Bridge presentations and Fundraisers for Banyan Learning Tree Schools in Cambodia and Adopt A Village Laos Water Filter Project.
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).
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.
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.
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!
In 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 fourth school has been added; we now have over 500 students in our schools-and we remain committed to sustaining all FOUR schools at a cost of $25,000 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:
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:
UPDATE: 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...
20171019 - UPDATE:
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...
20171004 - UPDATE:
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.
For more info: or