A reorganization of priorities will be the focus of a new Advisory Board at CDO. From a small project to sell recycled clothes at a monthly eco-market, increasing self-reliance at Leap Chass and completing the building project at Chreav, realistic goals will be set to achieve sustainable outcomes for the new CDO school, in Siem Reap, and the Village Project at Leap Chass.
CDO Siem Reap
CDO now owns land at Chreav, south-west of Siem Reap and about 15 minutes from the Old Market, on the fringes of Tonle Sap. In a rural setting, strategically close to schools, the purchase represents a turning point for the children of CDO, after fighting eviction from its present site for almost two years. The same tourists who flock to Angkor Wat’s iconic temples and the vibrant hotel, cafe and bar scene in Siem Reap inadvertently put huge pressure on ever-increasing land values. However, in mid-2016, CDO’s fortunes turned around when Mom was a runner-up in the Rotary-inspired THE ONE International Humanitarian Award in Hong Kong. With the prizemoney, coupled to another large private donation, money raised by Riding for CDO and other long-term supporters, Mom was able to secure the land late last year – and a long-term future for CDO.
When CDO decided to buy land, instead of agreeing to a long-term lease, it did so with an eye on the future, preferring security of tenure without having to meet increasingly high rental demands every month. Eventually, this will enable us to establish a number of businesses at the school and eventually become self-sustainable.
After the official documents were signed, the road to the site was excavated and widened to the new land. Base first-tier perimeter fencing, the accommodation block and foundations for the school and office have been built. And thanks to Karl Ahlberg, who raised $US17,500 via Facebook, to connect the power. This money is being held in trust until the buiding is completed.
Unfortunately, cost blow-outs have prevented CDO completing the building, so part of the land will be sold to finance the project’s completion. The appointment of an Advisory Board will make this a priority.
CDO has started selling fashion accessories from recycled clothes at the monthly eco-market at The Republic in Siem Reap. Hopefully, this will lead to more opportunities for marketing them at specialist outlets.
Village project (Leap Chass
We aim to:
- Provide a water filter system and clean water (at this moment we have 21 wells and two water filters donated by sponsors) for everyone.
- Provide key foods such as rice and tuna.
- Improve the roads to the village, including maintaining the access bridge, which is often cut-off in the rainy season.
- Establish sustainable crops as a food source and improve agricultural skills and knowledge.
- Provide primary schooling (thanks to a sponsor we were able to build a school with three classrooms), English lessons and vocational training.
In the long term:
- Establish a better system for more advanced education. Education is the key to community development.
- With the help of a sponsor, CDO was able to build a health clinic at the village. We now need to raise funds to pay for a visiting healthcare professional and equip the centre.
Organizational program (CDO and Leap Chass)
Mom has decided to form an Advisory Board to help her bolster fundraising and sponsorship programs at CDO. This will give the organization access to a wide range of skill sets from board members. It will also guarantee complete transparency and accountability for the long-term sustainability of CDO. The first priority of the board will be to set up a verifiable accounting system that will be audited annually.
We are also seeking tertiary-level interns to progress educational programs at CDO and, in the process, establish a network of international links to benefit our long-term goals.