ritual was finished we went back and gave the monks the rice bowls and all had another simple meal together.  


The event lasted two days and there were many inspiring speeches. It was very humbling and heartwarming to hear how much they appreciated Compassionate Eye and K.I.D.S. for our efforts in making these water projects possible for their communities…. as the weeks pass and we get deeper and deeper into the dry season, the ponds, ditches and residential wells have all but dried up and the search for water becomes a consuming task for children and families. This basic need for children and their families at Kauk Chrey school has now been met in a way that they could only have dreamed about before. The water is filtered three times and run through a UV light and comes out as clear and clean as water at home.


Over the two days of the celebration there was a constant coming and going to the water station during the day as children and people drank, filled their water bottles, containers and washed faces and hands. The smiles on the faces of the school children and villagers during the celebration said it all.


So to The Compassionate Eye Foundation and all of you who put in a huge effort to make this project possible, we would like to extend our most heartfelt thank you for your support, commitment and dedication to making a difference and changing lives here and in many other places in the world.


In Friendship
Rick and Adrianne”


More Stories from K.I.D.S. International – Small Donations that Make a Big Difference

Thursday, February 7th, 2013
Rey Buenaventura, CEF Social Media Manager

Compassionate Eye Foundation

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference in someone’s life.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the stories shared by Adrienne & Rick Dartnell of K.I.D.S. International. CEF has been a big supporter, partner and friend of K.I.D.S. International and we’ve always felt inspired when we hear how much good work the Dartnells are undertaking. Below are some stories we’d like to share with all of you.

Dear Friends, 

There is a small family who lives on our street. Sompea, [and] her mother… live together with Sompea’s little girl Srey Moa who is five. They work all day long from dawn to late into the evening most every day of the week so [that] they can educate and clothe [Srey Moa]. They live in the shop/house which is one very small room . Everyday we walk past they smile, chat, laugh and never complain. We have helped them in the past with a new sewing machine and this year K.I.D.S. has sponsored the little girl for a year’s worth of tuition at a better school. The family are thrilled and it is great to see the little one go off to school in her uniform…she is teaching her Mom English!
Vanna, a man who lost both of his arms below the elbows to a land-mine, refuses to beg for a living – as many disabled people [in Cambodia] are forced to do. He stands by the side of the road day in day out and sells books out of a small cart while his wife does washing. They have two young daughters that we will sponsor for another year of education. 
Our regular tuk tuk (a small passenger trailer that is pulled by a motorcycle) driver for the past four years, whom we have gone on many missions with, has been saving to replace his [rickety old] motorcycle… This year, [we noticed that] the motorcycle was in a very sorry condition. He had saved a fair bit towards a new bike, but it was easy to see that the machine was deteriorating faster than the savings were accumulating. KIDS topped up his savings and he is now the very proud owner of a much newer bike that will allow him to continue to support his wife and two small kids for years to come. His wife was going to use the old motorcycle to get to market and take the kids to school but it breathed it’s last gasp a week after it was retired, so its replacement was timely. The family insisted we have lunch with them at their home…. [a] one room flat, which only had two mattresses, also on the floor. We talked, ate and had some laughs and they asked us to pass on their thanks.  
Sopeak [is a] girl that KIDS supports for education, who has… hearing problems.  She will [soon] graduate from grade twelve in a couple of months. We went to their house in the countryside to visit and have lunch.  She is doing very well with her English. Her family works very hard and are very poor. They are always incredibly kind to us and do their best to keep enough food on the table for the seven of them. A few years ago Sopeak had the opportunity to learn to sew with an organization and [she] proudly showed us several shirts that she had made for herself and family members.  However her family could not afford a treadle sewing machine. With funds donated we  went out and bought her one and some material to make some clothes. Sopeak was very happy and said the first shirt she would make would be for her father as he works so hard. 
We have much more to tell but will wait for a later time…
All the Best,
Adrianne and Rick 

Another Email from K.I.D.S. International – Big Projects on the Way!

Monday, February 4th, 2013

by Rey Buenaventura, CEF Social Media Manager

CEF has been very priviliged to have worked on many wonderful projects with Rick & Adrienne Dartnell of K.I.D.S. International.  With 2013 just beginning, we’re happy to announce that there are many more big projects on the way in Cambodia!  Read below for the latest updates!

Hello Everyone,

DSC03350We are keeping busy here working on several fronts in the city, the countryside and out on the lake. The water projects at the two schools are coming along nicely and will be completed in a about three weeks time. We recently went out to the schools in the countryside to check on the progress of the water projects. Our experience out at the schools is always very pleasant and gratifying and this time was no different… When we arrived the children and community members were waiting for us with many packets of seeds and seedlings [to plant in the new school vegetable garden]. We were soon all working together and made short work of the task. We planted cucumbers, melons, tomatoes and several other types of local greens. When we finished it was time for the children to sit and eat the warm corn cobs we brought as a treat and a good time was had by all.

DSCN2685The rice bank, which is almost complete, looks fantastic and the water tower and filtration system are really coming along nicely. On our way out to the schools we noticed that all the standing water and small ponds… have mostly dried up and water will become more and more scarce in the weeks to come, so the completion of the water projects will be very timely.

ADSCN2636t lunch time we went into the small thatched classroom and met with the teachers, school administrators, village chief and several other community members [who] volunteer to help their children. Over lunch we spoke of how together we are transforming these schools, strengthening the community and changing the future for their children. We talked about their lives and how the genocide had taken so much from them: their loved ones, there childhood and the opportunity to have an education; as they were just trying to survive during and after the Khmere Rouge…  We asked them if they would like to have adult literacy courses in the evening, since the water system being powered by solar will have enough power to light the classrooms.  They were very excited about this possibility and it was moving to see there faces and eyes light up, especially the women who would’ve had even less of a chance for an education than the boys. Over the past few years the school has become the hub of the community and for many children it is a safe haven. Little by little the school has [gained]: a hot lunch program, fencing, gardens, clean water, a rice bank and school supplies!  [All] this was made possible by your generosity and support, so we pass on their heartfelt thanks!


Adrienne & Rick

The Kauk Chrey School, Cambodia

Monday, January 21st, 2013

by In Hye Lee, CEF Social Media Coordinator

Compassionate Eye FoundationAfter an exciting year filled with successful photo shoots in 2012, CEF is thrilled to continue giving back in 2013. One of our new sponsorship projects is the Water and Solar Project with the Kauk Chrey School in Cambodia, with Kids International Development Society (K.I.D.S.).

K.I.D.S., a non-profit organization founded by Adrianne Dartnall and Rick Lennert in 2004, works to improve living standards in impoverished communities in Southeast Asia. Adrianne and Rick founded K.I.D.S. after losing their only child, Danielle, to a drunk driver in 2000. Danielle had wanted to be a teacher and loved children, so they sought to honour Danielle’s memory by working to improve lives of children all over the world.

“We’ve come to understand that suffering is a part of life and can’t be avoided,” Adrianne explains. “It’s what we do with our pain and grief that matters.”

Funds are used to assist communities with housing, clean water, medicine, schools, educational supplies, transportation, and small business grants. Adrianne and Rick ensure that at least 95% of donated funds goes directly to help children and their families. The Kauk Chrey school is one of their projects in Cambodia.

The Kauk Chrey School serves approximately 330 children and is the hub of the area, which is filled with families who primarily make their living through rice farming. K.I.D.S. has been involved with the school, as well as two others in the area, for the past three years. Over the years, K.I.D.S. has provided many resources for these schools, including a lunch program, bicycles, and school supplies. Although 90% of residents are involved in rice production, failing crop production have forced many wage earners to travel to other parts of the country to find work. The children are often left to fend for themselves, but luckily the school has offered many of them a safe haven.

The CEF sponsored Water and Solar Project will support  K.I.D.S.’ plans to assist approximately 1000 people in the area. The current well in the area is quite shallow, meaning that it provides an insufficient water supply for the community’s many needs. Clean drinking water is a must, as the current wells provide water of a low quality, which contains arsenic and iron.  By also providing solar electricity for two schools in the area, K.I.D.S. and CEF will enable to further education in the area, which is essential for a brighter future for the community as a whole. Although this area has access to a local elementary school, bicycles are essential if children want to attend high school, as it is too far to walk.

CEF is confident that through the donated funds, these communities will be able to achieve a higher standard of living for both the children and adult residents. We look forward to working with K.I.D.S. on the Kauk Chrey School. It’s looking to be another fantastic year for CEF in 2013.

Final Report: Cambodian Floating Health Clinic & K.I.D.S. International

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

by Rey Buenaventura, Social Media Manager

It’s with mixed emotions that we share our final project update from Rick & Adrianne Dartnell of K.I.D.S. International.  Over the past few months, we’ve been sharing their emails on the CEF blog so that others can gain a ‘ first-hand’ account of the various challenges and triumphs that the Cambodia Floating Health Clinic project have experienced.  Overall, we’re extremely happy that this CEF sponsored project has turned out to be such a success.   We want to thank everyone from the Lake Clinic Staff, K.I.D.S. International, and our CEF Project Coordinators who have worked hard on making this much-needed, medical facility become a reality.

If you’ve been inspired by this story, please consider supporting CEF’s work and help us bring to life other worthwhile projects like this  in the future.  Join us or contribute today!

Hello Everyone,

Our time here is running short and this will be our final update… After leaving the clinic and carrying on by boat up the Stung Sen river we continued on to Stung Treng province to visit the women’s weaving cooperative; where we support the on-site kindergarten and daycare for the weaver’s children… The weaving center, though a bit slow this year due a reduction in sales because of the world economy, is still an amazing force in the province that provides a good work environment, fair wages and stability for many women and their families. Srey Po Free School, in the village behind the center, is the school that K.I.D.S. built four years ago and continues to fund totally. The children attending the school were children that were at risk due to lack of nutrition and many were malnourished. It is great to see how the children have changed; they have rounded out and are full of energy and happy as they go about their day learning to read, write and play… One father was extremely grateful, happy and a little emotional as he expressed how the parents appreciate that they have a school in their village, as before there was no option for educating their children.

On the outskirts of Siem Reap we assist an organisation called New Hope that a few short years ago had a tiny school and assisted a few people with home repairs and mosquito nets. They have grown tremendously and now educate 700 plus children at their school and help many more through their clinic, rice drop and vocational programs. We have helped them with many different needs over the years. This year there were four small children, recently orphaned as their mother died of liver failure. New Hope lacked the budget to bring them into their shelter home. We met these beautiful kids and have provided funding to keep them supported for a year with education, medicine and living expenses, this will give New Hope time to either secure more funding or find a safe and suitable home for them. Thanks to Kerry the children are receiving lots of love and support.

While in Phnom Penh we visited the eleven children and youth that K.I.D.S. supports with various levels of education, from elementary school to three of them in university. One of the young adults, Sen, graduated university last year and has moved on to find work teaching English and has also opened a traditional dance school (see picture, Sen in white in the front). Sen has had a difficult life to say the least; she was born in a refugee camp for survivors of the Cambodian genocide and orphaned there at a young age. Where most children spend their childhood at play and school Sen would be sneaking under the barbed wire fence evading armed guards to forage in the forest for food to fend off hunger. Thanks to a wonderful man named Sinath, Sen and about 50 other orphaned children from the camp were the first Cambodian children to be repatriated back to Cambodia once the dust and horror settled in the country… Sen was later adopted by Sinath and his wife…. Sen continued to persevere and study despite a late start, when we met her she had a dream to go to university and we were able to help her fulfill her aspiration. While she studied she also tutored the younger children K.I.D.S. supported.

Sen had a surprise for us when we arrived and introduced us to her fiancé, a very nice young man from France. They will marry in France in May and then both return to Cambodia. When they return they have plans to start a small NGO to assist more children and give back as well as continue working at their jobs. It is a beautiful thing to see the sparkle in their eyes and their love for each other, but most of all that Sen has triumphed through incredible odds and danger and is now a bright and happy young woman full of life and promise. A very happy story for us all.

We are in Bangkok resting for a few days before we head home. Doing this work, we witnessed much sadness and difficulty. However, we also witnessed the compassion, generosity, dedication and selflessness of others both here and at home, which is truly inspiring for us. Thanks to all of you who have contributed in so many ways to the work this year and in the past. There are many healthier children and families, many children receiving an education and 400 plus children receiving a daily meal through food programs provided by K.I.D.S.

Your contribution to this work is priceless and we thank you!

Rick and Adrianne

Progress Report No. 3: Cambodian Floating Health Clinic

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Leah Yee, Social Media Coordinator

Compassionate Eye & Kids International Development SocietyWe are pleased to present another update from K.I.D.S International Adrienne & Rick Dartnell.  In partnership with CEF & the Lake Clinic, their organization has built a floating, mobile health clinic that serves communities in desperate need along the Stung Sen River in Cambodia. Here is an edited version of their latest email update:



Dear Friends,

We arrived at the village late afternoon on our third day of travelling. Travelling through Cambodia we find there are many levels of poverty; ranging from those that live a subsistence living with just enough to feed their families and send a few children to school to those that cannot feed their families but have access to some support or aid. Here on the Stung Sen we see the worst kind of poverty, where people live in terribly difficult physical conditions, have little food, no health care , no clean water and little support, misery and survival are the words that can describe this type of poverty. The people greeted us cautiously and were happy the clinic was back with a new more permanent facility. The children, as always were excited to meet new people. After a short walk we headed back on board the clinic and our hearts were heavy with the situation these people face.

After a couple more very hot and insect filled nights we arose on Thursday to get ready for the first clinic upon the new facility. We were all busy preparing the final touches and setting up for the medical team. The team arrived around 8:00 am and immediately started bringing on board medicine, etc. The people from the area had started arriving about 7:00 am and sat patiently waiting. It took the team about 10 hours to get to the clinic by bus, motorcycle, small boat and larger boat, they are truly dedicated and committed people. The registrar took the patients family information and then sent them on to the nurse who did an initial examination of vitals and listened to their presenting issues, if warranted they then moved on to Dr. Sombun or to Mum, the midwife. After the patients were examined the nurse/midwife dispensed the needed medication. All morning we watched the people come and go, all very grateful to have this clinic and free health care. Chatting with the patients as they waited they told us of their health struggles and how much the TLC meant to them and to their children. As one woman said “before The Lake Clinic when we get sick we die, now we have a chance”. We were really impressed with the organisation, empathy and professional service the team provides to this community. Sitting amongst the crying babies, elderly women and others we could feel both their concern and relief. Although there are many hardships here we still had some good laughs with those waiting. Having a private examination room gives both dignity and privacy for the patients. TLC also plans to vaccinate for TB, measles and implement a mothers club to improve the health of infants and children.

The Lake Clinic brings health care and hope to people living in these forsaken and forgotten communities. Compassionate Eye, in partnership with K.I.D.S., has been able to provide this admirable and dedicated team of people a comfortable, clean and safe place to live while delivering quality health care and education to these isolated communities.

We thank Compassionate Eye for believing in and supporting this project; as they say on their website: “one day, one world, one goal”, we thank our donors for continuing to support K.I.D.S. “to create better futures for children and families” and we especially thank the The Lake Clinic for their commitment to “serving the underserved”.

“In Partnership”

Adrianne and Rick

Many thanks to Adrienne and Rick from all of as at CEF for your inspiring work!

Progress Report No. 2: Cambodian Floating Health Clinic

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

by Rey Buenaventura, Social Media Manager


Cambodian Floating Health ClinicAs we continue to Celebrate Change during this winter season, CEF is happy to provide another update from Adrienne & Rick Dartnell, co-founders of K.I.D.S. International.  With CEF funding supporting K.I.D.S. is working on building a floating health clinic in Cambodia which will serve  many isolated communities along the Stung Sen River.  Below is an edited version of their email update:



Hello All,

Building the Cambodian Floating Health ClinicThis week the floating health clinic has taken a big step forward. The prefabricated building is nearing competition and is now bolted down to the floating platform…

Bathrooms here are purely functional and on the lake they often consist of a simple frame on the back of a building covered with boards, tarps or rice sacks and one or two boards over the water and presto you have, as they say here …a ‘happy room…’ 

Health is the main focus of The Lake Clinic (TLC) along with education, disease prevention and assisting villagers with the use and maintenance of bio sand filters. The TLC wants to lead by example and so we are going to be containing water hyacinths, which are floating aquatic plants that grow like weeds here and [placing] them in a tank under the bathroom. The hyacinths will capture and treat the waste in an ultra low tech, cheap and easily replicated manner.

Solar Panels on the Cambodian Floating Health ClinicEach day,  as we travel through town,  [passing by] the beautiful hotels and into the countryside, the poverty slowly starts to emerge.  By the time we are in the Port area [the poverty] is hammering at your senses. The crowded, thatched hovels are crammed together over or on the edge of the lake…. The heat, smell of rotting fish, dust and lack of toilets make this a very sad place. Small children play happily in the polluted water not realizing what this [contaminated] water holds… Every day we are reminded that life can be so unfair and it helps to know that together we are all assisting those that have been placed in these untenable situations.

The doctors, nurses and midwives of TLC have been facing challenges of their own of late… It is getting hot here, 30 plus [celsius] each day. The teams are putting in long days treating patients [before] sleeping and eating wherever they can find space on other boats, schools or floating homes… We have been out on the lake several times over the years and at the best of times it can be an endurance test.

To say we are inspired by… the TLC staff is an understatement.  We, the staff, and… the villagers are all eagerly awaiting the completion and delivery of the new clinic to serve the Stung Sen area.

Thanks for your support,

Rick and Adrianne