Shine Cambodia CEO and Founder Suzanne Wright headed to Otres in December 2018 to see on-the-ground improvements, implementation of programs and general operations.
Suzanne spent lots of time with Shine’s current staff members to evaluate current systems and where improvements need to be made. She is very proud of Samantha and Piseth’s dedicated and proactive nature, as they put in many work hours that exceeds their work contracts. They are constant advocates and ambassadors for Shine.
Shine currently has three trained teachers and three teachers new to the profession. They are all passionate about seeing change in their community. One of the full-time staff members who is a social worker in the morning and teacher in the afternoon, is loving his new role and he hopes to stay with Shine to build his career.
In order to professionally develop staff like him and others, Suzanne and the team have built in daily training times and will create a roster of one-on-one opportunities.
Shine is feeding around 40 children a day and educating more than 160 students. Because the area is seeing an influx of families for construction work, demand for education is increasing.
There’s also a high demand for mosquito nets to help prevent dengue fever and malaria. These are always a threat, but even more so now, as there is currently an outbreak. There is a waiting list for lunches as many more are living below the poverty line. The emergency food fund needs more cash flow for those families who are in financial difficulty and benefit from rice sacks. There is also a need for water wells and toilets.
While in Cambodia, Suzanne observed volunteers, who she saw made a valuable contribution to operations. Volunteers are expected to stay for a minimum specified term and bring much-needed skills. They’re currently assisting with the classroom rules, management and rewards strategy.
Christmas was a joyful time for the children as teddy bears were given by Vanny, a local donor. A team of Khmer volunteers and local business owner Peppe cooked pizza. An incredible delivery of gifts donated by Kevin and Allison Monkhouse Funeral Directors arrived. There was a present addressed to every child at Shine! Additional gifts of cans and biscuits were donated by Kevin, his friends, and a Korean popstar! It was an unforgettable time for the children and staff.
Bryan Caisse has raised over $8,500 USD through his blog ‘Things I have Learned’ which is an economic review with 500 members of his ex-Wall Street friends and network. He has kindly increased his target, promising to deliver humorous video footage of personal challenges when each target is reached.
Numerous local businesses in Otres support Shine, through housing donation boxes, donations, and fundraisers, including a fundraiser at Mia Mia that Suzanne attended and participated in.
The trip was a success in every respect: strategic plans are now in place to take us into 2019, staff morale is high, and the children are smiling ear to ear.