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My trip to Cambodia was called the Angkor Photo Workshop. It included lectures, one on one instruction, critiques, assignments, and explorations. We learned new skills and techniques, and then applied them in real life situations. We were assigned to a local NGO or project, for which we developed shot lists, created images, and developed a media library from which we created a multimedia slideshow. The process included developing story ideas, compiling the necessary visual components, and then creating a visually compelling photo essay and short multimedia presentation. The slideshow and the library of images were donated to the NGO as a token of appreciation for allowing us access.

My assignment was to create a story at New Hope Cambodia. On my first visit there, I met Gnyp pictured above. She works at New Hope as a cleaning person and takes English classes at New Hope School. Gnyp hopes that if she can continue to study at New Hope and speak English well, she will be able to open a small clothing shop.

Here is the slideshow, which is followed by some photos taken at New Hope and at the home of Gnyp.

Children from some of the poorest neighborhoods go to New Hope School. Many ride their bikes through muddy roads with no drainage and many potholes.

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Gnyp drives her motor bike to work at New Hope.

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After the children arrive at school, there is an “assembly” of sorts where children hear messages, and sing songs.

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Numerous volunteers, most from Australia and New Zealand, as well as regular staff teach at New Hope in classrooms or at tables outside. At the end of class, children are each given a snack.

 

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Shoes are not worn indoors. However, this teacher has some interesting slippers on.

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Older students have the opportunity to take computer classes. Note the “translation” keyboard worksheet.

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There is also a sewing center where students learn this skill and make some items that are sold, the proceeds of which go to New Hope.

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Additionally, New Hope has a hospitality program where students learn culinary arts. Here they offer meals at reasonable rates to practice their new trade.

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New Hope has a free clinic, and an outreach program to provide clothing and household items to needy families. There is a monthly “rice drop.” Families sponsored by New Hope are given bags of rice that will supply the family for a month. Families must send their children to school to be eligible to receive this rice. And they must abide by some other restrictions – no alcoholism, etc.

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Gnyp works all day cleaning the grounds, the clinic, and the classrooms.

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For one hour each day, Gnyp participates in a English class at New Hope.

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We took a Tuk-Tuk to Gnyp’s home, which is about five kilometers from New Hope.

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Gnyp’s home is in the country with open space surrounding it. There is no electricity in the village and no running water.

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A beautiful spirit house adorns the front area of the home.

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When we arrived, Gnyp’s mom and other relatives were outside preparing food and making craft items that they sell.

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We talked with Gnyp inside the house. The netting covers the area where she sleeps. Her adorable brother sat with her while we interviewed her and heard her read a story in English.

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I continue to keep in touch with Gnyp and hope that some day she will be able to follow her dream of having a small clothing shop.

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