The Ponheary Ly Foundation help children who live in the poorest villages to go to school. They provide backpacks, uniforms, and even meals to these poor children who have absolutely nothing, and also take them on trips. You may be wondering how they make the money to do all of this. Good question, That is where we come in. Most of the money earned at the guest house that we are staying in goes to this foundation for the kids. We can also volunteer to buy them a lunch, because they don’t get much food, to take them on trips, or to give them backpacks & do artsy things. We bought them a lunch & bought them backpacks.
Lunch was the one we did first. It was originally meant to be on Friday, but then we realized that that was a holiday for them so we did it on Wednesday instead. We brought in vegetables, chicken and noodles, which all the 6th graders helped to prepare and cook. We unpackaged the noodles while they were chopping the lettuce, onion, garlic and peppers. After, all the food went in giant metal bowl with some oil and was put over the fire. Since there was nothing else we could do for a while, just wait for it to cook, we taught them duck duck goose. We didn’t say “Duck duck goose,” though because their English wasn’t that good. The only problem with showing them this game was that they picked us a lot. After a while we got really tired of getting picked. When many many rounds had passed, they decided to show us their version of the game. Basically we stood in a circle holding hands and then there were 2 people who were it. These guys ran around the circling then when one of them hit you and the person next to you’s hand you grab that person next to you, run around the circle and try to beat the person who chopped your hand, to the empty space. It’s really fun but by the end of the day we were so tired. All the teachers called the kids back to the classrooms and we went to get buckets of the noodles. Each of us went to a classroom and filled up all the kids bowls. We were instructed to keep filling up the bowls until they didn’t want any more because a lot had plastic bags that they took home to their families. Unfortunately when we had barely any left, some children still wanted it. We had none, so we couldn’t give it to them and it made me really sad. At 12:00, after lunch, it was time to go home (. they go to school at 7:00 am). They go home early and wake up early because it gets really hot in the middle of the day in Cambodia. We walked to the village with them and then said goodbye.
We also brought supplies for making paper bag monsters. It was kind of complicated because they couldn’t understand us but luckily we had a translator. I think the children knew what they were doing, though, because they were doing it right & whenever we came over they started whispering and laughing. They were very creative and did really cool monsters. When we went to the next class we realized that there weren’t enough supplies, so we went back to the other classroom and got more supplies. Eventually, everyone had a paper bag, a pencil/pen, pom-poms, feathers, pipe cleaners and an assortment of googley eyes. They finished these quite quickly and so we had to do a different activity as well. We tried doing consequence monsters but it didn’t really work out. They kept drawing all their own monsters. The important thing was that they were happy and so that was good. When everything was done we cleared up and unloaded the backpacks. The teacher called out all their names one by one and they came up to get their backpacks. Then we gave them baguette with sweet cream in it. Then we moved to the next class. They all got their backpacks but unfortunately, some little boys had to have barbie backpacks because we ran out of Ben 10. They got baguette to but sadly, they didn’t get very much cream. Then they all went home as well.
Seeing these children made me even more grateful than I already am, for all the fortune that we have in our lives. I wish I could help them more and will continue to donate my own money to this whole foundation.