HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRIENDS OF KOH RONG! On August 31st, 2013, the founding members (a group of committed travelers), met with the Koh Tuch village to reintroduce themselves, and discuss the value of English education. For over six months, classes took place on the Dive Centre pier, or in the house, without books, full-time translators, resources, or funding. During this village meeting, the locals decided to work with FoKR: refurbishing the school, joining meetings, and encouraging their kids to study. Friends of Koh Rong considers the organization a CBO, (Community Based Organization) and feel blessed to be working alongside village elders, the chief, and in tune with the needs of the community. There would be no school, period, without their hard-work and dedication to the betterment of the children.
Again, two years later, the day began with a village meeting. Led by our staff, the students and their parents gathered to discuss ongoing activities at the school. Parents had the chance to ask teachers questions about their children, and the informal meeting ended with laughter and an invitation to the Monkey Island celebration.
In the afternoon the students came to Monkey for a wild day of birthday cake, scavenger hunts, swimming and games. Huge thanks to Monkey Island, and the many volunteers who brought every single tourist on the beach to this fundraiser, and to all of the businesses who donated prizes for the grand raffle. Thank you to our good friend, DJ MARS MADNESS for his eight hour marathon of incredible tunes. The day was fun-filled, and will never be forgotten.
Finally, a huge thank you to our wonderful staff, the teachers, director, and nurse, past and current volunteers, FoKR ambassadors, donors abroad, and the students, for propelling the school forward and prioritizing the right to education. Without ALL OF YOU Friends of Koh Rong would not be operating today; which means nearly 100 students would not be in school, working towards a future filled with opportunities. Instead, like many of the other beach towns in South East Asia, they could be subjected to a life on the beach, selling bracelets, collecting rubbish, involved in drugs, crime, or prostitution. The students rather, are thriving, studying English, Computers, Arts, Environmental Studies, and have access to a medical clinic. Together we have paved a path so the locals can walk towards the benefits of the rapid changes on Koh Rong. AKOON JARUN FoKRs NEAR AND FAR!