Bridge presentations and Fundraisers for Banyan Learning Tree Schools in Cambodia and Adopt A Village Laos Water Filter Project.
8 South Kingslea Drive, Toronto, ON M8Y 2A3 Canada E: email@example.com
Patti has taught bridge to thousands of students of all ages. She is currently teaching at Country Clubs in Toronto and onboard cruise ships around the world.
In 2011, Patti Lee, Barbara Seagram and a group of 50 docked in Phnom Penh. We had sailed along the Mekong River and we were armed with clothing, pens, notebooks, rulers, sharpeners, toys, pencils, stickers and anything else you can dream of. The others in the group had generously agreed to each bring an extra suitcase and they either filled it or we filled it with donations from others in Toronto and surrounding areas. Patti found out about a local Gravenhurst resident, Lisa McCoy. Lisa was known to have dedicated the last few years to being on the ground in Cambodia (Phnom Penh and in remote villages in the provinces of Battambang and Takeo) for six months per year. Working alongside Lisa is Pauline Johns. Both are Board Members of AMFW and Founders & Operators of BLT, who conduct the work of these organizations. Other groups had built two schools in Takeo province. Pauline and Lisa ensure that all funds raised go to the cause and every penny is accounted for carefully.
We discovered that there was a programme whereby we could arrange to buy bicycles for the children of Cambodia. $50.00 per bicycle allowed the parts to be purchased in China and put together by a local bike seller in Cambodia. The children signed a commitment that they would continue going to school if they were given a bicycle and there was also a provision for maintenance of the bicycle should it need repair. This was all part of the $50.00.
Our group, along with other friends from Toronto, purchased 40 bicycles and we took them to a falling down shack ½ hour outside Phnom Penh, which was named Banyan Learning Tree School. Lisa met us and escorted us there in a small tuk-tuk along the dusty roads of Phnom Penh and beyond. It was quite a ceremony as we presented the bikes to mainly children of landmine victims. It was all very uplifting but Patti and Barbara looked at each other and wondered how long this shack would remain standing. We inquired how much it would cost to build a permanent school and found that it would be $24,000.00. We returned to Toronto determined to build a school. We raised $40.000.00 that year so in addition to building the school, we also furnished all three schools and built a library at one of the schools also. Patti and Barbara attended the opening in 2012. Barbara returned in 2013, Patti visited in 2014 and Barbara will visit in 2015.
Since then, we remain committed to sustaining FOUR schools - paying teachers, librarians, paying for costs of electricity etc: Costs per year for sustaining all these projects: $12,000.00 total. You can see that money goes a long way in this country. We now have 580 students in our schools.