Many Changes at the Center Peace!
Big changes are affecting COP in that government is mandating that all the younger children (5-14) to be sent back to relatives. They will be returning to less than harmonious situations and where we know for sure that they will not be sent to school, used as child labor around the house, for farming or collecting recyclables, COP can keep them. Assessing all the COP kids, we decided that we cannot send 2 children back, a brother and sister who just have nowhere safe to go. The local government authority in their community will sign off on receiving them and will monitor how they are doing with their relatives and keep COP informed. If there are serious issues, they will send them back to COP.
|Back to the Villlage|
" One of the reasons we want to keep our support level up is to help sponsor our children who will be sent back to their poor villages with school supplies, shoes, clothes, or bicycles to get to school which is often far away."
Please consider this when you decide to donate or not.
Our young people from ages 15-20 can stay at COP, but it will now be a "Home-Stay," more like a dorm situation. Fifteen teens will continue to live at COP, along with 3 children ages 9-12 who literally have no place to go.
Mr. Vichet (19) enrolled in training with the Katie Korpi Salon last year and is doing very well. One of our girls, Ms. Srey Neang (17) will be applying this month and hopefully she will get accepted into the program. This could be a start of a great career for both as Michael Fairfax offers top of line training cosmetics and hair styling. We also have two young adults studying at YWAM DTS for six months, sponsored by Pastor Jenny Oh.
Day Care Ministry- COP kids help teach toddlers (below right)
Last January, we began a day care service at COP for the working poor, the vendors who bring their kids along in tow to collect recyclables and sell street food. We have 18 children, 2-5 years old and on a daily basis do exercises, learn Khmer and English, play with toys, color, draw, sing fun songs, and learn manners and how to get along. Their parents are amazed to watch their kids show daily improvement and positive development in their lives emotionally and academically. Neighborhood poor want to send their children as well, but we are full now. We need toys, books, games, etc., if you are planning to visit the kingdom.
Srey Saophaun, below, teaching Pre-School for Vendor's Children
Stalled Pepper Farm
With a loan from an Australian church, we were able to purchase some land to begin a pepper farm with the hopes of making COP more self-sustainable. We were hoping to get some more loans or donations to buy equipment and begin planting by this June but loans did not materialize. Please consider helping us here. We have 3 weeks to find a loan of $15 to begin planting. If you are interested, please contact us for details. We now have land, but that’s it.
COP Soccer Team Ready to Play at DOVE's Ball Field
Ready for Action
Ramon, a college student at COP began a soccer team a few months back for COP teens and young people in the neighborhood. The neighborhood people warned us that these kids were bad, but we found them to be great kids. Now they have something positive to do with their time and energy, and some attend our Sunday gathering regularly, others just come to fun activities, and some just hang out at COP when they feel like it. The team has both lost and won some tough games. Brian’s friend Mr. Kimlieng (coach/player) broke his leg playing, but seems to be in good spirits (see photo below) So far, it is been fun and a learning experience.
Poor Mr. Kimlieng with broken leg, left.
Mr. Johnnathan and Ms. Yorean (Pich)
The children I have been taking care of since a young age are almost mine. Soon Brian and I will be the official parents, in the eyes of the Cambodian government, of Johnnathan (12) and Yorean (9). Thanks to the two individuals who helped with donations for lawyer fees. We expect all the documents to be signed with a month.
A Request to You from COP: Please do not skip.
COP will be losing a major donation of $1000/month ending in July. Unless we can replace that, it will be very difficult to continue to provide care and education to youth from impoverished and extremely difficult backgrounds, and the children of vendors in our Care Day Center, and the youth in our neighborhood. If you really care about COP, please commit to a monthly donation of $50 or $100 to keep our community operating. See donation info below. Please help us.
How to donate:
Go to http://www.breakthroughpartners.org/donate.aspx
Go to “Donate and find Brian Maher.
Scroll down to recurring donations. Put in $ where asked and designate to COP.
Or, if in Cambodia, call Bophal Yos-Maher 012-923-181
God Bless you, Bophal