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Marist life in Pailin

15/01/2014: Cambodia

In 2013 we have intensified our focus on the needs of the poor and needy children and youth. Besides our support in the areas of food, school fee and uniform as well as the teaching of English and computer skills, we also provide personal hygiene and health education. Additionally, we take time to listen to their personal problems and offer our support in various ways.

From the beginning of the year until the end of June, 10 families in Pailin received their monthly supply of rice from us. 

With the help of the students and staff of two Marist schools in Australia, namely Marcellin College Bulleen and Marist College Ashgrove, we built three toilets for some families in our vicinity. 

Our library is popular among the children and youth of Pailin who borrow our books during their free time. We also allow poor university students to borrow our laptop computers for their studies.

Our commitment to the English lessons for police and hospital staff is ongoing and they come for lessons from Monday to Friday. Br. Gilbert has started a new English class made up of hospital staff and medical students in Pailin. Besides providing English lessons, we also facilitated interaction between them and medical students from Singapore and United Kingdom (East Anglia) who collaborated with us briefly.As our two learning centers in Pailin are open to the public, our group of students also comprises Buddhist monks who have been attending our English and computer lessons. This has made it possible to establish a good relationship with the monks and their leaders.

Occasionally, the Pailin community organizes free clinics in collaboration with visiting medical groups from Spain, Singapore and South Korea. The most recent clinic was organized with the Peacemaker Medical Team, which is affiliated to the Catholic Educational Foundation in Seoul, Korea. The 30-member team was made up of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and technicians. They were assisted by Estela Rodriguez, a Lay Marist, and 10 translators from a Korean language school in Phnom Penh.

With regards to the construction of the proposed hostel project, we have received permission from both the government and the General Council. We are now raising funds for the first phase, which will comprise a building that can accommodate 30 students in five rooms as well as common showers and toilets. The Marist Brothers have already purchased a land close to the only high school in Pailin and the Enfants de Asie orphanage

The total cost of the project is $468,446.31. Support is needed for this project, which will improve the lives of many children and ensure a better future for them. 

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Br. Francis Amoako Attah

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