It is one year since Piseth and Suzanne joined forces to plant the seed that grew into Shine. Having worked together and been friends for years, it was the realisation of a dream.

The first half of the year was a difficult time with Piseth working alone, an attendance of only 10-20 children, a leaking classroom, minimal funding and Suzanne having a vision but no idea of how to create a charity, never mind run it remotely from Australia.

The latter half of the year was something else! Suzanne’s visit in October sparked the next phase. The needs analysis really uncovered what the children and families require to end the poverty cycle. A new vision was born.

80 students came to Shine for the academic year’s opening. There are now 5 Cambodian staff. We have started some social care/family support projects; have forged links to provide free dentistry to the poorest of students; have sourced water for washing on the project grounds and we’re working on building partnerships throughout Otres and with large organisations in Australia.

Our holistic project is a work in progress and is based on research of successful programs, working in Cambodia.  We endeavor to do as much as possible right, the first time. Although, mistakes will be made: there is our opportunity for continued learning.

We are working ‘behind’ the people, to empower Cambodians, cultivating existing talents and skills. We are not imposing our perceived solutions. We are listening and responding.

The people of Otres are facing a testing time this New Year.

We wish them a Happy New Year and offer our support.

And thank you to all of those who have contributed, supported and followed Shine and continue to do so.