Patti Lee - Bridge Presentations and Cambodia/Laos Fundraisers

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Our Cambodian Schools

Chan Teap School - Takeo

Our newest school, including a well and toilets was completed in October 2015.

It was built with the proceeds from the sale of the Banyan Tree Organization building in Phnom Penh (in December 2011, Barbara Seagram, Patti Lee and their Bridge Group from Toronto, Ontario raised enough funds to rebuild a new, larger two-storey school).

Brighter Beginnings & Calogero and Luke Puma Library - Prokeab

Round Square funded the school construction built by the Round Square Student Team, in December 2011.

Funding to build the library was donated by Asif and Wendy Ghayoor, who raised half the funds and personally donated the other half. The "Calogero and Luke Puma Library" will be an integral part of the Banyan Learning Tree Centre, enabling children and adults to access books and resources in Khmer and English.

Our many thanks also to Robena Kirton from Gravenhurst, who is donated funds for some shelving and books for the library.

Happy Gecko & Library - Bakot

Round Square funded the school construction built by the Round Square Adult Team, in December 2011.

Funding to build the library was raised from Bridge Tournaments organized by Patti Lee, Barbara Seagram and Bridge Players from Canada.

Battambang - Phnom Sampov

In March 2015, this school was built as a result of a generous donation from HTS Engineering in Toronto, Canada.

Moving forward, it has now become one of the Banyan Tree Organization schools supported by the fundraising efforts of Barbara Seagram and Patti Lee and the generosity of their bridge club members!

Taprom Village - Kampot Province

Construction is complete and the teachers received the first enrollment of 158 eager students on 22 January, 2018.

Monks alo were in attendance to bless the school.
(View larger pictures on FACEBOOK)

Our Taprom school has a cistern is for water to wash their hands, something all the students are learning about! They do not drink the water from the cistern. Families drink rain water which is "pure".

Prior to this school being built, students studied in an "outdoor" classroom, which will still be used to cater for various classes.

Visit for more details about our activity of ALL of our schools in Cambodia.

Cambodia Our ProjectsIn 2011, our group and other friends from the Toronto area donated 40 bicycles to a school outside of Phnom Penh. We went there in a small tuk-tuk along the dusty roads through Phnom Penh and out into the countryside to find that the school was a one-room shack with a cement floor and no desks or chairs. The bikes were given to children, 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 cost $24,000.00 We returned to Toronto determined to build a school. We raised $40,000.00 that year, so we also furnished two other schools and built a library at one of the schools. Since then, a fifth school has been added; we now have over 600 students in our schools-and we remain committed to sustaining all FIVE schools at a cost of $40,000 CDN per year. This pays for the salaries of the teachers and librarians, all of the supplies for the teachers and students, lease payments, electricity, maintenance etc. You can see that money goes a long way in this country.

Over the years, many outreach programs have been undertaken to help these landmine affected families to become self-sufficient: a bike repair business, chicken farmer training, sewing lessons with a sewing machine, crafts, a technology centre, and a weaving centre.

There is also a huge need in the remote villages for medical help. Many never see a doctor: they do not have a doctor and cannot afford to travel to one. Malaria and tuberculosis continue to plague the remote villages. We need to educate throughout rural areas regarding the need for sanitation, aiding in the prevention and transmission of diseases. We need to work to ensure the health of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth.

Our focus is to make sure that our students and villagers have:

  1. Safe Water. Access to safe water, a fundamental human need and a basic human right. In some cases, this may be as simple as teaching them the necessity of boiling water.
  2. Hygiene & Sanitation. Access to health care and education aiding in the prevention and transmission of diseases, including: Handwashing Stations / Toilets / Days for Girls Kits.

There are many that do not have a safe, private toilet. The absence of a safe, private toilet leads to serious health issues, as well as sexual abuse of women and girls. Our schools all have toilets, thus ensuring that the girls can attend school even during their menstrual period. Without toilets at the schools, the girls would miss many days a month of school and often do not return once this has happened a few times.

Current and planned projects:

  1. We will be sponsoring a second student to start university in August, 2019. Both our first year and upcoming second year students are 3-year commitments, which include tuition, books, and living expenses.
  2. We have installed 10 toilets over the past year for 10 families in the villages near our schools. TEN more toilets will be installed over the next year for ten other families.
  3. We have installed handwashing stations at one school, and will be installing them in two more schools over the next year.
  4. We are looking at projects to capture rain water to be used as safe drinking water for the children while at school.

Chan Teap School Cement Path September 2018 - Chan Teap School
Cement paths are being laid at Chan Teap!

Teacher, Kunthea, and students will be very happy not to be wading through water in the wet season.

View LARGER images on FACEBOOK

August 2018 - Banyan Tree Organization Student Activities

Nov. 2017 - Family to Receive Toilet
BTO will provide a bathroom/toilet at the home of farmer Soem Thorn, who lives with his wife, khun Sithon and their 5 children in Angtasom, Takev. A further 9 families in Takeo and Kampot will benefit from this project in the coming weeks.Continued...

Oct. 2017
More Students Heading to University
Some of our students will be going to University next year. They're making good use of Am Pov's weekend computer classes. Continued...

Oct. 2017:
Construction for the new fifth school commenced this week in TaProm Village, Kampot Province. Savin has been teaching some students in his spare time. They're very excited to soon have a new classroom and library for their studies. SreyLin is our first scholarship student. With thanks to the support from Patti Lee and Barbara Seagram she is able to live in Phnom Penh and study at Pannasatra University. Continued...

Patti and Barbara are excited and optimistic about all of these projects and the fundraisers that we do every year. If you are unable to attend one of our fundraisers, but still wish to make a donation, we would be so grateful. Barbara and Patti are an Agency of a charity in Canada; as well, they have formed an alliance with a charity in the USA. As a result, all Canadian and USA donors can receive tax receipts, valid for their own country.

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